Advertisements ARE malware

[A] lot of what lets the NSA spy on this stuff in bulk, rather than kind of picking their targets and going for them […] is things like the advert tracking cookies or bad security from the Internet firms or that kind of stuff. So, yes, by all means, we—we are, in America, having a debate about the limits of surveillance law, and it’s looking, hopefully, like there might be some reforms, maybe a lot more limited than people want. But in the meantime, the tech companies and the app makers can do a lot to protect us. And I think, as people who use those, we have to make it clear that if you want change, you’ve got to let your phone maker know, your app makers know, because a lot of this [privacy violating behavior on the part of the NSA] is just piggybacking on either [tech firms’] bad security or them tracking you to try and sell you stuff. There’s kind of a bit of a relationship going on between these big companies and the spy agencies, even if it wasn’t a deliberate one.

Guardian journalist James Ball discussing his exposé on “Optic Nerve,” the NSA and GCHQ collaboration that stored sexually explicit images of Yahoo! webcam video chat users.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: advertisements are malware. If you care about privacy, you should use ad blocking software.