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  (Source: Inquisitr)
Google is watching you

Did senior level Google Inc. (GOOG) managers know of and condone one of their engineer's audacious schemes to "wardrive"  the United States and Europe, using the company's "Street View" cars?  That's what U.S. government officials at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission are accusing [Scribd].

I. Google Managers Pre-Approved Spying on the Public

The new allegations come as the latest public relations setback for Google and its emabattled "Street View" program.  The company, whose informal slogan is "Don't be evil", claims to follow an "explore first, worry about profit later" mentality.  

Street View is the perfect embodiment of the Google ethos -- or so it seemed.  Launched in 2007, the project sent cars wired with cameras and high-tech communications equipment out on the roads in an unprecedented bid to provide street-level views of every stretch of road in the developed world.

The project was supposed to be for the betterment of mankind, or something along those lines.  But Google's altruism has been called into question when it was revealed that it was using its wired Street View vehicles as warwagons to troll unsecured wireles connection connections.  Further, the Google cars were discovered to be intercepting unsecured email and SMS traffic, data mining peoples' private conversations.

Google Street View
Google merrily used its Street View cars to data mine open WiFi connections.  Now the company claims it was just an innocenent mistake, blaming an unnamed engineer.
[Image Source: Jacopast/Wikipedia]

Google cast this hidden capability as a "bug" in the Street View code, created by a misguided engineer.  But according to the FCC while Google appears to have broken no laws in spying on people on unsecured lines, emails between the engineer in charge of the program and two other employees -- including a senior manager -- indicate that the program was not a rogue effort. It was in fact on the radar of at least some members of Google's senior staff.

II. Google Let Off With a Slap on the Wrist

The FCC did dock Google $25K -- essentially a slap on the wrist for the multi-billion dollar tech firm -- for impeding its investigation.  But Google claims it has nothing to hide and is publishing the emails described by the FCC, with the engineers and manager's names redacted.

Google now admits that five of its engineers were involved in the effort, but it denies knowingly playing unwelcome house guest on home internet connections across North America and Europe.

Google wide
Google has made billions off of figuring out your online habits and providing targeted marketing. [Image Source: My Life Untethered]

The internet firm categorizes the snooping as "minimal" and says that the program was not even big enough to be reviewed by the company's legal staff.  The program was launched in Oct. 2006 by "Engineer Doe" and was pre-approved by at least one manager who devoted resources to the project.

Google's lawyers admit that the engineer who spearheaded the effort did examine personal web traffic to establish a list of most-visited websites for certain IPs, but it insists that the abuse was not pervasive.

The company promises to try extra hard to protect the public's privacy in the future.  It insists that the data mining plot was simply an innocent mistake.  A company spokesperson writes, "The record... shows that Google's supervision of the Wi-Fi data collection project was minimal ... indeed, it appears that no one at the company carefully reviewed the substance of Engineer Doe's software code or the design document."

Despite the U.S. letting off Google with just a warning, the Mountain View, Calif.-based software company is facing the prospect of stiffer fines in multiple other nations, including member states of the European Union.  The company is also facing private lawsuits over the unwanted surveillance.

Sources: Scribd [FCC/Google], The Guardian



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Stealing
By Darzl on 5/1/2012 5:48:58 AM , Rating: 3
If the church is unlocked, is it okay to steal from it?
If we leave our house open, is it okay for others to help their selves to our property?
If we don't secure our LAN, is it okay for anyone to steal our data?

Don't force us to secure our property - enforce the law and stop the thieves from stealing it.

Or, is our law enforcement dead?




RE: Stealing
By Camikazi on 5/1/2012 9:34:28 AM , Rating: 2
Laws and Police are reactive methods, they cannot and will not work until a law is broken, security is a proactive method, they stop the laws from being broken in the first place. You use security to lower the chances of it happening to you since you will never stop all the offenders from trying. Learn this now and things will be better for you later on.


RE: Stealing
By bupkus on 5/1/12, Rating: 0
RE: Stealing
By NellyFromMA on 5/1/2012 12:02:03 PM , Rating: 2
An enviable system, until the laws are written to omit your right to privacy and the police to enforce them are corrupt as well.

