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Marcus Thomas, a former assistant director of the FBI's Operational Technology Division in Quantico, Virginia, tells the Washington Post that the FBI could spy on anyone's webcam without turning on the camera's indicator light.
A major case gained notoriety in California where a now-20 year old Jared Abrahams "illegally hacked into the laptops of several young women in the U. and abroad, then took control of their webcams in order to film and photograph them while they undressed." According to the FBI, the scam included web cam pictures of Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf, who was a classmate of Abrahams.Abrahams "threatened to post the images to the victim's social media accounts unless the women provided additional nude photos/videos or obeyed his commands during a five-minute Skype session." Abrahams was convicted, receiving an 18-month jail sentence.In another case, a Glendale California man was sentenced to five years in federal prison Monday after pleading guilty in a sextortion case that targeted hundreds of women.Many have either claimed or speculated that one way the NSA and other U. spy agencies got around the prohibition of spying on Americans was to let a third party do it for them. News reports, based on the leaks of NSA information by Edward Snowden, say that GCHQ stored millions of images gleaned from its webcam surveillance.According to the New York Times, the Australian Signals Directorate tapped a U. law firm representing Indonesian interests and offered their intercepts to the NSA. These images can be retrieved in various ways, including the use of advanced face recognition systems, so seemingly unrelated video chats from different computers and with different names or web addresses, can be linked together.