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WebCam Internet Security

My kids can’t understand why they shouldn’t use things like FaceBook et al, but to be fair to them, the vast majority of adults think the same way. Publishing details of one’s personal life online poses risks for years to come (surveillance, criminals, job searches, “privacy”). Perhaps overseas where thugs rule, people understand this better than in the USA (though there is very uncomfortable presumption in that sentence).

But what about another area that presumably most users consider private?

Optic Nerve: millions of Yahoo webcam images intercepted by GCHQ

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.

The use of very strong peer-to-peer encryption that does not involve any certificate or other authority is the right way to go for such things. That a company like Yahoo would even provide a service that could be intercepted is a good reason not to use it. I don’t want anyone to know I’m going to the grocery store, let alone more sensitive areas like the emerging area of doctor/patient video chats.

Having once worked at PGP, I am disappointed to see how little progress has been made in getting away from the fragile infrastructure of official “trusted” parties (encryption or otherwise) for the transmission of private information.


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