Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Australian Police To Investigate Google Over Wi-Fi Scanning

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the hopping-on-the-bandwagon dept.

Privacy 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.'"

cancel ×

117 comments

give it a rest (3, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#32476228)

Is this the world's favorite new way to waste time, suing google for recording publicly available information from wifi spots as they drive?

idiots. ALL idiots.

Re:give it a rest (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32476266)

Is this the world's favorite new way to waste time, suing google for recording publicly available information from wifi spots as they drive?

idiots. ALL idiots.

Idiot?! No, geniuses!

In this economy with government revenues tanking around the World, what better way to balance the budget than suing some big gigantic evil multinational corporation!

  1. Evil corp does evil or close to it
  2. Sue under some privacy law that government violates with impunity
  3. Threaten big corp with blocking them from country
  4. Settle out of court
  5. Profit!

Re:give it a rest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32476854)

Sue (corporations) under some privacy law that government violates with impunity

I know that the political system has become quite dysfunctional in the US in the last 25 years or so, but you do still know that there's a difference between a corporation and a government, right?

Re:give it a rest (3, Insightful)

melikamp (631205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32476318)

May be they are using this law in order to get access to all of the collected data.

Re:give it a rest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32476538)

that's the first thing that popped into my head. slashdot's been littered lately with stories about Australia's attempts to crush online privacy and freedom.

yes anyone can go around and collect open wifi info with nothing more than a laptop but a government is forbidden from doing that by law. So short of the expense of changing the law how can a greedy eavesdropping entity get their hands on it? "investigate" someone else who did.

Re:give it a rest (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#32479692)

that's the first thing that popped into my head. slashdot's been littered lately with stories about Australia's attempts to crush online privacy and freedom.

Makes perfect sense. Except that the data is not private, and completely and utterly useless for forming coups on democracy.

Re:give it a rest (1)

dwarfsoft (461760) | more than 4 years ago | (#32479116)

They want to pass this data on to CSIRO so they can sue the manufacturers for Wi-Fi Patent Infringement [slashdot.org] .

Re:give it a rest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32476426)

What is interesting is Conroy's 'robust' following of this, which coincidentally follows Google's very public criticism of the proposed internet filter. This may get a bit nasty.

Re:give it a rest (4, Informative)

lendude (620139) | more than 4 years ago | (#32476746)

Exactly right. This is Conroy chucking a hissy fit, attempting a vindictive and conceited payback for Google's accurate commentary re: his pet 'Filter OZ' project, and trying to leverage what remains of his crippled credibility to boost the same. The guy is so adolescent it's laughable. Please Conroy - just fuck off and die: that's seriously the best advice I can offer you.

Re:give it a rest (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 4 years ago | (#32476648)

I wish we had a Telecommunications Interception Act in the United States, and they'd investigate whether collecting IP addresses from bittorrent trackers was done for a purpose authorized by the bittorrent tracker.

Re:give it a rest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32477072)

I wish we had a Telecommunications Interception Act in the United States, and they'd investigate whether collecting IP addresses from bittorrent trackers was done for a purpose authorized by the bittorrent tracker.

We do have the equivalent, as do other countries. It is called the electronic communications privacy act (ECPA). Just because it is technically possible does not mean that it is legal. The people who ordered the intercepts and actually intercepted may be in a lot of trouble.

This is gray area of the law that was not been well adjudicated. This should be interesting.

No, this is Slashdot's new favourite way... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32478422)

...Of wasting our time, with endless "stories" from and about Australia.

'Aussie Man Takes Shit In Morning!'

'Australian Schools Buy New Computers!'

'Slashdot Editor Says "Fuck News, Let's Just Promote My Country"!'

Re:No, this is Slashdot's new favourite way... (1)

deek (22697) | more than 4 years ago | (#32480048)

Well, it does make a change from all the stories about America. As per your example:

'American Man Takes Shit In Morning!'

'American Schools Buy New Computers!'

'Slashdot Editor Says "Fuck News, Let's Just Promote My Country"!'

Personally, if the news is interesting to nerds anywhere on the planet, it should be on Slashdot. It does have an international viewer base, after all.

Re:No, this is Slashdot's new favourite way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32480160)

Agreed, but Australia is grossly overrepresented on Slashdot. How many countries are there? Why is it that we see stories only from America, Australia , and occasionally the UK? It was bad enough when we saw ONLY American stories, but the Aussie editors haven't helped much with the crap they post from their own country.

Re:No, this is Slashdot's new favourite way... (1)

pookemon (909195) | more than 4 years ago | (#32481068)

What's wrong - jealous that something's happening here in Oz? If there's something happening in another country that's news worthy - then post it on /.

Or shut the hell up.

Re:give it a rest (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32478852)

Maybe you should RTFA and learn that they intercepted communication.

Judging by your poor logic and apathy regarding privacy I guess it is only my fault if I was reading a highly confidential document and someone could read it over my shoulder through my window? That person doing so could not be prosecuted at all and I should not expect privacy if I have windows in my home?

I get the impression that Slashdot is heading in the direction of the Digg crowd mentality, which I also notice at reddit now too; that everyone is an idiot and is wrong except yourself.

It is kind of funny though. In most western countries you can get in real trouble legally if you read someone's letter; but if you manage to intercept an email, meh, not that bad. It is their fault someone intercepted that email; yet most letters are will accessible in your mailbox until your pick them up.

In other words, I should lock myself up in a windowless room and stop communicating with people to retain my privacy, according to you.
I guess Erik Schmidt was right, privacy doesn't excist anymore.

Re:give it a rest (3, Insightful)

williamhb (758070) | more than 4 years ago | (#32479298)

Is this the world's favorite new way to waste time, suing google for recording publicly available information from wifi spots as they drive?

