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States Launch Joint Probe of Google Wi-Fi Snooping 134

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-going-away dept.
CWmike writes "As many as 30 states could join an investigation into Google's collection of personal information from unprotected wireless networks, Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal announced today. Google's response was similar to what it said earlier this month: 'It was a mistake for us to include code in our software that collected payload data, but we believe we didn't break any US laws. We're working with the relevant authorities to answer their questions and concerns.' Google already faces investigations by privacy authorities in several European countries, including the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. In the US, Google faces multiple civil lawsuits, and the company has been asked for more information from several congressmen as a preliminary step to a legislative hearing. Google has asked that the lawsuits be consolidated and moved to a California federal court's jurisdiction."
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States Launch Joint Probe of Google Wi-Fi Snooping

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  • Leave it alone (Score:5, Interesting)

    by itsphilip (934602) on Monday June 21, 2010 @05:57PM (#32647182)
    Call me naive, but I trust Google. I've been using Gmail since late 2004. I just migrated away from the iPhone after three years; I now have a Nexus One as my primary phone. My calendar, my contacts, etc. are in the Google cloud. And guess what? They've never done ANYTHING to erode my trust in them. In the age of telecom companies trying to cap mobile data plans, and place arbitrary restrictions on IP-delivered media content, Google is busy trying to roll out fiber and generally make the Internet better. I believe that not only do they live by their "don't be evil" mantra, but that they realize the days of the free Internet may be numbered. They're doing their best to save the Internet as we know it. Granted, they have something to gain. But other companies' failure to evolve leaves the door wide open for a company which we should trust far more than AT&T, Time Warner, etc. to preserve the landscape that slashdotters are so eager to protect. The tag is correct, it's a witch hunt. Google admitted their mistake, we move on.
  • Re:still dont see (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Angst Badger (8636) on Monday June 21, 2010 @06:22PM (#32647404)

    I'd have modded the parent +1 Insightful, but the truth is that it wasn't actually insightful; it was obvious. If you are broadcasting an unencrypted signal beyond your property line, you are doing just that: broadcasting your data to everyone in range. Complaining when someone actually receives that broadcast is a bit like putting a billboard in your front yard and complaining when people look at it. There should be absolutely no expectation of privacy in this situation, especially when there is no way to tell the difference between an access point left unsecured because of ignorance and one left unsecured for the express purpose of sharing the connection.

    All we have here are a bunch of state attorneys general preying on the ignorance of the general public to prosecute Google for reading public messages in order to boost their reelection prospects. Some of them might have started with honest intentions out of their own ignorance, but they've all had enough time at this point to learn the bare basics of WiFi. It would have been nice if Google had taken greater care in its actions, but even if they had intentionally captured every last byte they could suck out of the air, there would have been no wrongdoing.

  • Re:still dont see (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Graff (532189) on Monday June 21, 2010 @06:25PM (#32647434)

    Why this is being given such legal scrutiny.

    It's very simple: election time.

    Richard Blumenthal is in the race for Christopher Dodd's Senate seat and so he's using any issue to put himself in the news. Google is a big name and by going after them Blumenthal can get his name splashed across tons of news outlets for some free publicity.

Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson

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