So, basically 2/3rds of your check system fail to have functioning checks on their own institutions.


RE: Stealing
By nolisi on 5/1/2012 1:03:50 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
An enviable system, until the laws are written to omit your right to privacy and the police to enforce them are corrupt as well.


There are always those looking to game the system for their own advantage- some do it illegally (from outside the system) and some do it legally (from within).

But make no mistake, in the United States, even civilians are part of the system. You and I have legal (and moral) means of affecting change.

Blame the system for when it doesn't work, but remember that you share the blame as you are part of it- it's your civic duty to work to correct it when it's led astray by those manipulating it.

Democracy (from a legal standpoint) and revolution (from a social standpoint) shows us that government cannot do anything that is contrary to the will of the people. The will of the people needs to be strong enough to shut off Jersey Shore and Monday Night football and actually participate, however.


RE: Stealing
By JediJeb on 5/1/2012 2:09:26 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The will of the people needs to be strong enough to shut off Jersey Shore and Monday Night football and actually participate, however.


That is probably 75% of our nation's problems right now! The people still have the power to take control of our government, yet we sit back and do nothing but complain. One day if we continue to do nothing, we will lose the right of the people to actually do something.


RE: Stealing
By Reclaimer77 on 5/2/2012 11:46:10 AM , Rating: 2
Jedi that's not the problem. The real problem now is that there is a large enough percentage of the voting population who believe we don't need to take control of our government, and that the direction we're heading in is the right one. It's a scary thought, but sadly true.


RE: Stealing
By thehatter on 5/1/2012 9:55:14 AM , Rating: 1
Lets say you see 2 people walking down the street, and they are talking about killing someone, should you be thrown in jail for violating their privacy, and steeling that information?

That is not steeling, and since you can hear any wifi communication without trying, a block away, it is the same thing.


RE: Stealing
By kattanna on 5/1/2012 10:44:57 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
steeling


what does iron have to do with this? ;>)

but yes, if you are running an unprotected wifi router, then you are asking for others to see it.


RE: Stealing
By mindless1 on 5/2/2012 9:52:10 PM , Rating: 3
You are using it with an expectation of privacy still. Nobody should be required to go to extra measures of any kind to protect against someone intentionally trying to violate your privacy.

That's the issue to me. They may receive my data fairly because I'm transmitting it, but when they deliberately try to collect and decode it in order to gather personal information about me, a line is crossed.


RE: Stealing
By futrtrubl on 5/1/2012 10:43:47 AM , Rating: 2
Not to say I don't agree with the overall senitiment of "protect your s#!t" but... I do have a problem with your definition of "without trying". In this case 'without trying' would be driving around looking for wireless networks after having writen software to record all traffic from unsecured networks.


RE: Stealing
By melgross on 5/1/12, Rating: 0
RE: Stealing
By Trisped on 5/1/2012 4:17:46 PM , Rating: 5
They had to patent the idea or someone else would and then they would no longer be able to use the product they invented.

Google did not say that patents are bad. They said the current patent laws are bad/incorrect. As a result any inventor must take steps to protect themselves.


RE: Stealing
By NellyFromMA on 5/1/2012 12:04:09 PM , Rating: 2
There is a big difference between spoken word out loud in public or within audible vacinity without tresspass and there is technologies influence on the above situation and how it inherently steps all over all non-technology based analogies...

Why do people continue to do this? It makes NO sense.


RE: Stealing
By Trisped on 5/1/12, Rating: 0
RE: Stealing
By HrilL on 5/1/2012 11:53:49 AM , Rating: 4
US law says its not illegal to look at unsecured radio waves. This is perfectly legal and not stealing at all.

Stealing is the act of taking something away from someone else and they no longer have the item taken from them. No one took any items(data packets) away from these people. Thus stealing never happened.

Back to the Law. Personally I don't think we need more laws to cover something that is really a non issue. There is no expectation of privacy in public places and the same goes for unsecured wireless communication.

