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States Launch Joint Probe of Google Wi-Fi Snooping 134

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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  • Re:still dont see (Score:2, Informative)

    by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Monday June 21, 2010 @06:51PM (#32647124)

    Why this is being given such legal scrutiny.

    I think Google is seen as being a bit too successful and there are a lot of companies that would like to see Page & Brin taken down a notch. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to find Microsoft's hand behind some of this.

    And just what drain-bamaged individual modded the parent post troll? He's just pointing out the truth: it's your responsibility to secure the radio transmitter that you hooked up to your computer. It's not my my responsibility to avoid picking up your signals. The truth is, when it comes to security the law cannot protect you. Just like cops can't protect you from having your house broken into and your wife and daughter raped. All the law can do is try to pick up the pieces afterwards and maybe offer some redress.

    Google screwed up here, but only by gauging the collective intelligence of the world's politicians to be much higher than it really is.

  • Re:Google is fucked (Score:5, Informative)

    by bennomatic ( 691188 ) on Monday June 21, 2010 @06:53PM (#32647140) Homepage

    Attorney's General for the pedants

    Actually, it's Attorneys General; plural, not possessive.

  • Re:Why of why... (Score:5, Informative)

    by sangreal66 ( 740295 ) on Monday June 21, 2010 @07:13PM (#32647296)
    It really wasn't voluntary. Go back and read Google's disclosure again. They were under investigation by Germany on the matter. They originally told the investigators that they don't collect any payload data. Not satisfied, Germany demanded Google audit the data they had stored at which point Google fessed up to saving all the payload data. Really the only voluntary part was announcing it to public in a positive light instead of waiting for the news to break independently.
  • Re:Problem solved (Score:2, Informative)

    by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) on Monday June 21, 2010 @08:10PM (#32647806) Homepage Journal

    Oh, you're adorable.

    Think about it. Do you leave your front door unlocked? Seriously, just because WPA can be broken doesn't mean that it will, at least not by people who are honest. The difference between running an unencrypted WiFi AP and one protected by WPA is akin to the lock on your front door. Sure, the criminals can bust your door down if they want in bad enough, but the lock is sufficient to keep out all but those who are intent on committing a crime.

    If someone breaks your door down, they can be charged with criminal breaking and entering. If someone hacks your WPA-encrypted WiFi, they can likewise they can be charged with unauthorized access of your network resources. Yes, in both cases if the lock didn't exist, the criminal could still be charged, but it's far less ambiguous with the lock in place.

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

    by Jurily ( 900488 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <yliruj>> on Monday June 21, 2010 @09:58PM (#32648576)

    How can it be illegal at all?

    Google is using public resources to gather data. It's what they do.

    If you broadcast an SSID to an unencrypted network, it's a public resource, plain and simple. Just because you were too stupid or lazy to do something about it doesn't mean Google's at fault here.

    What next, whine because they spider your web page?

  • Re:Problem solved (Score:3, Informative)

    by MikeBabcock ( 65886 ) <> on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @10:54AM (#32653302) Homepage Journal

    Your front door lock is easily defeated by anyone wanting in your house. Just ask a cop.

    Locks are to keep honest people out. At that level, recent WPA versions are much more secure than house locks.

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