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Comments on news posted 2010-06-07 16:05:23: Google is of course under international fire from privacy regulators in multiple countries for the company's admission that they've been collecting Wi-Fi user data from unsecured hotspots using Street View vehicles. ..


eurofun4u

@ingreestablish.com

1 recommendation

accidentally? right...

accidentally? right...
AstroBoy

join:2008-08-08
Parkville, MD

Re: accidentally? right...

Google only captured data that was transmitted in the clear!

OMG if this is bad, maybe the people transmitting in the clear should be investigated!

You think anyone is using the same method to steal credit card info?

For the record, I like having access to free WiFi when on the road. So thanks everyone with open WiFi.
averagedude

join:2002-01-30
San Diego, CA
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AG's & furthering their careers

How long do you think before all 50 states AG's get on the band wagon but not for "saving/thinking of the children" but for their own careers?

Yea, Google messed up, but it seems to me the only people really getting worked up are those looking for 15 minutes of attention.

Just my 2 cents.
gtaylor0

join:2003-10-29
Westport, CT

1 recommendation

Re: AG's & furthering their careers

said by averagedude:

How long do you think before all 50 states AG's get on the band wagon but not for "saving/thinking of the children" but for their own careers?

Yea, Google messed up, but it seems to me the only people really getting worked up are those looking for 15 minutes of attention.

Just my 2 cents.
More than 2 cents: Blumenthal is running for the senate and looking to distract the voters here from his "I served in Vietnam" comments.
pandora
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Re: AG's & furthering their careers

said by gtaylor0:

More than 2 cents: Blumenthal is running for the senate and looking to distract the voters here from his "I served in Vietnam" comments.
If anyone in our state were really concerned about google and privacy, the extensive use of urchins and google analytics would be reviewed. When I look at my OpenDNS blocked site list, it's like a who's who of the user tracking community.

Over the past 2 weeks, these are the top two sites blocked:

1 ad.doubleclick.net (blacklisted) Actions 1,945
2 www.google-analytics.com (blacklisted) Actions 1,639
What do people do who don't have any urchin blocking?
--
"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."

cdru
Go Colts
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Fort Wayne, IN
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Re: AG's & furthering their careers

said by pandora:

What do people do who don't have any urchin blocking?
We worry about things that actually matter.

Potty Time

join:2005-07-03
united state

and yet

and yet nobody cares

n1zuk
making really tiny tech things
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Malta
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Is listening illegal? Not unless the law says so...

Isn't collecting radio waves that fall in a public place (like a public roadway) permissible and legal, except when explicitly prohibited by law? And as far as I know, the only US laws that prohibit it are those specifically geared toward wire tapping, making the unauthorized reception of cellular phone signals illegal.

What Google did is most likely legal in the US, even if it does drop the curtain and reveal Google's dark side.
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patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1

Re: Is listening illegal? Not unless the law says so...

And what about the gazillion CCTVs staring at you? How is what Google doing anything different than what a private investigator with a video camera or the city with street light cameras is doing?

firephoto
We the people
Premium
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Brewster, WA
said by n1zuk:

Isn't collecting radio waves that fall in a public place (like a public roadway) permissible and legal, except when explicitly prohibited by law? And as far as I know, the only US laws that prohibit it are those specifically geared toward wire tapping, making the unauthorized reception of cellular phone signals illegal.

What Google did is most likely legal in the US, even if it does drop the curtain and reveal Google's dark side.
Yes, you can listen and capture to your hearts content but in some cases it is illegal to use that captured info/data for personal gain.

Google collected parts of the raw stream of radio data emitted by open access points while scanning all possible wifi frequencies. It's not a big deal but anti-google memes are running with it.
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DavePR

join:2008-06-04
Canyon Country, CA
It is not legal to intentionally intercept an electronic communication in the USA. To use this data for commercial gain compounds the crime.

This has been the law since the late 1980s. It was written to make people feel safer about using analog cell phones. There is no exception for "in the clear" transmissions that refuse to stop at the property line.

Nail those Google weirdos to the wall! They are way too nosy.

n1zuk
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Re: Is listening illegal? Not unless the law says so...

said by DavePR:

It is not legal to intentionally intercept an electronic communication in the USA. To use this data for commercial gain compounds the crime.
There are a great number of amateur radio operators and scanner enthusiasts who will disagree with you. Your choice of the word "intercept" makes one think they were breaking in and stealing the signals, rather than listening to signals that were freely available for reception.

It would be similar to fighting with your significant other, screaming your head off with all of the windows open, then expecting privacy from your neighbors about it.

said by DavePR:

This has been the law since the late 1980s. It was written to make people feel safer about using analog cell phones. There is no exception for "in the clear" transmissions that refuse to stop at the property line.
I'd be appreciative if you could actually link to the law, so I could see that which you speak. For unless you are speaking about cellular telephone (or other radio transmissions used for telephone conversation), I really have not heard of any other law of this type.
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DavePR

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1 edit

Re: Is listening illegal? Not unless the law says so...