If Google connected to these networks and sent data onto these networks that could be another issue. That hasn't been made clear though. But simply capturing data that is being sent into public air space seems completely reasonable to me.


RE: Stealing
By wallijonn on 5/1/2012 12:11:07 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Stealing is the act of taking something away from someone else and they no longer have the item. No one took any items(data packets) away from these people. Thus stealing never happened.


You just justified Identity Theft. With each and every e-mail there is a user name and password along with an IP address. It is Identity Theft. For all you know Google will sell the information to the highest bidder.


RE: Stealing
By HrilL on 5/1/2012 12:39:02 PM , Rating: 3
Do you even know how email works? Each email doesn't contain a username and password. And even insecure email normally uses a password hash. Once a connection to the email server is established and the username is authenticated the connection is established. At that point the emails get sent between the to hosts. The emails themselves don't have username and password information.


RE: Stealing
By NellyFromMA on 5/1/2012 12:05:08 PM , Rating: 2
So basically, everyone should abandon WiFi as it's a false promise of a personal secure home LAN, right?


RE: Stealing
By HrilL on 5/1/2012 12:33:52 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure encryption was an option from even the 802.11b days. WEP 64bit while not really secure would make it illegal to break into and view the data... Not sure what you're trying to get at here. If you don't want your data to be public then you should be using encryption even if its very simple.


RE: Stealing
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/1/2012 12:58:24 PM , Rating: 2
Pretty sure his post was sarcasm.....


RE: Stealing
By Trisped on 5/1/2012 4:36:32 PM , Rating: 2
WiFi never promised security. The fact that most communication occurs over the internet where a man in the middle attack is a very real possibly did weigh in, though all WiFi networks I have ever known of supported WEP which did promise security (as weak as it was).


RE: Stealing
By tamalero on 5/1/2012 12:08:32 PM , Rating: 2
Incorrect Analogy.

because they are not stealing your money.

The correct analogy is; them wiretapping you while you scream loud enough to be heard around the entire block.. in every conversation.

they had unlocked wifis.. they should expect someone to "see" their contents..
if you're screaming damn loud.. you're a fool if you think people wont listen.


RE: Stealing
By Trisped on 5/1/2012 2:26:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Or, is our law enforcement dead?
Some laws cannot not be enforced (like the hands free cell phone laws).

Some things are not illegal (like recording public information or public broadcasts).

It is a known fact that unsecured networks are open for anyone to snoop on. If you do not secure your network then you are inviting anyone within range to look at what you are doing. This is like you standing on your roof and yelling your credit card numbers. Obviously if you did not want me to use your credit card you would not have told me the number.

It is a little different, as the average person knows not to yell their credit card info, but they have not yet learned to secure their networks. Even so, all sensitive information provided over the internet is SSL encrypted so what sensitive information could Google really have gotten? It is not like Google logged onto the network and started looking for file shares (which would not be illegal since the hoster obviously wanted to share their files otherwise they would have secured their network or secured the shared folders).

Yes, the engineer should have known not to store the data for latter use. The manager should have reviewed the engineer's plans (though I have never seen a manager who listens to an engineer unless the engineer yelling about a new catastrophic problem).


RE: Stealing
By dwhapham on 5/2/2012 10:55:39 AM , Rating: 2
You said "If the church is unlocked, is it okay to steal from it". That's rubbish. What Google did was not the same and it is not stealing. Wifi is nothing more than data carried over radio waves. If you were to broadcast your e-mail in morse code over short wave radio without encrypting it, is it illegal for me to recieve it on my end? The answer is no. Radio waves don't belong to you so the act of recieving them is not a crime.


Evil is as evil does
By Motoman on 5/1/2012 9:49:30 AM , Rating: 4
Streetview is perfectly legal, and anyone who protests about having pictures taken of something they're doing in public is categorically a blithering idiot. We should all be deeply ashamed of persons/communities that protest/ban Streetview from coming through and documenting their communities.

Making note of open WLAN connections isn't a crime. It may very well be the intent of the WLAN broadcaster to purposefully make their connection publicly available, to the benefit of all. Or they may just be morons who don't bother to flip the security switch on their router. In either case...nothing wrong with what Google did in that sense.

