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Australian Police To Investigate Google Over Wi-Fi Scanning 117

daria42 writes "Those who thought the brouhaha over Google's scanning of Wi-Fi networks by its Street View cars was over (whether you believe it was deliberate or not) are destined to be disappointed. News comes from Australia over the weekend that the Australian government has referred the matter to the Australian Federal Police for investigation. The country's Attorney General, Robert McClelland, was quoted saying, 'Obviously I won't pre-empt the outcome of that investigation but they relate in substantial part to possible breaches of the Telecommunications Interception Act, which prevents people accessing electronic information other than for authorized purposes.'"
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Australian Police To Investigate Google Over Wi-Fi Scanning

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  • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Sunday June 06, 2010 @04:01PM (#32477526)
    Both of you are quite right and one of you is breaking Australian privacy laws. The problem here is that everything hangs on the definition of what a "reasonable person" would expect of their privacy. I posted an example the the other slashdot google article then went through the Australian legal system:
    1. Girl standing at her bedroom window naked gets photographed from the street. She's in her own home but in plain view of the street -> Fine. You have not right to privacy because any reasonable person would expect to be seen from the street.
    2. Same situation except house is now 150m from the road and the camera has a 300mm lens on it. -> Not fine. Even though nothing about the situation has changed except the distance involved and better equipment a reasonable person would not expect to be photographed in their home by someone with a long focal length camera.

    No doubt some idiot judge out there would rule that they were in breach of privacy for recording stuff on public airwaves. Mind you I think they have better chance of getting them under invasion of privacy than under the Telecommunications Interception Act
  • Re:It's about scale (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Wanon ( 808109 ) on Monday June 07, 2010 @10:35AM (#32483602)

    The problem is the TIA act in Australia forbids unauthorised interception of *any* medium that forms part of the Australian Telecommunications Network, which your home network does in fact form part of.

    This is a massive deal under Australian law. There is a specific law that specifically prohibits what Google did. So, yes, recording even a single packet is a massive deal under this law.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas