Saturday, March 1, 2014

GCHQ identified Kinect as possible snooping tool; Microsoft denies all knowledge

Xbox 360’s Kinect camera was identified by British spy agency GCHQ as a possible tool for snooping on the public

 As part of new documents revealing that webcam images of Yahoo users have been captured by governments, The Guardian also reveals that one of GCHQ’s presentations “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”.

 The plans were part of a surveillance program entitled Optic Nerve that worked to capture imagery of internet users via in-built hardware camera tech.

It is not yet known whether GCHQ actually recorded and stored images captured via Kinect

The revelation is a nightmare for Microsoft, which has already had to fight against the security backlash that erupted when it transpired that Xbox One would ship with a new always-on Kinect camera.

“Microsoft has never heard of this program," a spokesperson told MCV. “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.”