Intercepting SMS and emails though? Yeah...don't think so. That's tantamount to wiretapping. Suck it, Google.




RE: Evil is as evil does
By bupkus on 5/1/12, Rating: 0
RE: Evil is as evil does
By bupkus on 5/1/12, Rating: 0
RE: Evil is as evil does
By Reclaimer77 on 5/1/2012 12:15:42 PM , Rating: 2
Bad incorrect analogy on this topic #27 ^^^^^^^^^^^


RE: Evil is as evil does
By acer905 on 5/1/2012 12:24:37 PM , Rating: 2
First situation is theft. Second is simply an inconvenience. Technically speaking, there is no law against sleeping in an unlocked vechicle which has no signs by the owner disallowing it. So yeah, you could go sleep there.


RE: Evil is as evil does
By tamalero on 5/1/2012 12:11:31 PM , Rating: 2
Huge difference in using an OPEN communication device.. with OUTRIGHT STEALING.

you guys (including the poster who answered you about the car) are using ridiculous analogies to try to prove your points.


RE: Evil is as evil does
By Trisped on 5/1/2012 4:42:28 PM , Rating: 2
Listening to broadcast information is different then taking physical property. This is fundamental.


RE: Evil is as evil does
By HrilL on 5/1/2012 12:04:45 PM , Rating: 2
Any unsecured wireless communication is fare game under US law... Be it SMS, email, CB radios, first gen analog cell phones, FM, AM, and TV. All radio waves that are not encrypted are completely legal to capture and view.

SMS is just the hello packets from a cell phone to the tower that happens to have extra room to send a short message. The real crime should be charging extra for something that happens anyway.


RE: Evil is as evil does
By Schrag4 on 5/1/2012 1:20:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
SMS is just the hello packets from a cell phone to the tower that happens to have extra room to send a short message. The real crime should be charging extra for something that happens anyway.


Oh please. If you don't like paying for texts then don't do it. Price isn't tied to cost, it's (more closely) tied to value. Obviously you value texting so you're willing to pay for it. Crime? Seriously?


RE: Evil is as evil does
By Trisped on 5/1/2012 4:48:26 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with HrilL, though it is a moral crime not a state/country crime. Texting costs the phone companies next to nothing, yet they charge a lot for it. They should have texting only plans for $5 a month, then let you add talk for $20+, not the other way around.

Yes, I do know that they can lower the costs of talk with the extra money they get from texting, but I still think it is wrong to charge so much for so little.


RE: Evil is as evil does
By Schrag4 on 5/1/2012 5:50:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I agree with HrilL, though it is a moral crime not a state/country crime. Texting costs the phone companies next to nothing, yet they charge a lot for it. They should have texting only plans for $5 a month, then let you add talk for $20+, not the other way around.

Yes, I do know that they can lower the costs of talk with the extra money they get from texting, but I still think it is wrong to charge so much for so little.


You guys are hilarious! So basically what you're saying is that since you don't like paying that much, it's criminal. Please, for the sake of argument, could you list some other things which are "criminally" priced? I cant wait for your answer! It will be absolutely precious!


RE: Evil is as evil does
By ritualm on 5/1/2012 7:08:26 PM , Rating: 2
SMS messages cost literally nothing to the carrier, yet they're priced far higher (relative to costs) than any Apple product. SMS messaging plans are a ripoff.


RE: Evil is as evil does
By Schrag4 on 5/2/2012 8:11:53 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
SMS messages cost literally nothing to the carrier, yet they're priced far higher (relative to costs) than any Apple product. SMS messaging plans are a ripoff.


If they're such a ripoff, then don't pay for them. What's that? You actually value texting quite a bit? Even though it's a ripoff to you, you'd rather pay than not text? Seems like it isn't priced just about right then.


RE: Evil is as evil does
By Schrag4 on 5/2/2012 8:24:06 AM , Rating: 2
Here, I'll even provide my own example. A coworker of mine was buying some concert tickets online at work one day. After he was done, he jokingly complained about the "convenience fee." Basically, they charge you a few bucks for the privilege to print out the tickets rather than having them mailed to you. Which COSTS them more? Printing out the tickets and mailing them to you, of course. But which did my coworker VALUE more? The peace of mind that his tickets would not be lost or late (convenience) was worth a few bucks to him.

Again, it's not about cost to the provider, it's about value to the customer, that's what sets the price. Let's take the opposite. Say you have a product that costs a lot to make, and customers don't value it as much as it costs. Guess what the price will eventually be...below cost. I'm sure you're just as appalled when customers have the audacity to rip off retailers by buying something below cost.


RE: Evil is as evil does
By Trisped on 5/7/2012 8:20:58 PM , Rating: 2
Convenience fees are suppose to off set the cost of product development. It cost the company $ to develop the product and more to maintain it. Rather then pass that cost on to all consumers they pass it on to those who actually use it.

The problem with texting is the Phone companies have already made more then enough to cover the cost, they just want to use the money to offset other products. Since the phone companies all charge the same amounts for texting, and they never lower the price, it is in effect a monopoly. This is why it is morally wrong to me.

That being said, IM services are taking off again, this time in the mobile space. With data rates the way they are, it costs a fraction to IM compared to texting, which should result in a market correction.


By Articuno on 5/1/2012 3:40:24 AM , Rating: 2
First it was "No, we didn't do that!" Next it was "Okay, so maybe we did that, but it was done by one guy and we didn't know about it!" Then it was "Okay, so we did do that intentionally and it wasn't only the fall guy's fault, but we didn't do it for very long, we swear!"

Next it'll be "Why do you care anyways? You should give us your data, it makes the Internet work better!"




By Trisped on 5/1/2012 4:59:16 PM , Rating: 2
The original line was that it was not recording the information. When Google execs investigated and found that it was they provided proof that the information had not been used (other then possibly sniffing for IP addresses).

What we have here is a clarification of scope and intent.


Recipe for success
By ritualm on 5/1/2012 2:31:23 PM , Rating: 1
1. Publicly proclaim "do no evil".
2. Immediately flaunt the law just like that particular fruit company.
3. ???
4. profit




RE: Recipe for success
By Trisped on 5/1/2012 5:00:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
2. Immediately flaunt the law just like that particular fruit company.
Please provide links to the laws Google broke. Preferably to laws in the US, though EU and UK laws would also be accepted.


Admit to no evil
By BugblatterIII on 5/1/2012 4:14:19 AM , Rating: 2
'Nuff said




Hmmm...
By Movieman420 on 5/1/2012 6:41:43 AM , Rating: 2
Seems it'd be a rather minimal gathering of info from any one connection when your driving 20-35mph down the street...you're not in range for long. I guess it adds up over the miles tho.




info snoopage
By zetetic elench on 5/1/2012 10:21:03 AM , Rating: 2
so along with geologic visual data they also collected some useless highly transient RF data as well? it's akin to registering whether the porchlights were on. if you use wireless devices it's incumbent on you to understand them.

it seems their overreach has served as a warning.




By highlander2107 on 5/3/2012 1:08:23 AM , Rating: 2
Then I read who the author was. This guy is worse than Alex Jones.




I had the same problem
By overlandpark4me on 5/4/2012 4:14:50 PM , Rating: 2
What a small world. The camera at my house has been recording my neighbors sexual activities for months. Evidently there was a bug in my ethics.




Is Google the new Microsoft?
By sirah on 5/7/2012 12:59:13 PM , Rating: 1
The search engine and online advertising giant replaced its popular Google Docs service with Google Drive, a cloud computing storage service designed to directly compete with start up Dropbox. This raises the question, has Google become the new Microsoft? Google’s come up with its solution for Dropbox: If you can’t buy ‘em, copy ‘em. http://bit.ly/IRazgp




so..
By tamalero on 5/1/12, Rating: -1
RE: so..
By Tony Swash on 5/1/2012 5:35:57 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
So google takes all the blame because clients are too dumb to secure their networks?


So the burglar gets all the blame for stealing your TV when you left your window open?

Yes.

There is a difference between being bad and being careless.


RE: so..
By Tony Swash on 5/1/12, Rating: -1
RE: so..
By bug77 on 5/1/2012 6:43:31 AM , Rating: 2
Read this out loud:

quote:
Google appears to have broken no laws


The burglar analogy is an emotional one, but it is also incorrect. Unsecured wireless connections broadcast your signal well outside your home (in this case, on the street, no less). It's the same as shouting out loud and then protesting about somebody else hearing you.


RE: so..
By jRaskell on 5/1/2012 8:14:27 AM , Rating: 2
It may not be illegal, but it is ABSOLUTELY amoral, and for a company that loudly proclaims to take the highroad, that's almost just as bad.


RE: so..
By Tony Swash on 5/1/2012 8:58:42 AM , Rating: 2
I think one can be bad and still not break the law. Google were bad.

Here is perhaps a better metaphor. You leave your curtains open, a passing stranger walks across your front lawn and with their face pressed to your window watches you getting undressed. Leaving your curtains open was a bit careless, possibly silly. The peeping tom staring through your window is just plain bad.


RE: so..
By SongEmu on 5/1/2012 9:45:20 AM , Rating: 3
It's more like. I'm filling out some paperwork at my kitchen table, and some doofus peers in through the window and finds out my SSN. One does not simply *collect data* just by driving by. They have to be looking for it.


RE: so..
By thehatter on 5/1/2012 10:01:13 AM , Rating: 3
More like sitting on your front lawn reading your SSN through a megaphone, then blaming people for overhearing. All Google did was record what you said through the megaphone.

I don't think what they did was right, but it wasn't really wrong, and defiantly not theft. They may have to actively record the data, but they don't have to go looking for it.


RE: so..
By Schrag4 on 5/1/2012 1:30:53 PM , Rating: 3
It's hard not to hear a megaphone. It's easy not to read SMS messages and emails. If you park in a driveway where someone has an unsecured wireless router, their emails and SMS messages don't just pop up on your screen. Google wrote a program specifically to seek them out. Not quite the same thing as merely overhearing somone using a megaphone.

I mostly agree with the peeping tom analogy that's been thrown around. If you accidentally leave your curtains open, it may not be illegal for your neighbor to take pictures of you, but that doesn't mean it's the right thing for him or her to do.


RE: so..
By Smilin on 5/1/2012 10:16:11 AM , Rating: 3
You realize you broadcast all sorts of EM outside your home right?

It is quite possible to completely observe you in your home with a laser microphone and infrared camera as well as chemically sniff from outside of the property perimeter.

So you're saying none of this violates privacy since you are 'broadcasting' it outside your home? Bullcrap.

Failing to secure wireless is no more consent than leaving a door unlocked. Unsecured networks are not the same as public networks.


RE: so..
By tamalero on 5/1/2012 12:17:01 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, you're wrong on your last part..
if people wanted to have a PRIVATE NETWORK to NOT BE USEABLE BY ANYONE..
they could anytime you know.. USE PROTECTION.. or at least HIDE THE BROADCAST.

no security = public by default. (as many devices will hook to open networks automatically)
security = private (that's the fence that separates public with private PEOPLE!!!)

makes me wonder how many here actually know about IT Networking... and not just debating for drama.


RE: so..
By thehatter on 5/1/2012 12:30:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
makes me wonder how many here actually know about IT Networking... and not just debating for drama.


I have a feeling the vast majority of people are just trolls, and apple fan boys.


RE: so..
By Reclaimer77 on 5/1/2012 9:23:53 AM , Rating: 2
That analogy appeals to an emotional component Tony, but isn't really applicable.

An open WiFi router is blasting information and network access in all directions far beyond the perimeter of your dwelling. I'm not exactly approving of what Google did here, but it's a well known fact you have NO right to privacy if your wifi router isn't secured. And you should get no sympathy either.

How this somehow compares to breaking and entering is absurd. An open window is NOT an invitation for people to crawl through and steal your goods. Come on now, be serious.