I hope they prosecute the pants off them. Suppose it wasn't Google but Microsoft. Would you still be happy for them to be intentionally gathering data (be it records of who has which WiFi device or the actual conversations) just because the electromagnetic fields were leaking through your walls? After all, the heat radiation that escapes through your walls and windows is "publicly available" so surely it'd be ok for them to sit outside with a thermal camera pointed at your house. And the sound radiation that leaks through too -- so there'd be "no problem" with them pointing very sensitive directional microphones towards your bedroom window and recording that too... I mean, it's just your own silly fault for not installing a lead-lined cone of silence over your bed...

No, this is just slashdot giving Google a free pass (Slashdot's Google love-in), even though Google explicitly intended to gather and sell data about you without your permission. Their excuse is "oops, we didn't mean to gather quite that much data" not that they didn't mean to do it at all.

Re:give it a rest (1)

victorhooi (830021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32480000)

heya,

Yes, but there's a distinct flaw in your argument.

You see, there's a big difference between say, a normal Wifi card and your sensitive directional microphone. Driving past with a friggin $20 wifi card, I can pickup all your *open* wifi traffic. Nearly every laptop these days already has this inbuilt anyway. How many laptops do you know with inbuilt hyper-sensitive directional microphones that can pickup somebody's conversation inside a house.

Actually, as somebody who's played with this stuff, I can tell you that you have no idea what you're even talking about. Do you realise how hard it is to actually pick up a single conversation from outside a house. Sure, you can use a laser mic off a glass window say, but have you actually tried listening to the output from those? You'll be spending hours sitting there mucking around with low/high pass noise filters, trying to strip out the noise. Hell, you'd need thousands of dollars in equipment, several hours sitting there to tune it, and trained technicians to operate it...your metaphor sir, frankly, sucks...

Heck, my Nexus phone, or an iPhone, hell, that gimmicky ThinkGeek shirt with the wifi signal strength on the front could "intercept your wifi signal". You're not intercepting jack, ok, it's your fault for choosing not to encrypt your wifi traffic.

They had cops in Queensland driving around educating users on how to actually turn on friggin passwords on their wifi networks. If you're retarded enough to not turn on the password on your laptop, I'm sorry...but...it's just ridiculous in this day and age. Five years ago, when Wifi was "new" maybe, but not now. And your signal is being broadcast *outside* over somebody else's airspace, so it's not even trespass..

Look, it's like you put some desktop computers in a shopping centre, and "forget" to put up passwords on them, then go and cry to your mummy because somebody walked pass and used them, well, you're an idiot. I fail to see how this is that different.

When you log in to a computer, do you ever wonder why it says "AUTHORISED USE ONLY"? Or why it has pages and pages of legalese on how if you're not authorised you shouldn't use them? Because they're required by law to put those notices up - if you don't put them up, it's actually fair game (unless of course it's on private property, in which case you'd be committing trespass to use them.

Seriously, this whole thing is blown out of proportion.

Google bloody came clean and actually issued a press release saying whoops, we capture all debug data. Now governments are using it to get back at Google because they've exposed all their political pork-barrelling as a cheap attempt to buy votes from ignorant voters.

Cheers,
Victor

Re:give it a rest (2, Insightful)

williamhb (758070) | more than 4 years ago | (#32480392)

Actually, as somebody who's played with this stuff, I can tell you that you have no idea what you're even talking about. Do you realise how hard it is to actually pick up a single conversation from outside a house.

Very easy. I can sit on my back deck and hear conversations going on in the four houses surrounding us. Most people don't shut their windows, and some even have lunch on their back decks, nattering away perhaps 2 metres from me with no walls in between. That their conversation is audible in public does not give me permission to record and sell who was having conversations with whom and when, let alone "accidentally" record the words that were spoken.

Driving past with a friggin $20 wifi card, I can pickup all your *open* wifi traffic.

Driving past with a 2c carrier bag to put it in, I can steal the mail from your letterbox. With a $2 screwdriver, I can rip the whole letterbox off your fence. Does that make it legal?

If you're retarded enough to not turn on the password on your laptop, I'm sorry...but...it's just ridiculous in this day and age. Five years ago, when Wifi was "new" maybe, but not now. And your signal is being broadcast *outside* over somebody else's airspace, so it's not even trespass..

And if you had turned on your password (as most do) and even hidden the SSID -- Google would still have recorded that you had a WiFi, including any information it could gather about its make, model, and the likely ISP you are using, and would have sold that information to third parties without your permission as was their explicit original intention. Short of lead-lining your house there were *no actions* you could take to prevent Google from recording and selling some information about what you were doing in your home.

Re:give it a rest (1)

deek (22697) | more than 4 years ago | (#32480212)

Ummm, where in the article did it mention that Google was getting sued? They're being investigated to see if they've broken Australian law. It's an investigation. No conclusion has come of it yet.

Seems like a fairly reasonable thing to do. I wouldn't call it idiotic.

Re:give it a rest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32480486)

So as I understand it, now, I have to get everyone in range of my wifi turn off their networks before I scan for my own network lest I ever see their networks on my system.

This is madness, it's also illegal to share a wifi network(isp contracts in au), so dose this mean that anyone who's network was public when google's street view drove by illegally provided google with access? So if both side are in the wrong, who is instigating the complaint. Shouldn't it take the IPS's to complain about google first??? The IPS's usually sent wild threatening letters to the owner of the public WiFI access points(breach of contract), not the party using the network, so WTF...

As as a final point to the ignorant who I know even don't read this site; ever has a laptop running in a car with the wifi on?, all those chimes as the OS find new wifi networks, that the sound of your freedom disappearing.

F.F.P.: It's a shame everyone doesn't hear a chime whenever they do something wrong, it would help drown out the sound of stupid people.

 

Frosy piss post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32476274)

Get it now

In other news.. (2, Insightful)

thenextstevejobs (1586847) | more than 4 years ago | (#32476314)

Australian police arrest a subject for illegal surveillance for overhearing another parties conversation while walking down the street.

Re:In other news.. (1)

MokuMokuRyoushi (1701196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32476440)

"Eyewitnesses report that the subject was wearing a device which amplified sounds from substantial distances from the subject's position."

