Yes, The Government is Spying on You Through Your Webcam – Another “Conspiracy Theory” Proven True

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Libertyblitzkrieg

Yes, The Government is Spying on You Through Your Webcam – Another “Conspiracy Theory” Proven True

I still remember how many years ago in response to becoming aware of the possibility that my computer webcam could be accessed remotely I decided to put a piece of duct tape over the camera. I also remember the look on some of my friends’ faces upon seeing this and asking me why. They thought I was nuts. It wasn’t even a conversation I was comfortable having since the idea that the government or NSA could or would peep on innocent Americans through their webcams was beyond preposterous for the vast majority of people

This topic is exactly new, and I addressed it last April in my piece: A Look into the Malware the FBI Uses to Spy Through Webcams.

Now, thanks for Edward Snowden, we know more. Much, much more.

From the Guardian:

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.

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.

The system, eerily reminiscent of the telescreens evoked in George Orwell’s 1984, was used for experiments in automated facial recognition, to monitor GCHQ’s existing targets, and to discover new targets of interest. Such searches could be used to try to find terror suspects or criminals making use of multiple, anonymous user IDs.

Rather than collecting webcam chats in their entirety, the program saved one image every five minutes from the users’ feeds, partly to comply with human rights legislation, and also to avoid overloading GCHQ’s servers. The documents describe these users as “unselected” – intelligence agency parlance for bulk rather than targeted collection.

While the documents do not detail efforts as widescale as those against Yahoo users, one presentation discusses with interest the potential and capabilities of the Xbox 360?s Kinect camera, saying it generated “fairly normal webcam traffic” and was being evaluated as part of a wider program. 

Interesting that they were considering abusing the Kinect camera, something I wrote about last spring in my post: What’s in Your Xbox? A Lot of Surveillance Capabilities.

Documents previously revealed in the Guardian showed the NSA were exploring the video capabilities of game consoles for surveillance purposes.

Beyond webcams and consoles, GCHQ and the NSA looked at building more detailed and accurate facial recognition tools, such as iris recognition cameras – “think Tom Cruise in Minority Report”, one presentation noted.

Don’t forget: Your Government Loves You. Particularly your nude webcam pics.

Full article here.

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Jim in MN's picture

Huh.  I am giving my webcam the finger at the moment.

Leveraged Algorithm's picture

So was Obama choking his chicken during the Bangazie attacks? I was....

Troll Magnet's picture

That Israel has open access to the NSA's data on Americans should outrage all Americans and should be treated as a treasonous act against us but the MSM buried that story.

This will be buried, too.


pods's picture

I think I am going to beat off in front of one tonight.  For posterity's sake.

Hope those fuckers aren't wearing 3D glasses!


krispkritter's picture

 "Here's pud in your eye!" (drinks shot)

Harlequin001's picture

Well at least I know I'm not on that database cos I ain't used a webcam for years...

A Lunatic's picture

I enforced a permanent and mandatory duct tape webcam patch on my families computers a few months ago, conspiracy theorist nut-job that I am; or once again, WAS..........

johnQpublic's picture

almost makes me want to get a webcam

Scarlett's picture

We should sue the Prime Minister for his "deviant pedophiliac behavior"

Gen. Keith Alexander's picture

Very few of the naked images we capture are worth masturbating to.

johnQpublic's picture

weak dude

i can wank to fucking cat pictures

ebworthen's picture

Bet those jerks are using my big kielbasa to hook wenches.

Damn plagiarists!

GeezerGeek's picture

Do you have an XBox with a Kinect? Or a Wii? Or a recent Playstation? They can be used to spy on you too. Or how about some of those new smart TVs? Just wait till your refirgerator is online and uses RFID tags to tattle on what you're eating. There recently was a single panel cartoon showing two NSA guys discussing certain surges in network traffic around 11PM EST. One speculated that it was people getting a last snack from a refrigerator before heading to bed. Spooky.

Next worry: the Toilet Safety Administration, as exhibited on South Park.

A Lunatic's picture

No, I do not have any of that shit, including T.V. Not that it matters. America is lost......

Vice's picture


booboo's picture

My NSA code name is "Bull Mouse"

Bunders's picture

most every laptop / cellphone / pad thing comes with one built in nowadays

unrulian's picture

probably magnification glasses :)

Chupacabra-322's picture

@ Troll Magnet,

The elite only understand sex and money, they are that basic, I think you give them to much credit, they have inbred for so long that they are closer to monkeys than humans and like monkeys they can only understand sex and food(money), hence them all being perverts as well as rich, so they will only look for those two things, if you do perverted things over these web cams then they will want to watch that or if you have any money making schemes you share then they will want to steal that, any thing else they wont understand, they are not advanced enough, so just use your sense, remember you are human and they are no longer human.

john39's picture

power is what the top level wants more than anything.  sex and money is what they offer their managment level minions.  the masses just get the illusion of someday obtaining said sex and money.  a hollow empty existence.

Troll Magnet's picture

I won't argue that. BUT I will never underestimate these Zionist Nazis inability to keep their hunger for power and control, their predisposition to lie, steal & cheat in check. 