RE: so..
By messele on 5/1/2012 10:04:58 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know about in the USA but in the UK if I were to access an open network (private, but open) and commit a crime it would be me who would be brought to task for it, not the person who owned the router.

Google knowingly equipped their vehicles with the technology to snoop on networks and for what good reason? There is a big difference between cataloguing and geo-locating SSIDs which is what they seem to be claiming and connecting to those networks, which they should not have done.

If they could have bypassed everybody's network security would people still be saying its ok? What is the difference between a burglar walking through an open door, climbing through a high open window and forcing entry (albeit not damaging property). They are all analogous to what is happening with Google in my opinion.


RE: so..
By tamalero on 5/1/2012 12:21:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If they could have bypassed everybody's network security would people still be saying its ok?


No, that is clearly illegal. Since you're willingly breaking the protection that is set to prevent and stop others from entering your networks.

Having no security in your networks is like having a huge parcel with no fences/walls/warning posts.. someone might want to set themselves there for a picnic.. if there is no fences.. no warnings no nothing keeping you out... who is to blame then? clearly not the pair doing a picnic!

quote:
I don't know about in the USA but in the UK if I were to access an open network (private, but open) and commit a crime it would be me who would be brought to task for it, not the person who owned the router.

Hu? I tough it was only when people willingly broke into your private connections to exploit? (aka breaking the sec code like WEP?)


RE: so..
By Smilin on 5/1/2012 10:18:38 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
An open WiFi router is blasting information and network access in all directions far beyond the perimeter of your dwelling.


You also broadcase other EM outside your residence. A peeping tom watching you have sex with an IR camera is still breaking the law even though they didn't step on the property.


RE: so..
By Reclaimer77 on 5/1/2012 11:42:14 AM , Rating: 2
That's an absurd argument and you know it. You're trying to analogize using surveillance equipment to spy on someone to accessing an unsecured non-password protected router. Are you freaking serious?

First off one is illegal and the other is not.


RE: so..
By Tony Swash on 5/1/2012 1:13:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's an absurd argument and you know it. You're trying to analogize using surveillance equipment to spy on someone to accessing an unsecured non-password protected router. Are you freaking serious?

First off one is illegal and the other is not.


I am astonished that so many people seem to think that what Google did was apparently OK or at the very least trivial. Leaving a window open is silly. Climbing through a complete strangers open window is just plain bad. It seems such simple ethics to me - am I missing some special mitigating circumstances that only applies to Google? If so I would love to hear what they are.


RE: so..
By Rukkian on 5/1/2012 2:01:52 PM , Rating: 2
I just can't believe that Tony would have something bad to say about a competitor to Google.

While I do not like what they did, it is apparently not illegal, and not really that bad in my opinion.

Pretty much every router sold in the past 4 years has come with encryption turned on by default. Anybody nowadays that has a router with encryption off is just an idiot.


RE: so..
By Reclaimer77 on 5/1/2012 2:28:35 PM , Rating: 2
Wrong Tony. The only reason this is even being discusses is BECAUSE Google is involved. THEN the tinfoil hats come out. We all know people who have accessed unprotected WiFi's. We even know people who exclusively have internet access because a neighbor stupidly left their router open. In neither of these cases is someone hauled to jail, fined, or even slapped on the wrist.

Google rolls a van around doing the same thing and OMFG GOOGLE IS THE EVIL IN YOUR HOUSE STEALING YOUR WIFI'S!!! You think Google invented Wardriving? Give me a break!

Of course what Google did was trivial. Can you even produce one single person that was somehow hurt by this or effected in any way?


RE: so..
By Trisped on 5/1/2012 5:08:14 PM , Rating: 2
There is a difference between entering private property and listening to broadcast information.

If a cop overhears someone planning to rob a bank then the cop can testify in court. If a cop breaks into my house (or enters without my permission) and overhears someone planning to rob a bank then the cop's testimony is not admissible in court.

There is a fundamental difference between listening to a broad cast and physically entering a private residence.


