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February 27, 2014 AT 9:59 AM
According to a report by The Guardian, the GCHQ, Britain's surveillance agency akin to the NSA, captured webcam chat images from millions of Yahoo users. The program, codenamed Optic Nerve, intercepted the images from 2008 to 2010, storing the content in bulk -- meaning it was not a targeted effort, but that it spied on people not accused of any wrongdoing. In a six month period alone, the agency captured 1.8 million images. According to the report, the purpose was to collect mugshots of previously arrested individuals. But the webcam shots contained a large amount of salacious material, from people using the chat service for pornographic purposes. Yahoo reacted "furiously," when told of the webcam surveillance.