Yahoo has denied any knowledge of the project and describes it as a completely unacceptable privacy violation.
The paper points out that some of the Webcam images may include detail of an adult nature, noting that Yahoo's software allows more than one person to view a given video stream.
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Sembhi added that the assertion that the Webcam images were harvested without analysis as to whether the images would be useful - and without selectively deleting those that were not useful - adds weight to suggestions that the project was a trial one.
British and American surveillance agencies teamed up to develop a system that collected millions of images from the webcams of unsuspecting and innocent internet users, new leaked documents reveal.
This raises the curious spectre of GCHQ staff viewing sexually explicit images as part of their job, GCHQ, for its part, has not denied the Guardian report, saying that all of its work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework, which ensures that its activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate.
In its statement to the Guardian, the spy agency said that "there is rigorous oversight, including from the secretary of state, the interception and intelligence services commissioners and the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee."Digital forensics specialist Professor Peter Sommer - who is also a Visiting Professor at Leicester's de Montfort University - said that GCHQ's ability to harvest webcam images en-masse does not come as a surprise."The argument for - that one might conceivably identify someone of interest via facial recognition technology - seems feeble against the costs of doing so, the likelihood of success and the obvious problems of collateral intrusion of privacy," he said.
The Dartmouth resident started working for her Toronto friend’s new website back in June, after taking a break from her desk job due to injury.