RE: so..
By tamalero on 5/1/2012 12:14:13 PM , Rating: 1
google is not stealing your TV, nor your CAR, not getting "into your house".

you are dumb enough to have a open free network, which is like screaming around the neighborhood about something.. then expecting everyone to ignore you as you carry your conversation.. THEN GET OFFENDED WHEN SOMEONE TAKES NOTE OF ALL YOUR SCREAMING.


Google's attitude towards privacy is repugnant.
By troysavary on 5/1/12, Rating: -1
By punzada on 5/1/2012 9:12:21 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Android owners have to hack their devices to get updates


That's not the fault of Google that's the fault of carriers. It would be trivial to push major OS updates by Google if all the carriers didn't then have to re-code and test all their crappy bolted on frameworks and such.

Also, what's the alternative? iOS where they limit features (ala Siri) just to help promote planned obsolescence? Time to buy that new iPhone, even though the one you have could very easily support those software-based features.

Windows Phone? might as well be using a webOS device in terms of support and current market penetration, maybe after Windows 8 release it will actually matter in the current mobile space, but currently? ha.


RE: Google's attitude towards privacy is repugnant.
By tayb on 5/1/2012 10:03:59 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
That's not the fault of Google that's the fault of carriers. It would be trivial to push major OS updates by Google if all the carriers didn't then have to re-code and test all their crappy bolted on frameworks and such.


It is 100% Google's fault because they don't set requirements to update when they hand out the OS. Your excuse is even more invalid when you consider that Google's own devices, such as the Nexus One, don't get updates either. The fragmentation that Google allows is a major source of frustration among Android users.

quote:
Also, what's the alternative? iOS where they limit features (ala Siri) just to help promote planned obsolescence? Time to buy that new iPhone, even though the one you have could very easily support those software-based features.


As opposed to what? A 95% feature rich update or no updates at all. Tough decision as to which OS has the better update approach.


By thehatter on 5/1/2012 10:19:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Your excuse is even more invalid when you consider that Google's own devices, such as the Nexus One, don't get updates either. The fragmentation that Google allows is a major source of frustration among Android users.


First: The Nexus One doesn't meet the memory requirements of ICS, and as such wouldn't run properly. Google has said this, the developer community agrees (mods need to use the SD card to offload some of the OS, something that Google wouldn't do, due to the risks). This is like blaming Microsoft because your 386 can't run Windows 7. Do you want them to do what Apple does, and just remove features, and make the OS barely usable, or would you prefer updates that add something to the phone?

Second: Android is Open Source, they provide the code, and try to mandate the updates, but they can't force them. They have set up a preferred system, which does force the manufacturer to provide the updates, but the carrier can still refuse, which AT&T does on a regular basis (even for Windows Mobile).


By Reclaimer77 on 5/1/2012 12:07:52 PM , Rating: 2
The fantasy that millions of people with perfectly fine working phones are in agony over ICS updates is a total fabrication for anti-Android trolls.

quote:
It is 100% Google's fault because they don't set requirements to update when they hand out the OS


That requirement would not only be impossible, but it would go against the very tenants that's made Android the massive success it is.

Google doesn't tell anyone what OS their phones are going to run. Do you realize that? They make a free open source OS, that's it. Take it or leave it.


By Trisped on 5/1/2012 4:55:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It is 100% Google's fault because they don't set requirements to update when they hand out the OS.
The phone companies are the ones who prevent the upgrade, not the manufacture or Google.

This is the same problem experienced by Windows phones. The only reason you did not see it before was because Palm, BlackBerry, and Apple do not release updated OSes for existing devices (except for possibly bug/security risks).

When Android was originally announced the ability to upgrade the OS was a touted ability. It wasn't until the phone companies realized they could force people to upgrade (and sign a new 2 year contract) that this ability was silenced.


By MrRuckus on 5/3/2012 12:26:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Oh, and also the fact that Andoid owners have to hack their devices to get updates.


You do realize this is a tech based website? Is it hard to read? You read a few forums posts from a google search and your rooted and have updates and multiple options for a ROM.

No crashes here or resource problems on my daily driver Android device. User error on your part maybe? or maybe a little RTFM is needed.

Have fun in carebear land of iOS where they choose your content.


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