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) may have peered into the lives of millions of Internet users who were not suspected of wrongdoing.

In one six-month period in 2008 alone, the agency reportedly amassed webcam images from more than 1.8 million Yahoo user accounts worldwide.

According to the documents, between 3 and 11 percent of the Yahoo webcam images contained what the called "undesirable nudity." The program was reportedly also used for experiments in "automated facial recognition" as well as to monitor terrorism suspects.

T he GCHQ does not have the technical capability to ensure that no images of British or American citizens were included in the bulk collection, the In sorting through the massive amount of information it collected starting in 2008, when Optic Nerve first launched as a prototype program, U. spies were met with an explicit challenge: pornography"Unfortunately, it would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person," one document leaked by Snowden says.

"Also, the fact that the Yahoo software allows more than one person to view a webcam stream without necessarily sending a reciprocal stream means that it appears sometimes to be used for broadcasting pornography."The GCHQ estimated that between 3 percent and 11 percent of the images it vacuumed up were of an explicit nature, and it wrangled with the challenge of how to protect analysts' eyes from an onslaught of pornographic images.

This is a truly shocking revelation that underscores the importance of the debate on privacy now taking place and the reforms being considered.

Last modified 04-Oct-2016 14:27