Report: UK’s Surveillance Agency GCHQ Planned To Use Microsoft Kinect To Spy On Users


NSA, USA’s Surveillance Agency is now helping UK’s Surveillance Agency GCHQ in intercepting and storing the webcam images of millions of internet users not suspected of wrongdoing, revealed secret documents obtained by The Guardian. The project called Optic Nerve,  started as a prototype in 2008 and was still active in 2012.

“Face detection has the potential to aid selection of useful images for ‘mugshots’ or even for face recognition by assessing the angle of the face,” it reads. “The best images are ones where the person is facing the camera with their face upright.”

The report also revealed that lots of sexually explicit content was also collected and GCHQ struggled to keep it away from the eyes of its staff.

Sexually explicit webcam material proved to be a particular problem for GCHQ, as one document delicately put it: “Unfortunately … it would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person. Also, the fact that the Yahoo software allows more than one person to view a webcam stream without necessarily sending a reciprocal stream means that it appears sometimes to be used for broadcasting pornography.”

Another interesting news is that the GCHQ was planning to use Microsoft Kinect too for this program.

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.

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

Microsoft on its part, provided the following statement.

Microsoft has never heard of this program. However, we’re concerned about any reports of governments surreptitiously collecting private customer data. That’s why in December we initiated a broad effort to expand encryption across our services and are advocating for legal reforms.

We’re not aware of any surveillance activity. If it has occurred as reported, it certainly wasn’t done with our consent.

Source: Guardian

  • ZloiYuri

    I always saying – let them look, jealous and learn how to do real sex. No shame somebody’ll see, shame to them for peeking.

  • Socius

    Seriously? Riots in Ukraine and Venezuela. Maybe we should be having a few riots of our own when the government is breaking the law and violating our privacy. Like…seriously.

    • ZloiYuri

      The state is based on this contradiction. It is based on the contradiction between public and private life, between universal and particular interests. For this reason, the state must confine itself to formal, negative activities
      Marx, Critical Notes on the Article ‘The King of Prussia and Social Reform. By a Prussian’ (1844)
      Nothing changed

    • Asgard

      Well UK is the worlds leading surveillance country and London the most camera-monitored place in the world. Brits are jokers. They should be fined in EU.

  • disqustingtard

    Fuck communist UK :@