LONDON — Britain's Guardian newspaper says that the U.K.'s signals intelligence branch is stealing screenshots from hundreds of thousands of Yahoo users' webcam videos, including a massive haul of intimate photographs.
The newspaper said GCHQ has been scooping up the sensitive data by intercepting video chats such as the kind offered by Yahoo Messenger, an effort codenamed OPTIC NERVE.
The total number of Yahoo users spied on in this way isn't made clear in the Guardian's report, but the paper said that in one six-month period in 2008 GCHQ hacked the video communications of nearly 2 million users.
Yahoo said in a statement that the report, if true, "represents a whole new level of violation of our users' privacy."
GCHQ and the NSA did not immediately return emails seeking comment Thursday.