Just to make the analogy fit.

Re:In other news.. (3, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#32476470)

What, you mean like a fleshy cone like structure surrounding a biological tube at the bottom of which is an organ known as a "cochlear"?

Yea, I hate it when people wear those things. It makes me so nervous.

Re:In other news.. (3, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#32476748)

It's about reasonable expectations. You can reasonably assume that someone nearby has an ear. Maybe even two. You can also reasonably assume that they will be able to hear you if youtalk at normal volume.

You would not normally be listening with an electronic listening and recording device, or a laser microphone (which simply detects publicly visible vibrations), or climbing a tree in a public area purely in order to see you naked in your back yard.

Likewise, you don't expect people to be arbitrarily scanning for wireless data.

If you're a mutant that can, without any additional equipment, detect wi-fi signals, then you shouldn't be prosecuted, but I'm sure that isn't a requirement for being hired by Google.

Re:In other news.. (3, Insightful)

Sabriel (134364) | more than 4 years ago | (#32477972)

Likewise, you don't expect people to be arbitrarily scanning for wireless data.

Actually, I do expect people to be arbitrarily scanning for wireless data. ECHELON aside, radio scanners have been publicly available for many years in Australia.

Re:In other news.. (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#32479590)

Likewise, you don't expect people to be arbitrarily scanning for wireless data.

Actually, I do expect people to be arbitrarily scanning for wireless data. ECHELON aside, radio scanners have been publicly available for many years in Australia.

Yeah. They're called "laptop computers".

Re:In other news.. (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#32479582)

Likewise, you don't expect people to be arbitrarily scanning for wireless data.

Perhaps you don't, in which case I would expect you to be regularly checking your bank accounts and frequently changing your passwords. On the other hand, I, and many like me, fully expect people to attempt to intercept and decrypt our wireless communications, if for no other reason than to use our internet access without our consent. Consequently, we take steps to make such efforts fruitless. In other words, you may not want "people" to be arbitrarily scanning your wireless data, but you damned well should expect them to be. That applies to any Internet-based communication regardless of whether it's wireless or not, so I think you're a little off base here.

Frankly, Google's activities here maybe illegal in many places, but that doesn't mean such laws make any sense whatsoever. I mean, people don't seem to realize that they are putting radio transmitters in their homes and offices, and connecting them to their computer systems! That means they are broadcasting potentially confidential information, and really have no right to expect that it might not be picked up by someone else's receiver. Period. If you can't handle that fact, just give it up and use a few CAT-6 runs instead. Would you put a high-gain microphone and FM transmitter in your office, and then complain that your neighbors heard you talking to your mistress? Sheesh.

And it wasn't as if Google was running around with WEP/WPA crackers in their trucks: they were just picking up heartbeat signals. This whole thing is truly ridiculous, almost Biblically so. The reality is that there are a lot of people who resent Google for one reason or another, and in this case Google happened to record some information that certain government officials would very much like to get their hands on (probably because they don't realize how worthless it really is, and that they could easily acquire it themselves.)

Re:In other news.. (1)

victorhooi (830021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32480026)

heya,

Err, you realise that *any* laptop computer, heck, most of the newer mobile phones these days have Wifi in-built?

Sorry, but your'e an idiot.

Laser microphones aren't even readily available to the public - here's an experiment - try googling for a place to buy one. I challenge you, go on - past the link here.

Now, a laptop computer...gee...where would I get one of those? Or a mobile phone with Wifi. Now I'm really stumped...

I can bet you that heaps of people, all over this awesome country are OMGGGGG ILLEGALLY CONNECTING to open wifi networks all the time. By default, many computers will connect to the strongest wifi connection in the area. Those same systems are capable of doing exactly what Google did here.

So yes, a reasonable person would expect somebody with an active Wifi device to be in the area. Heck, if I leave a Wifi AP open, with no password set on it, do you really think if I pasted some whiney rant on Slashdot about how some 15-year old "hacker" connected to it, I'd get any sympathy? Please.

I mean, look, if they were cracking WEP, pftt, I might be a little more apt to buy the government's story. I fail to see why they'd do that though. Here, they were just driving along and collecting open unpassword-protected wifi data. What's the big deal?

Cheers,
Victor

Re:In other news.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32476450)

In some US states and other countries recording a conversation without the other parties consent is illegal.

Re:In other news.. (0, Flamebait)

victorhooi (830021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32480038)

heya,

You're an idiot.

That applies to recording telephone conversations.

If two people are in a public place, and I put an omnidirectional microphone down and happen to record them, I doubt I can be charged with anything really.

Heck, if I sit down on a bench and start dictating notes into my DVR (Digital Voice Recorder), and I happen to catch the people on the bench next to me talking about State of Origin, do you really think they're going to turn around and sue me?

Please. Even somebody eavesdropping on your conversation in a public place, at worst, you can say, "Oi, that's a bit rude mate!", and just walk a bit further away. I'm not exactly sure how you'd go about actually suing them for anything.

Cheers,
Victor

Re:In other news.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32476616)

In other news, police in your utopia don't arrest me for using Van Eck phreaking to watch every monitor in your home, or for recording every electromagnetic fluctuation whenever you hit a key on your keyboard. If I'm out on the street, it must be fair game, right?

Re:In other news.. (2, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32477240)

Australian police arrest a subject for illegal surveillance for overhearing another party's conversation, and making a record of it in a carbon-based mass-storage device, while walking down the street.

Clarified that. Wait, I see someone walking down my street recording images of what he sees, in his own carbon-based mass-storage device. Calling 911 right now...

Re:In other news.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32480978)

Wait, I see someone walking down my street recording images of what he sees, in his own carbon-based mass-storage device. Calling 911 right now...

I wouldn't worry -- it takes eight years in art class just to get a printer driver for that device.

Re:In other news.. (2, Funny)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 4 years ago | (#32477384)

The problem is that given the way Australian laws are written Google may be in violation of many of them. Actually given the way Australian laws are written you may be in violation of one right now!