Federal Wiretap Act

Interceptions of electronic communications in “real time” come under the federal Wiretap Act. That Act provides that any person who intentionally intercepts an electronic communication is guilty of a felony and subject to a fine of up to $250,000 and imprisonment for up to five years.[10] The Wiretap Act defines an “interception” as the “acquisition of the contents of any electronic communication through the use of any electronic, mechanical or other device.”[11] So while some wardrivers may believe it is legal to peer into other people’s networks, so long as they do not record any of the information, this is not correct. Any “acquisition” under the Wiretap Act is unlawful, even if it only involves listening to or monitoring a communication.[12] Although no federal prosecutions of wardriving under the Wiretap Act have yet occurred, Wiretap prosecutions occur with enough frequency to make such a prosecution a possibility, even if an unlikely one.[13]
...
On the other hand, an innocent accidental interception of a wireless computer network can quickly become a criminal violation when someone, who realizes they have intercepted another person’s network, continues to do so at the other’s expense. Although there have been no published decisions involving wireless networks, this factual situation is closely analogous to a line of cases involving the interception of calls on cordless telephones that date from the mid-1990s. At that time, many individuals who purchased police scanners discovered that the scanners could also be used to intercept and monitor the telephone conversations of their neighbors’ cordless telephones. These individuals would have had no liability if they had stopped when they realized they had accidentally intercepted their neighbors’ telephone calls. When they continued to eavesdrop on their neighbors’ telephone conversations they were held by courts to have violated the Wiretap Act.[28] The interception of cordless telephone conversations appears closely analogous to the interception of insecure wireless computer networks. In neither case, does the fact that it is easy to conduct the interception provide a defense to liability under the Wiretap Act.

»www.lctjournal.washington.edu/Vo···07030429

AVD
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Wrong

»www.nf2g.com/scannist/ecpa.html

specifically:

quote:
2(g) It shall not be unlawful under this chapter or chapter 121 of this title for any person -

(i) to intercept or access any electronic communication made through an electronic communication system that is configured so that such electronic communication is readily accessible to the general public;
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AVD
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said by DavePR:

It is not legal to intentionally intercept an electronic communication in the USA.
Ha, just the opposite. (with the exception of cell phone transmissions)
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DavePR

join:2008-06-04
Canyon Country, CA

Re: Is listening illegal? Not unless the law says so...

You can listen radio and TV stations. You can monitor Ham radio operators. You can print out NOAA weather maps. You can listen to planes in the air ans ships at sea. You can listen to public servants such as Police, Fire, USCG, etc. (except encrypted).

If you listen to an FM station's SCA without permission you have broken the law. If you listen to that station's Studio Transmitter Link on 948 MHz you have broken the law. If you listen to you neighbor's baby monitor on a scanner you have broken the law.

Interception means receiving a two party communication when you aren't either of the two parties. The connection between my router and my internet appliance is a two party communication, on a non public service, non broadcast, non amateur frequency and therefore I am afforded the protection of ECPA and other wiretap statutes against the megalomaniacal Google.

AVD
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Re: Is listening illegal? Not unless the law says so...

said by DavePR:

You can listen radio and TV stations. You can monitor Ham radio operators. You can print out NOAA weather maps. You can listen to planes in the air ans ships at sea. You can listen to public servants such as Police, Fire, USCG, etc. (except encrypted).

If you listen to an FM station's SCA without permission you have broken the law. If you listen to that station's Studio Transmitter Link on 948 MHz you have broken the law. If you listen to you neighbor's baby monitor on a scanner you have broken the law.

Interception means receiving a two party communication when you aren't either of the two parties. The connection between my router and my internet appliance is a two party communication, on a non public service, non broadcast, non amateur frequency and therefore I am afforded the protection of ECPA and other wiretap statutes against the megalomaniacal Google.
unless it is set up to public access.
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AVD
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1 edit

Re: Is listening illegal? Not unless the law says so...

said by AVD:

said by DavePR:

You can listen radio and TV stations. You can monitor Ham radio operators. You can print out NOAA weather maps. You can listen to planes in the air ans ships at sea. You can listen to public servants such as Police, Fire, USCG, etc. (except encrypted).

If you listen to an FM station's SCA without permission you have broken the law. If you listen to that station's Studio Transmitter Link on 948 MHz you have broken the law. If you listen to you neighbor's baby monitor on a scanner you have broken the law.

Interception means receiving a two party communication when you aren't either of the two parties. The connection between my router and my internet appliance is a two party communication, on a non public service, non broadcast, non amateur frequency and therefore I am afforded the protection of ECPA and other wiretap statutes against the megalomaniacal Google.
unless it is set up to public access.
the general public can access an open router with any laptop and wifi card.
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DavePR

join:2008-06-04
Canyon Country, CA

Re: Is listening illegal? Not unless the law says so...

Why did Apple drop the wardriving app?

AVD
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Re: Is listening illegal? Not unless the law says so...

said by DavePR:

Why did Apple drop the wardriving app?
why did apple drop the nudie picture apps?

or the google apps
or the skype apps?
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Camaro
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Compared to our government who mass wiretaps US citizens all in the name of national security?seems to me that all this is a big witch hunt,don't get me wrong i am not saying google can do no wrong,but i would think that the whole recession thing might be better use of our time fixing that problem.
Kearnstd
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really any unencrypted RF should have zero expectation of privacy. i mean if you are just beaming it out there for the world to see.

what an AG should be more worried about is all those insecure WAPs, in this era where the MPAA can sue you for piracy even if it wasnt you, that alone is reason enough to secure the network.

never mind things that are illegal like child porn, guess where the FBI goes if the Scumbag uses your open wifi.
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AVD
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Re: Is listening illegal? Not unless the law says so...

said by Kearnstd:

really any unencrypted RF should have zero expectation of privacy. i mean if you are just beaming it out there for the world to see.

what an AG should be more worried about is all those insecure WAPs, in this era where the MPAA can sue you for piracy even if it wasnt you, that alone is reason enough to secure the network.

never mind things that are illegal like child porn, guess where the FBI goes if the Scumbag uses your open wifi.
I'm more concerned that terrorists might use the AP to communicate do other nefarious things.
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DavePR

join:2008-06-04
Canyon Country, CA

Re: Is listening illegal? Not unless the law says so...

I'm more worried about Google than these nebulous "terrorists".

People that steal because "we left it unlocked" are called thieves of opportunity. They are the lowest.

If you like Google and wish to assimilate with them, go ahead. Keep your snooping eyes away from my house. Personally, I think we are way too interconnected.

AVD
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Re: Is listening illegal? Not unless the law says so...

said by DavePR:

I'm more worried about Google than these nebulous "terrorists".

People that steal because "we left it unlocked" are called thieves of opportunity. They are the lowest.

If you like Google and wish to assimilate with them, go ahead. Keep your snooping eyes away from my house. Personally, I think we are way too interconnected.
why do you have an open AP in the first place?
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DavePR

join:2008-06-04
Canyon Country, CA

Re: Is listening illegal? Not unless the law says so...

Whether I have an unsecured wireless access point or not is immaterial. It is none of anyone else's business that I am transmitting, period. Google (and other wardrivers) are intruding. What ever happened to respecting someone else's privacy?

AVD
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Re: Is listening illegal? Not unless the law says so...

don't confuse accesing your network with monitoring your transmissions. If you broadcast in the clear, all bets are off.
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Dave P R

@dslextreme.com

Re: Is listening illegal? Not unless the law says so...

It doesn't matter if you access my network or not. Google had no right to use special systems to invade my privacy. Google is not a businessman looking for a free public wifi hotspot so he can check his mail. Their purpose in invading my privacy was for one goal only; to diminish that privacy.

When will you decide they have gone too far?

Dave P R

@dslextreme.com
I do not broadcast, in the sense of the federal law. Broadcast means to spew voice and music and news, as in Radio and TV stations. A wireless data connection is a 2 party private connection, conversation, etc. It is not readily available on ubiquitous receiving equipment and is not programmed for the general public.

So if I leave my car unlocked, it's OK for you to steal my camera off the back seat?

AVD
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Re: Is listening illegal? Not unless the law says so...

said by Dave P R :

I do not broadcast, in the sense of the federal law. Broadcast means to spew voice and music and news, as in Radio and TV stations. A wireless data connection is a 2 party private connection, conversation, etc. It is not readily available on ubiquitous receiving equipment and is not programmed for the general public.

So if I leave my car unlocked, it's OK for you to steal my camera off the back seat?
1) google didn't steal anything
2) transmission=broadcast, laws of physics
3)as a matter of law, google did not violate the ECPA, as cited above.
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DavePR

join:2008-06-04
Canyon Country, CA

Re: Is listening illegal? Not unless the law says so...

TV stations, Radio Stations, NDBs and NOAA Weather Radio broadcast. I do not.

ECPA was intended to make low cost personal communications more secure by banning unconcerned parties from eavesdropping.

Is Google not eavesdropping?

•••••

n1zuk
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said by DavePR:

Whether I have an unsecured wireless access point or not is immaterial. It is none of anyone else's business that I am transmitting, period. Google (and other wardrivers) are intruding. What ever happened to respecting someone else's privacy?
So, respect should be legislated?

Radio frequencies are just a segment of the electromagnetic spectrum. At the low end of the frequency range, sound. At the higher end, light.

