Creepy spooks are spying on your Internet sexy time
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Ever indulged in a bit of online “fun” with your boyfriend/girlfriend? Congratulations, you might just have become the latest adult star, thanks to the sterling work of spy agency GCHQ. The latest revelation from the Edward Snowden leaks shows that GCHQ has been snooping through the video chats of Yahoo! users, collecting images and stills. And yes, they include the sexy stuff. Nearly one in nine of the saved pictures contained “undesirable nudity”, according to the released documents – although we’d hate to know what “desirable nudity” might entail. The spooks harvested thousands of private sex images from Yahoo! Chats without either the users’ or Yahoo’s knowledge, saving them to their own private database regardless of whether those involved had done anything wrong. The images were collected between 2008 and 2010 as part of surveillance programme named Optic Nerve. More than 1.8 million Yahoo! users had webcam images taken without their knowledge in just a six month period in 2008 alone, with many of them containing sexually explicit material. Sounds creepy, doesn’t it? Privacy campaigner Nick Pickles from Big Brother Watch agreed, calling the revelation “as creepy as it gets” and “indiscriminate and intimate intrusion on people’s privacy”. “As more people buy technology with built-in cameras, from Xbox Kinect to laptops and smart TVs, we need to be sure that the law does not allow for them to be routinely accessed when there is no suspicion of any wrongdoing,” he added on Big Brother Watch. Hacking into a laptop’s inbuilt webcam to spy on the user is surprisingly easy, according to research released last year, which will probably ring alarm bells for the majority of the UK’s population if our Internet surfing habits are anything to go by. So the lesson is clear – the next time you think about having that private video chat, or spending some “quality time” alone on your laptop, remember that there could be dozens of red-eyed spies watching your every move. That’s sure to get anyone in the mood.