Re:In other news.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32479234)

Australian police arrest a subject for illegal surveillance for hanging around outside people's windows in order to overhear and record the conversations in their houses from the "publicly available" sound that leaks through their windows. Google's defence is that they really just wanted to record and sell the details about who was having the conversations in their houses (but recording the words was accidental) and so of course nobody should have any privacy concerns about them doing that without permission...

Fixed that for you.

Google - Very rich company, with no regard to laws (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32476394)

I love google - have used them forever and also have been careful to disable as much of their tracking as possible. Somethings do help a company improve results - and somethings which make us lose our privacy (ex. streetview) are fabulous.

But I think Google has become a company with almost unlimited resources that can use the law as it sees fit. From Google books (where it helped setup a new author organization and then used the not-for-profit to get legal rights over orphan books), to using google analytics to know what users (non-google users) do, our lives have become fully tracked by Google.

To add to the mess Eric Schmidt went on record saying "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place." (http://gawker.com/5419271/google-ceo-secrets-are-for-filthy-people)

Schmidt's quote combined with Google's unlimited resources, make Google a perfect company for lawmakers to keep an eye on. It behaves similar to Microsoft - ex. the Google books - where they went ahead and digitized millions of books without the legal right...

So, I think we should not only keep a close eye on Google, but authorities should get the code for the streetview car systems. We know they are collecting Wifi access point names (even ones that are not broadcast), they collected emails (interception of communications), and we dont know what else.

To make you get worried,would it help if you found out that they also marked users downloading/uploading music ? What about porn ? What about the fact that Google databases are available to the police if they come with a subpoena? Would you like RIAA to ask google for all Wireless access points which were uploading/downloading music (the music can be recognized - as can the users - now you have the IP, the approximate address, and the wireless access point).

Common people - we know everyone likes Google. Doesnt mean they are perfect - they have no respect for privacy, never had respect for privacy, and this is the company where every incentive is used to make employees work late. I know enuff guys who work 14 hrs a day. This is the company that include youtube (where we know they allowed copyrighted stuff to be uploaded to increase traffic).

Dont get blinded by 'Dont be evil'. This is a corporate giant - which still works in China - for profits sake - not the betterment of Chinese people.

Re:Google - Very rich company, with no regard to l (1)

deek (22697) | more than 4 years ago | (#32480156)

No regards to laws? That's a rather over the top statement. It seems they have some regard for laws, considering they're cooperating with authorities. They've admitted they made a mistake, and have apologised for it. What else do you want them to do, publicly flagellate themselves?

No respect for privacy? Sure, I guess that's why they have a privacy policy. It's because they have no respect for it. Yeah, that's it.

I can't believe the rhetoric that is being spouted in the above post. Is it a Microsoft shill trying to cast aspersions under the guise of Anonymous Coward? You'd think they could afford more subtle posters.

It's Sad... (5, Insightful)

YodaYid (1049908) | more than 4 years ago | (#32476474)

...that as an American, I'm looking to Europe and Australia to actually stand up to Google and stop them from collecting every bit of data they can about me, like actually sending a van outside my house to grab information about my home network.

Re:It's Sad... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32476590)

The US government is no match for war-driving mega-corps. It doesn't understand the problem and it's well paid not to.

Re:It's Sad... (2, Insightful)

Iyonesco (1482555) | more than 4 years ago | (#32476666)

You're actively broadcasting information about your home network and then complaining when somebody listens. That's like setting up a facebook account and then whining when somebody looks at it or talking very loudly in a room and complaining when people listen. You're being absurd!

Why not just use a wired network? I don't like broadcasting my information to the world so I exclusively use wired network connections. You on the other hand also don't like broadcasting your information to the world but keep doing it and just whine about it.

The only information Google ever collect is the information you give them, be it through using their services or buy specifically buying a wireless rooter to broadcast it to them. If you don't like them collecting information stop giving it to them. Far from Google being your problem it seems to me that you are your own worst enemy.

Re:It's Sad... (1)

virtualflesh (1438407) | more than 4 years ago | (#32476950)

I totally agree with this response. If you want to prevent the people you don't want hearing you from hearing you, then keep the chatter-box shut. It starts with you. It ends with you. No one is in control of you except... you.

Re:It's Sad... (0)

YodaYid (1049908) | more than 4 years ago | (#32478938)

You're actively broadcasting information about your home network and then complaining when somebody listens.

I'm not actively broadcasting anything - my router is. It may seem like a silly distinction, but as far as I'm concerned, all I want is private wireless service in the confines of my own home. The fact that my router is sending out information beyond the bounds of my home is an unfortunate side effect of physics. Your argument is akin to "If you don't want someone to watch you with an infrared camera, stop giving off so much heat!" Sorry, I can't help it. That doesn't mean it's okay for you to set up an IR camera outside my home.

The only information Google ever collect is the information you give them, be it through using their services or buy specifically buying a wireless rooter to broadcast it to them. If you don't like them collecting information stop giving it to them.

I didn't give Google anything. They sent a van to my street and took it, without my consent or permission.

Re:It's Sad... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32479056)

I'm not actively broadcasting anything - my router is. It may seem like a silly distinction, but as far as I'm concerned, all I want is private wireless service in the confines of my own home. The fact that my router is sending out information beyond the bounds of my home is an unfortunate side effect of physics.

I didn't kill the man - my gun did. The fact that my gun is sending out bullets beyond the bounds of its barrel is an unfortunate side effect of physics."

Re:It's Sad... (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#32479630)

I'm not actively broadcasting anything

Yes you are. You connected a fairly powerful radio transceiver to your computer and (for some unaccountable reason) expect it to be treated as if it were a bunch of cables coming out of an Ethernet switch. Dude, it's a transmitter, and it broadcasts, and if you have any expectation that the world will respect your privacy when you're broadcasting data beyond the confines of your own home, well, you're not too bright. Doesn't matter if we're talking a WAP or just a regular Internet connection ... if you put something out on the wires the possibility always exists that someone will use that information in ways that you might regret. Take steps. Don't expect the law to help you because it cannot.