If you yell out to the sidewalk in front of your house, is there an expectation of privacy that no one should listen? Of course not. Carry on a conversation in your home? Then it is considered private.

If you stand naked on your front porch, is there an expectation of privacy that people on the street shouldn't look at you?

Keep your WiFi signals off of the public way, and in a place which you control, then you can expect privacy. Place those signals out in public? Not private.
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DavePR

join:2008-06-04
Canyon Country, CA

Re: Is listening illegal? Not unless the law says so...

Electronic eavesdropping is a felony.

AVD
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Re: Is listening illegal? Not unless the law says so...

said by DavePR:

Electronic eavesdropping is a felony.
[citation needed]
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Kearnstd
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Google should have just deleted the data

and then when the agencies come calling, say its too late we deleted it to preserve privacy.
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••••••

OldschoolDSL
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The sad truth

said by averagedude:

How long do you think before all 50 states AG's get on the band wagon but not for "saving/thinking of the children" but for their own careers?

Yea, Google messed up, but it seems to me the only people really getting worked up are those looking for 15 minutes of attention.

Just my 2 cents.
said by n1zuk:

Isn't collecting radio waves that fall in a public place (like a public roadway) permissible and legal, except when explicitly prohibited by law? And as far as I know, the only US laws that prohibit it are those specifically geared toward wire tapping, making the unauthorized reception of cellular phone signals illegal.

What Google did is most likely legal in the US, even if it does drop the curtain and reveal Google's dark side.
I think the above two post go hand to hand.....

While Google didn't really do anything illegal... Maybe a little unsettling for some people, but not illegal.... People are going to jump on this as if it was easy money (We're a very sue happy nation).

Google has been #1 for over 10 years now & when your #1, people want to hate you. People love seeing the "top dog" make a mistake & when that person or company does... God help him, cause no one else will.
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Why probe Google for Improperly Collecting Private Data?

Because it would take a Spine to probe the NSA for exactly the same thing.

NV

••••
CoderJ

join:2003-12-10
Oakdale, CT

1 edit

Bandwagon Hopper Blumenthal.... AWAY!

Checklist time!
•Running for senate? Check!
•History of jumping on popular bandwagon causes (to be forgotten about when hoopla dies off)(eg - Mid-summer fuel price gouging 2009 (no follow through); Craigslist "oversight" (little to do with CT, almost no way to actually follow through; forgotten about after it was revealed... no one cared except perverts))? Check!
•Attempting to recover from a damaging political faux pas (like alluding to having served in Vietnam... when you never left the US)? Check!

Most people who live in CT know Blumenthal for what he is; a snake who jumps on a bandwagon to further his own cause, while it's moving. If Google had meant anything ill by collecting the data why would they have admitted it? Seriously, no one knew.

If Blumenthal actually wanted to look like he was concerned with the privacy and welfare of the people of CT he would be doing more to get them to secure their wireless networks as well as educating users of free WiFi how to do so safely. There are countless numbers of people who hook into unsecure or improperly secured networks every day for actual nefarious deeds (such as exploiting computers on that network, stealing data, packet sniffing for identity theft, etc).

Instead, he puts Google in the cross-hairs; going against a large corporation versus taking on the actual multitude of faceless con men gets more positive airtime. Especially important for someone running for senate.

thender
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Having to answer to people sucks, doesn't it Google

This is a total case of bitterness.

Last year, using google checkout, they refunded two people in a case where there was ample proof in google's system that both devices had been shipped to their address. Google would not respond to me with an answer that had any clarity. The BBB had to contact them more than 2 times to get them to even email me again. Over $1700. They didn't even have a telephone number to contact them at, they just don't want to be bothered with anything but taking their fee.

Now that half the world is on their jock, they have to reply, and if they don't reply satisfactory, more of the world gets on their case. I love it. Enjoy, Google!
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screff

@rr.com

hope this goes nowhere

So in essence open wifi is like someone shouting loudly in their house. You walk by in the street in front of their house and hear them loudly shouting things that they want to be private. They turn around and sue you for hearing said things. The whole concept of filing a lawsuit over this is completely absurd.

NormD

@optonline.net

Re: hope this goes nowhere

Not a bad analogy, the shouting. I'd have compared it to walking around naked in front of an open window and then complaining when people see you in the buff.

If you don't want to be seen naked 1) put on clothing or 2) draw the shade. If you don't want your publically transmitted data to be understood, turn on the encryption in your router. Don't know how to do that? 1) RTFM, 2) ask a friend for help, or 3) don't use technology you don't know squat about.

AVD
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Re: hope this goes nowhere

I don't hope this goes nowhere. I hope the publicity encourages people to follow one of NormD's 3 options.

What I hope this doesn't do is set some sort of legal precedent.
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AVD
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my questions...

did they even intercept wifi signals in CT?
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