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As I’ve noted—and as have many other, much more respected journalists and bloggers than yours truly--in multiple posts here, most recently in just the past couple of days, here’s breaking news from the Guardian on yet another story citing yet another example of how the NSA (with 2,000+/- U.S. employees currently onsite at their sister agency across the pond, Great Britain’s General Communications Headquarters, a/k/a "GCHQ") colludes with the other members of the Five Eyes program to circumvent the U.S. Constitution. And, this is just one of at least three or four ways (that I’ve also documented in previous posts) by which the NSA and other U.S. intelligence and law enforcement entities circumvent U.S. laws to get the information they DENY claim they need to snoop on U.S. citizens, domestically.

[In a related story from TechTarget.com, please note, down below, this piece about the publicly-stated sentiments of former Obama cybersecurity advisor Richard Clarke: “Richard Clarke: NSA revelations show potential for police state.”]

GCHQ intercepted webcam images of millions of Yahoo users worldwide

Spencer Ackerman and James Ball
theguardian.com
Thursday 27 February 2014 09.08 EST

• Optic Nerve program collected Yahoo webcam images in bulk
• 1.8m users targeted by UK agency in six-month period alone
• Yahoo: 'A whole new level of violation of our users' privacy'
• Material included large quantity of sexually explicit images

Britain's surveillance agency GCHQ, with aid from the US National Security Agency, intercepted and stored the webcam images of millions of internet users not suspected of wrongdoing, secret documents reveal.

GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010 explicitly state that a surveillance program codenamed Optic Nerve collected still images of Yahoo webcam chats in bulk and saved them to agency databases, regardless of whether individual users were an intelligence target or not.

In one six-month period in 2008 alone, the agency collected webcam imagery – including substantial quantities of sexually explicit communications – from more than 1.8 million Yahoo user accounts globally.

Yahoo reacted furiously to the webcam interception when approached by the Guardian. The company denied any prior knowledge of the program, accusing the agencies of "a whole new level of violation of our users' privacy".

GCHQ does not have the technical means to make sure no images of UK or US citizens are collected and stored by the system, and there are no restrictions under UK law to prevent Americans' images being accessed by British analysts without an individual warrant…

So, it should come as no surprise that even Richard Clarke, President Obama’s former cybersecurity advisor, has just noted...

(It’s unfortunate that Mr. Clarke focused almost exclusively on the I.T. industry-related aspects of this story—but, in fairness to Clarke, that was the audience he was addressing as covered in this recent story at TechTarget--as opposed to at least mentioning the intense level of constitutionally illegal information dissemination/sharing that’s in play between the National Security Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, local U.S. law enforcement, and virtually every other law enforcement agency in this country. After all, the people in those 78 (at last count) Fusion Centers around this country aren’t playing tiddlywinks. And, if you think all of this NSA intelligence is not being illegally shared with domestic law enforcements entities, please read the story, accessible at THIS LINK.)

Richard Clarke: NSA revelations show potential for police state
Brandan Blevins, News Writer
TechTarget.com
Published: 24 Feb 2014

SAN FRANCISCO -- Revelations about NSA monitoring activities over the last year show the potential for a police state mechanism, according to the former U.S. cybersecurity czar, but there is still time to avoid the dire consequences.

”The U.S. government has to get out of the business of f***ing with encryption standards.”

At the 2014 Cloud Security Alliance Summit, unofficial RSA Conference opener Richard Clarke, chairman of Washington, D.C.-based Good Harbor Consulting LLC, spoke to a packed audience. The former cybersecurity advisor to President Barack Obama discussed his involvement in the December 2013 report reviewing the data collection and monitoring capabilities at the National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Clarke said that the reaction to leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has perhaps been overblown, because he described the employees at the three-letter agencies as "incredibly intelligent people" who are focused on combating terrorism and punishing violations of human rights. As part of the review process, Clarke and his group were given what he called carte blanche security clearances to review all of the agencies' intelligence-gathering capabilities…


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For more on this story, also see Kossack Liepar Destin’s just-published post on the GCHQ/NSA webcam story, here: “GCHQ/NSA Has Your Webcam Pr0n.”


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Thanks to a reminder from Kossack 420 forever, and his awesomely snarky comment down below, I thought I’d draw the community’s attention to a directly-related post here, from six weeks ago:  Fmr. CIA Deputy Dir. Morell In Sen. Judiciary Cmte. Testimony: NSA's “Metadata” Is “Content”.


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