I didn't give Google anything. They sent a van to my street and took it, without my consent or permission.

Whine whine whine. They shouldn't need your consent or permission, any more than you need the consent of your local radio station to listen to some music. You gave that data to Google (and anyone else passing by your home) by turning on your access point. It's that simple. If you don't like that, don't turn the thing on. You're just torqued because you didn't realize what your little Linksys box was doing. Well, that's your fault, nobody elses.

Re:It's Sad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32482124)

What's that you say? You don't want me tapping into your internet connection? You do realize that your internet traffic is being broadcast OUTSIDE of your home, right? If you didn't want other people to inspect it, your connection wouldn't travel outside your property now would it? Its your own fault for willingly hooking up a network connection to the outside world.

How about your mobile phone? It broadcasts signals to the public, does it not? So you wouldn't mind if I monitor your calls then? It's your own fault.

Re:It's Sad... (1)

victorhooi (830021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32480070)

heya,

Err, you said you want a "private wireless service"...what part of TURN ON THE DAMN PASSWORD doesn't make sense?

Sorry, but if you want a private wireless service, then turn on the password. Pretty much all routers these days make it a *very* seamless process. Having setup many routers for many friends/family friends/cats/dogs/budgies, most of them provide a wizard which actually prompts you for a password.

If you're silly enough to ignore that, or refuse to read your 3-step wizard (yes, I've seen people do this, do not ask me why), then I'm sorry, but it's your fault.

It's time people started taking responsibility for things like this. If you can't be bothered learning how to use a tool, then don't go complaining when you cut yourself with it later on.

And as poster below said, you did give them something. Whether intentionally, or through your own ignorance is irrelavent. Also, they didn't take it without your consent - you ever wonder why all important computer systems have a logon message "UNAUTHORISED USE PROHIBITED"? Because it's required by law to put that there - if you don't, who's to say it isn't?

Also, your IR camera analogy is as stupid as all the analogies about laser microphones. Any laptop computer, heck, most mobile phones these days have Wifi. Any of these are capable of doing what was done here. How many people do you know who have IR camera? (Gee, wanna guess how much they are? Put it this way, I can buy a second-hand 1996 Camry for the same money). Or laser microphones? Urgh get real.

Cheers,
Victor

Re:It's Sad... (1)

YodaYid (1049908) | more than 4 years ago | (#32480174)

Why are you assuming that Google is only scanning for open WiFi Routers? My understanding is that they are scanning *all* routers, whether they are secure or not (mine is secured - I also turned off SSID broadcasting. Thanks for the condescension, though). Just because your router is "secure" doesn't mean Google can't get information about it, like the SSID and MAC address.

Re:It's Sad... (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 4 years ago | (#32477070)

...that as an American, I'm looking to Europe and Australia to actually stand up to Google and stop them from collecting every bit of data they can about me, like actually sending a van outside my house to grab information about my home network.

Don't fear Google. Fear me. I could be your neighbor. As of last week, my laptop could see about two dozen wireless access points. Most of those were encrypted. A handful aren't. The unencrypted ones aren't too chatty. One is fairly busy. I would hazard to guess that very few of my neighbors are aware that I can see them much less are looking. If one of them did suspect the possibility, I'd guess it was one of those who's network is encrypted.

Yours should be too.

Re:It's Sad... (3, Insightful)

zuperduperman (1206922) | more than 4 years ago | (#32478856)

This is what amazes me about this whole incident. Not one official person (other than from Google) has even once mentioned that people should protect their privacy by putting passwords on their Wifi access points.

On the radio just today, Stephen Conroy said that Google may have captured people doing "sensitive banking transactions" as they drove past, as if it would be perfectly safe for them if only Google hadn't driven past and captured the data. Overlooking that all banking transactions are done over https, Conroy was effectively advising people that extremely risky behavior is perfectly OK. There is a level of extreme hypocrisy about the whole debate that leads me to believe this is 100% a witch hunt primarily designed to distract from the government's own desire to violate our privacy.

Re:It's Sad... (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 4 years ago | (#32480260)

Overlooking that all banking transactions are done over https, Conroy was effectively advising people that extremely risky behavior is perfectly OK. There is a level of extreme hypocrisy about the whole debate that leads me to believe this is 100% a witch hunt primarily designed to distract from the government's own desire to violate our privacy.

It does strike me as being quite telling. These are worse thinking scenarios dreamed up to scare the horses. To what ends is an interesting question.

Re:It's Sad... (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#32477822)

Hyperbole much?

Secure your WiFi router. Problem solved.

When will this end? (1, Troll)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 4 years ago | (#32476534)

Google did nothing wrong by accidentally keeping un-secured information. This information was being broadcast over open wi-fi connections past the boundary of private property onto public property. Ignorance of security measures you can take is not an excuse. If I do not replace the brakes to my car regularly because I failed to read the maintenance schedule in the manual, it is not anyone elses fault but my own. Same thing with securing your wi-fi network. By default not securing your wi-fi network means that it is public.

Re:When will this end? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#32476832)

It's possible to detect private conversations from a considerable distance away using appropriate equipment. Is it acceptable to use this to listen in on conversations if they're not talking in code?

I'm not sure of your brakes analogy. If they fail to stop your car it isn't through the action of an outside agency. If you fail to lock your car doors, then whose fault is it if someone steals your radio?

Re:When will this end? (3, Informative)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 4 years ago | (#32476988)

Part of being in a public place is that you accept the risk being overheard. The thing about Wi-fi networks is that there are many publicly available networks out there that allow people to use them. How are we to distinguish if its OK to use some of them but not others if people are too lazy to go through the necessary steps to secure their networks? Just by using someones public network you can intercept their communications. Having a public network you broadcast your data over is akin to leaving a basket full of stuff outside with a sign that says "Some things in here are free but Im not telling you what is or isnt, take these items at your own risk". Now, Google admitted that they accidentally kept extra data they should not have, and then promptly agreed to delete all of it. They were not doing what they were doing as a form of surveillance. Its pretty much the same thing as video taping a public place, accidentally taping someone talking about private business and then deleting that portion of the tape once you realize whats on it.