Fuck Israel. 

Purge their loyalists from our government.

And jail them banksters.

stant's picture

he hangs his out the oval office window everyday and claims he fucked the world

NoDebt's picture

I sure hope the NSA has a few pics of me making "O-face" watching porn.  I hope some NSA guy saw the pic and had that "oh, ewwww, goddamit.  NEXT!" reaction to it.


Troll Magnet's picture

Or maybe he was a gay dude making the same face as you.

bigdumbnugly's picture

that webcam does look kinda enticing...

all round and dark and cute...

i... i can't help myself...

here i come my little cutie pie

mmmff mmfff




i bet i look a tad cloudy to 'em now...



Meat Hammer's picture

NSA face shot!  BAM!  Stings, don't it?

Occams_Chainsaw's picture

I have volunterred about 900 'O' faces for them.  Bastards....

CaptainObvious's picture

I'd give my webcam the finger, except that I own one of the few laptops in 'Murica that doesn't have a webcam.  Webcams always struck me as useless so I never bought any hardware that contained one, and I'm damn glad I didn't.  Sorry, NSA, if you want to jerk off to my private sexual content, you have to enter my home and install the hardware yourself.  Neener, neener.

Bunders's picture

They can probably still read your keystokes and screenshots whenever they want.

astitchintime's picture

Sooo call me old school, but who exactly uses their webcams anyway?  I know I don't, never have and never will.  People would have to be naive at best to assume they have any privacy whilst using it.

Bunders's picture

Define "using it". Do you believe that you are the only person in the world that can "switch your webcam on"?  (Unless you have to physically plug the thing in then there is no switch, it's all software controlled) Don't think you can be targetted? Does your computer have a seriel number? does every network interface on it have a MAC address? Did you pay cash or credit card? Could you be identified, or misidentified, "visually" from CCTV footage if you paid cash? Did you have a mobile phone that you have a contract for on your person when you paid cash?

If you believe there is any such thing as privacy nowadays I have nice bridge to sell you.


BullyBearish's picture

They can also turn on your microphone...

BLOTTO's picture

And listen in on your conversations in the car, i.e. 'Onstar.'


But its even easier for them to install one-way talk; they just listen.

Troll Magnet's picture

But but but ma statist friends tell me, "If you got nothing to hide..." 

layman_please's picture

I also don't have anything to hide but that's another story ;)

Maybe we should use the flooding tactic again!? Where can I sign up for a yahoo account?

GeezerGeek's picture

Get two webcams and two Yahoo accounts. Point the webcams at one another. Add a pendulum between them just so there's something moving.

kchrisc's picture

"If you got nothing to hide..."

...they'll plant something. No warrant needed.

GeezerGeek's picture

Indeed, it's not only what they may find on your computer, it's also what they may put there and then 'find'. 

A Lunatic's picture

The pity of it all is the State is not compelled to prove it's case. You must prove you didn't do whatever the fuck they say you did, which can be impossible in most circumstances. I know for a fact that I never want a Jury of my "Peers" deciding my fate.......

kchrisc's picture

My "peers" are AR, AK and Guillotine.

CaptainObvious's picture

Indeed sir.  It's amazing how many outspoken government opponents are suddenly discovered to have copious quantities of child pornography on their computers.  Child pornography crimes coincidentally are impossible to satisfactorily disprove, and assuming you are found not guilty, you will always have that cloud hanging over your head, so forget ever getting a good job again.  Plus they have nice long prison terms attached, so you can put those dissenting bastards in cold storage for a good long time if you manage to convict 'em.  I wouldn't put it past the evil dickwads to let the general prison population know there's a new kiddy diddler in the slammer, and we all know what happens to accused kiddy diddlers that get incarcerated.

Bunga Bunga's picture

Your statist friends must have a penis soooooo small they don't need to hide.

TheMeatTrapper's picture

I pity the bastard that has to listen to my mother in law. Hours and hours and fucking hours....

Now that I think about it, I'm starting to feel sorry for the bastards. At least I can excuse myself and wander out back and take a piss off the back deck. 

A Lunatic's picture

I decided long ago if I ever find myself in the unfortunate circumstance of having only a few months to live I am going to live with my Mother-in Law. That will seem like an eternity; might even enjoy offing myself before my time......

nothing can go wrogn's picture

The answer is end to end encryption.

The US Chamber of Commerce should be thanking Snowden for the new market he's created in Anti-NSA software for the home and business user.

Encryption can often be confusing, and not properly implemented, but now there will be a demand for simple to use encryption tools for voice/video/email. Encrypted cloud computing etc. Much of the web is moving towards secure HTTP.

Snowden recently mentioned "Encryption works."

Yes they can still target you with malware, but that's not as easy as just sniffing your unencrypted traffic from Yahoo. Malware is usually targeted, and not as suitable for mass surveillance.

If you're worried about malware then you should stop using Microsoft Windows. You need to use a Mac and/or Linux instead. Yes, they can be hacked too, but you greatly lesson the attack surface.