Re:When will this end? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#32477216)

Quite so. You're quite right, but I'd argue that you've illustrated that the situation is at least a little more complicated than the original analogy suggested.

Re:When will this end? (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 4 years ago | (#32477236)

Yes, you are right.

Re:When will this end? (2, Interesting)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 4 years ago | (#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:When will this end? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32478814)

How are we to distinguish if its OK to use some of them but not others if people are too lazy to go through the necessary steps to secure their networks?

I would go with "They are public so I can use them" and "They are not public so I will not use them unless I want to break some law or other".

As you can see a perfectly good way of telling what a public network is already exists. Why add another layer on top of that to complicate things.

Consumer level gear is also to blame, coming without passwords and whatnot.

On top of that your post is crazy. Google accidently kept data they shouldn't have? They kept data they were allowed to take, there is no "shouldn't" in this equation.

Re:When will this end? (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 4 years ago | (#32480740)

How are we to distinguish if its OK to use some of them but not others if people are too lazy to go through the necessary steps to secure their networks?

I would go with "They are public so I can use them" and "They are not public so I will not use them unless I want to break some law or other".

As you can see a perfectly good way of telling what a public network is already exists. Why add another layer on top of that to complicate things.

In many countries (Australia included) you would be dead wrong. Any network even if open and unprotected requires you have permission from the owners of the network to connect to it otherwise you are in breach of the Telecommunications ACT. Just because someone leaves there front door unlocked does not give you the right to enter.

The correct answer is, if your unsure if it truly public and open then assume it isn't regardless of how crap the admins of the network are.

Re:When will this end? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32482160)

The thing about Wi-fi networks is that there are many publicly available networks out there that allow people to use them. How are we to distinguish if its OK to use some of them but not others if people are too lazy to go through the necessary steps to secure their networks?

Unless you have express permission to use it, don't. It's not difficult. You know that of course, but it's easier justify being an asshole by blaming someone else for being a victim of your lacking morals.

Re:When will this end? (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#32477390)

How about: If I'm in my house and I'm yelling so loudly that I can be heard from the street, I no longer have any expectation of privacy to prevent my neighbor from recording it(perhaps as the basis for a noise complaint).

I can't hold the opposite position too strongly though, as I do find it objectionable to use thermographic cameras as a basis for search warrants, but that's just some people can't tell the difference between a sauna and a grow-op. /has a sauna.

Re:When will this end? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#32477414)

But if you need to use sensitive electronic equipment to even hear it, I don't think you'll have much of a basis for a noise complaint.

How much security is enough to warrant privacy? (1)

gundersd (787946) | more than 4 years ago | (#32478106)

Ah, but what if they had been sniffing "encrypted" packets too? In the hope that one day their computing power would be sufficient to decrypt them. Or if they had been sniffing DECT packets, knowing that the encryption is weak?

What security measures are "good enough" that they convey an expectation of privacy?

Re:How much security is enough to warrant privacy? (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 4 years ago | (#32478246)

Unless you can prove intent to do something like that I would go along with what they say, and that is it was an accident and they remedied the situation.

Re:How much security is enough to warrant privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32481030)

So if you caught me "accidentally" took a bunch of underskirt pictures of girls (including your daughter's) in a mall, you would just let me go if I tell you I don't intend to ever view them and will "remedy" the situation immediately by deleting the pictures? How can you ever "prove" my intent anyway?

Seriously?

Would any of these excuses work too?

- girls should wear pants if they don't want people to peek under their skirts.

- girls were broadcasting the photons reflect off under their skirt out to the public, it's their fault if someone received those photons.

- there are no laws against taking picures in public premises

- it's an accident that I have taken and kept 3 years worth of underskirt pictures! Honest!

Re:How much security is enough to warrant privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32478368)

A wired connection?

Who cares? (1)

GillyGuthrie (1515855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32476602)

*WHOOSH* That's the sound of the importance of users' MAC addresses being publicized flying over my head. Why should anybody be concerned if the RIAA, or Google, or anybody else knows your MAC address?

I fail to see how your NIC's MAC address can be used to extract sensitive or private information. I don't know of any way that it can be cross-referenced or traced. Whenever you are requesting information from a server, doesn't every hop along the way replace the "source MAC address" in the IP packet headers with its own MAC address? The only way, then, for your MAC address to become relevant to outside investigations would be if your default gateway were examined.

Every investigation I have heard of involves IP addresses, not MAC addresses. Hypothetical situation: let's say EvilBob logs into his neighbor's unprotected wireless access point and torrents a few albums. Unfortunately, the RIAA was hosting those songs as bait to catch evil-doers like EvilBob who steal music. The RIAA decides to take action against EvilBob. However, they don't know EvilBob's name. All they know is his neighbor's IP address. They pull a few strings and probably convince EvilBob's neighbor's ISP to release account information such as the name and address under which the Internet service is registered. So the RIAA sends a letter to that address and EvilBob's neighbors scratch their head for awhile, then hopefully end up enabling some security on their access point.

Let's say EvilBob is a part of something more nefarious, like trying to incite riots against government officials. In tihs case, it's not the RIAA who goes to the ISP but the government. The ISP gives relevant information to the feds and they bust down the doors of EvilBob's neighbor's house and confiscate all their computer equipment. Soon they discover that there is nothing illegal on these machines and concur a neighbor was using the unprotected wireless network to perpetrate his crimes. At this point, the AP can be examined and the MAC address of a certain NIC (if it has not been spoofed) can be identified as belonging to the machine that sent/received said illegal material. If they want to find EvilBob, I believe they are giong to have to search the whole city block in search of that MAC address and hope that a) the MAC address they got from the AP was not spoofed and b) EvilBob wasn't parked outside and is 1000 miles away in another country right now, installing botnets in public libraries in Florida.

Why is anybody worried about this issue? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills here!

Re:Who cares? (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 4 years ago | (#32477066)

IPv6 - mac address is part of your IPv6 address and uniqe to every Mac on the planet (supposedly).

Re:Who cares? (1)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 4 years ago | (#32477336)

IPV6 is still an *IP* address, not the Media Access Control address [wikipedia.org] , the hardware address for your NIC. That said, while a MAC address *is* theoretically unique to a NIC, it can easily be spoofed. However dont confuse it with IPV6

Re:Who cares? (1)

Leebert (1694) | more than 4 years ago | (#32478740)

IPv6 - mac address is part of your IPv6 address and uniqe to every Mac on the planet

That's just one convention, and certainly not a requirement. Take a look at the privacy extensions for stateless autoconfiguration RFC, for example, which helps to mitigate exactly this vulnerability.

Pure Greed (1, Troll)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 4 years ago | (#32476626)

Everyone wants a piece of Google's cash pie.

Rupert Murdoch thinks that Google should pay him for sending business his way, and the governments of the wold want to find some vague wrongdoing to levy a big fine over.

If you have been in a cave for the past few years, what Google is doing is collecting data to improve their Google Maps functionality. They took pictures to add "street view" so that you can see what the place you are trying to find actually looks like. They logged SSIDs so that your wifi device can be used as an alternative to a GPS device for automatically pinpointing your location on a map.

None of what they have done would be illegal for you or I to do on our own. But since they are a big, rich, company and can afford to take more pictures in more places than we as individuals can do on our own it becomes "a matter of privacy".

Re:Pure Greed (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#32476706)

Everyone wants a piece of Google's cash pie.

It happens on all levels when you become successful. Both as a business and personally.

Re:Pure Greed (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#32476714)

I wish Rupert would go swimming in shark infested waters. Maybe Green Peace will do some chumming nearby. Wait - no - Green Peace loves nature, they wouldn't poison any unsuspecting sharks. I should contact Anon with this idea then? They wouldn't mind a few poisoned sharks, I would think.

Re:Pure Greed (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32478440)

It's not greed...unfortunately. It's because the minister in charge of communication is a petulant 5 year old. He has a wooley idea that filtering all internet traffic by using a black list system would be the best way to stop kiddie porn. Unfortunately he hasn't seemed to answer the detailed questions, of how exactly this is going to help.
Anyway google may have mentioned that his actions were at odds with free speech (particularly since we dont get to see what is on the black list) and that Australia would be no better than China or Iran. So the minister is now painting Google as the devil, responsible for all wrongs on the internet while he is the arc angle gabriel (yes he is a fundamental catholic). Cant really fault his logic, hey mommy they said bad things about me.....waaa

They are giving the data to European Goverments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32476632)

The NYTimes has an article about this [nytimes.com] stating that Google has surrendered the information collected to the governments of Germany, Spain, and France.

Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32476736)

Shit, with all the evil stuff other corporations regularly get away with, why the hell are we talking about Google harvesting publicly broadcast information in a well known format, not for the purpose of causing harm, and not putting anyone at risk of harm? Furthermore, it sounds like they were planning to put it to use providing a service that I, and many others, would find useful.

Mod me down but... (0, Troll)

cjjjer (530715) | more than 4 years ago | (#32476818)

If Microsoft did the same thing, everyone who is saying "big deal" would be all over them like white on rice. In my eyes Google is no different than Microsoft, it's just they have a better PR department and it is working wonders for them right now, until people actually start questioning how and why they do things.

Re:Mod me down but... (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 4 years ago | (#32477000)

Personally I don't give a shit one way or the other. MS or Google. If the info you have in public, is being broadcast in public, that's your own responsibility. Much like info in the phonebook, you can opt out of that. And other things, there is this thing at least in most western countries called "public/semi-public access" which applies to crossing off the sidewalk onto your property. Personally the second that you start to broadcast off private/semi-private property, it's your own problem.

Re:Mod me down but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32482244)

The problem is not that this info is being broadcast in public, but that the definition of "in public" has, in just the past decade or two, has changed from "the people in your immediate vicinity, and maybe a couple of friends they talk to, for as long as their memories recall" to "recorded, indexed, searchable, and readily accessible to anyone in the world for eternity".

The bigger problem is that this isn't your neighbour or some self righteous wardriver doing this, but Google, a company that already has your IP address, MAC address, street address, the contents of your email, your search history, a photo of your house, possibly your car's number plate or your face,...
Google won't make money knowing your router's SSID and your geographic location. They make money by tying it with the myriad of other information they already have on you.

It's outsourced 1984, and you're defending it. If this was the government, I bet you'd be outraged. And what if it wasn't recording radio waves, but light waves ie video recording? Is that still "ok cos it's in public"? Why, if you didn't like it, you could just stop broadcast photons.

Re:Mod me down but... (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 4 years ago | (#32477010)

They also don't try to force their products down your throat. They also seem to care much more about their users overall, and don't treat them as a cash cow.

Re:Mod me down but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32478380)

Google Buzz says hi.

Re:Mod me down but... (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 4 years ago | (#32477086)

You're wrong. I'm one of the people saying "big deal." And as much as I despise Microsoft and it's business practices, I'd have a hard time coming up with an issue to bring them to task over this.

How is this "not an authorized use"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32476958)

How is logging open Wi-Fi APs "not an authorized use"?

Re:How is this "not an authorized use"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32477188)

I did not authorize them to log mine.

In fact, if I were in Australia I would be tempted to sue Microsoft, Apple, and Canonical for listing my SSID in their wifi applets. I did not give them permission to show it. They should modify their systems not to show mine.

No doubt Stephen Conroy is involved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32477266)

No doubt Senator Stephen Conroy who is behind the Australian internet censorship probably had some words to the AFP after google called him out for being a douchebag.

Re:No doubt Stephen Conroy is involved (1)

ekhben (628371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32479178)

Of course he did. He referred the matter to the AFP. The investigation is at his request.

I worry about the precedent that this case may set, if the sharks are allowed to smell blood in the water. If it's illegal to receive unencrypted broadcast packets on a public spectrum, what does that say about common devices which bind to the first available open network?

Hopefully sense will prevail in the courts.

Conroy is not a canny enough politician to be taking on Google's public affairs team, so hopefully prodding the giant will cause him sufficient hell that at the very least he loses his seat; I'd prefer something terrible enough that he's asked to resign, since that'll put him out of politics for good.

Dear Senator Conroy (1)

geekpowa (916089) | more than 4 years ago | (#32477624)

Do you even understand your portfolio? Do your staff understand it?

As a respected ICT professional let me provide you some feedback. Nothing you have done in your tenure as has materially improved our nation. In fact you are making Australia the laughing stock of of the ICT profession world wide.

I understand that in this instance that the opposition ministers are also acting naively for cheap political gain, yet as the portfolio holder, I would expect you to provide some leadership and common sense.

Re:Dear Senator Conroy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32479028)

could not have said it better my self

Ozzies broader manifesto (1)

stimpleton (732392) | more than 4 years ago | (#32477960)

Its not *just* about doing the so called right thing and standing up to Google. Remember Oz is not far from the Great Firewall of China. Left for Dead 2 is censored different to the rest of the 1st World(outside of the German Sensitivities of violent games), Linden Labs have their own Second Life servers in OZ in readiness that their game is deemed "Offensive" by the govt and they can manage content, and was home to the WikiLeaks being blacklisted on the OZ Great Firewall because they displeased the Administration. The Oz internet filter is extremely harsh and filters not just the usuall, but also gambling, political blogs, and conventional porn. Google preaches freedom and an open internet. Google has criticised the Australian Govt for their polices. They now are paying the price for talking in public about one of the most conservative western govts...possibly even by US standards.

It's about scale (1)

IchBinEinPenguin (589252) | more than 4 years ago | (#32478046)

Someone taking a snapshot of me while I walk down the street is perfectly legal and fine.
Someone following me with a camera is creepy and possibly illegal.
Someone following me with a disguised camera, talking pictures while pretending to do something else?

It's all a matter of scale.

Accidentally(?) recording a few snippets of open WiFi isn't much of a problem.
Doing it globally is.

Re:It's about scale (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#32478178)

Someone taking a snapshot of me while I walk down the street is perfectly legal and fine.

Until you decide you don't like it, then you want another law.

Someone following me with a camera is creepy and possibly illegal.

Ohhh, it's creepy, better make it illegal. That's the problem with the world today.

Someone following me with a disguised camera, talking pictures while pretending to do something else?

Could be a private detective and make his living that way. You're in public, people can see you, get over it.

Re:It's about scale (1)

zuperduperman (1206922) | more than 4 years ago | (#32478882)

I find it interesting that you dismiss individual rights and enshrine those of the collective.

Is it ok for me to kill one person but if I kill a lot it's a problem?

I Can't Sympathise With Google This Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32478484)

As much as I cringe every time Stephen Conroy opens his mouth, and especially at his recent rants about Google and Facebook, I think Google is at fault here and should be made to account for their actions. Google operates physically in jurisdictions other than the US and as a business they must comply to the local laws (think BP spilling oil into the Gulf of Mexico..)

The _Australian_ Telecommunications (Interception) Act doesn't make a distinction between encrypted and unencrypted traffic, and just last year provisions were added specifically to enhance protection of private networks. Given that Google specifically set out to detect wifi access points it was their responsibility to ensure that they acted within _Australian_ law within Australia. If there is the suspicion that they have failed to do so (insufficient controls and accidental action is not a valid defence - see BP) it is proper that they should be treated like any other company under the law and investigated.

Nothing better to do. (0, Troll)

delysid-x (18948) | more than 4 years ago | (#32479474)

Australian cops have obviously solved all the real crimes... No body gets raped or robbed there anymore. and now they need to police the "virtual" criminals.

Conroy on Google and Filter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32479764)

You can hear an interview with Conroy today regarding Google WiFi scanning and Filter.

He gets grilled (a bit) about whether the Australian Federal Police investigating the WiFi thing is just payback for Google being vocal about the proposed internet filter.

Classic pot meet kettle quote on Google vehicles

"collecting data ah, and, been collecting information from WiFis that aren't protected, and so conceivably [...] if you didn't have the password protection... and you were typing, er, you're doing your online banking, passing personal information in a transaction, ah, as they drove past, they could have captured that"

As opposed to totally, definitely capturing your personal information via a filter???
(std geek : let alone him not knowing about SSL or whatever)

From about 23 minutes into the mp3 available here http://blogs.abc.net.au/victoria/2010/06/train-passengers-pelted-with-rocks-afp-google-investigation-nothing-to-do-with-filter-fight-conroy.html?site=melbourne&program=melbourne_mornings [abc.net.au]

I hope google defends this vigorously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32481942)

Kismet (the tool google was using), generally records the same information your laptop picks up when you walk through the street looking for someplace to log on.(Actually it records a little bit more; for instance, it detects people with laptops who are looking for those networks too ;-) )

This is information that is intentionally publically broadcast by wireless access points, as part of how they work. If you have a wireless access point, you have to understand that it is not some magic box. You have to realize it will be publically detected by others, and you should take responsibility to minimise interference to others too.

What google was doing is done by people every day. They were just doing it on a google scale.

I hope that the outcome of this is that people become more publically educated about the "magic boxes" in their homes; not that google gets prosecuted for cataloging their ignorance.

Wifi maps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32482064)

It's too bad google has to destroy or hand over their data, else they could have been making interesting maps like these:
http://depts.washington.edu/wifimap/maps.html

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...