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Google Broke the Law, Say South Korean Police

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the tough-standards dept.

Google 203

bonch writes "South Korean police say Google was in violation of Internet privacy laws when its Street View service archived private information in more than 30 countries, including email and text messages. The country's Cyber Terror Response Center broke the encryption on hard drives raided from Google last August and confirmed that private information had been gathered, violating South Korea's telecommunications laws. Police are seeking the original author of the program, though they say it is likely to be a US citizen. Google said it stopped collecting the information as soon as it realized what was happening. 40 states in the US are demanding access to the information gathered by the mapping service in order to determine what was archived, which Google refused to hand over. 'We have been cooperating with the Korean Communications Commission and the police, and will continue to do so,' said a Google Korea spokesperson."

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203 comments

I wonder who they forgot to bribe? (3, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#34802718)

This isn't a defense of Google. It just seems that corporations are never called to task for deplorable behavior unless they forgot to grease the right wheels.

Re:I wonder who they forgot to bribe? (2)

intellitech (1912116) | more than 3 years ago | (#34802762)

Although Google is large, and does stand to get some bad publicity from this whole situation, it's not fair to lump them in with the same group of corporations responsible for bribing congressmen over automative safety, health problems related to tobacco, or nuclear power plant contamination.

Re:I wonder who they forgot to bribe? (3, Insightful)

lexidation (1825996) | more than 3 years ago | (#34802796)

Where exactly does the dividing line between "spends millions on lobbying and campaign contributions" and "bribes politicians outright" get drawn? I don't mean this as a rhetorical question. It seems to me there's something broken in the system, something which will never get fixed because it underwrites the ambitions of the people in power.

Re:I wonder who they forgot to bribe? (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34802926)

who cares about the line, erase the line [blogspot.com].

Re:I wonder who they forgot to bribe? (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34802992)

The downfall of the Athenian Empire alone proves that pure democracy (as you propose in your letter) is a bad idea.

Pure democracy can also be called "tyranny of the majority" as the minority voice is drowned-out. Or worse: Crushed. Just ask the Americans that were imprisoned during World War 2, simply because the majority decided they did not like the minority who looked different (i.e. asian). The purpose of a Republic is to have a Supreme Law that protects the minority from such abuses, and which no one, ideally, can remove by a simple 51% vote. The Law of Individual Rights reigns supreme even above the government or its representatives, and can not be revoked.

It isn't a perfect system, but it's certainly much better than a Democracy. Socrates was killed with a simply 51% vote. No trial; no lawyers; nothing to protect his right to speak his mind. The Demos killed him because they didn't like him. That's what a democracy gives you.

Re:I wonder who they forgot to bribe? (-1, Flamebait)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803006)

Harsh, though, I suppose you find it easier to just let government corruption continue unabated.

Socrates never had the tools available to society today. Maybe it's time to re-think the details of what a republic truly is.

Re:I wonder who they forgot to bribe? (4, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803094)

>>>I suppose you find it easier to just let government corruption continue unabated.

Strawman argument. I never said that, but I'd still rather have the protections given to me by the current Law of the Republic (rights to free speech, trial, privacy, etc) then to have a Democracy where my voice would be drowned-out by a 51% majority of uneducated boobs that would lock me up simply because I'm gay. Or black. Or asian. Or atheist. Or anti-War on Terror. Or whatever.

As for the problems we face today, most would disappear if we followed the 9th and 10th Amendments instead of ignoring them. No more bailouts of AIG, or forced purchasing of hospital insurance I don't want, or war on (some) drugs, or giving "stimulus money" to General Motors, and so on. Congress is forbidden, by the tenth, to do those things.

Re:I wonder who they forgot to bribe? (5, Insightful)

beerbear (1289124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803146)

Right now your voice is being drowned-out by a minority with money.

Re:I wonder who they forgot to bribe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34803494)

Strawman argument.

Actually it was a false dichotomy. Still not a legitimate argument, of course.

Re:I wonder who they forgot to bribe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34803358)

Harsh, though, I suppose you find it easier to just let government corruption continue unabated.

Good one! When someone objects to one of my ideas I also find it quite useful to trot out some false dichotomy. It works quite well.

Re:I wonder who they forgot to bribe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34803138)

Yes "Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner", but I wouldn't say the downfall of any empire was an argument against it. It seems that's just what most societies do - they get big and collapse - and rather than seeing that as a negative I just see it as the natural order of things.

No one society has ever had everything sorted out, so after a while some of the people in it will bring it down from the inside saying that what's wrong in that society needs to be fixed, and the society will change or collapse, and those things get fixed but a load of other things will be wrong. And the cycle starts again.

Sometimes you'll look at a society and think they more or less got it right, but there will always have been people who absolutely hated what they saw as wrong with it.

Re:I wonder who they forgot to bribe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34803162)

You started your tirade by discussing "pure democracy" and then:

That's what a democracy gives you.

...trying to play with retorics?

Re:I wonder who they forgot to bribe? (1)

Hungus (585181) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803352)

Socrates was found guilty with a 56% vote (280 to 220) not 51% as you have claimed. Further, his death was his own choice. He was given the option of death or exile and he chose to kill himself.

You really need to start getting your historical facts straight and stop twisting them so.

Re:I wonder who they forgot to bribe? (1)

Lazareth (1756336) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803410)

Socrates is a really bad example in this case. Yes, there was a vote. There was also a trial and he did speak his mind. I'm not going to delve into the details of the whole trial and how Socrates acted, but while we, with todays values, may think he was unfairly handled, he very much caused his death sentence himself.

Re:I wonder who they forgot to bribe? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803552)

The downfall of the Athenian Empire alone proves that pure democracy (as you propose in your letter) is a bad idea.

Uh, no. Athens was a republic or oligarchy depending on who you talked to, NOT a pure democracy. In order to have a vote you had to be a white male landowner. Giving the vote to the ostensibly most enlightenedly self-interested people didn't work there any more than it's working now (where only the corporations truly have a vote, especially Big Media, who decides which candidates the public will take seriously.)

Re:I wonder who they forgot to bribe? (2)

Jophish (1489121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803098)

I have been considering this problem for some time now, if only for British politics. One slight problem is that people are dumb. Senators and MPs act not only as a geographical proxy, but as a mediator for stupidity. Take for example the MMR vaccine scare. After this event, the majority of the public were outright scared of this vaccine. It was the duty of the politicians to educate themselves on this issue, and think about things rationally. In addition, educating oneself on a matter takes time. Most people will not be able to find enough time to learn about these issues. This could be partially solved by a few methods. Firstly, only a randomly selected subset of people could be permitted to vote on each issue. This would give people the opportunity to learn about the topic at hand, and make a rational informed decision. Still, people can be swayed by either effects, and most people are very capable of making bad decisions, even if they know all of the information. This could be solved by having people take a "Voting Exam". In the same way that a person driving a car, is likely to do harm if they are not able to control the vehicle, so could a person voting irrationally do harm. I suppose that the voting exam would consist of testing the subject's critical thinking skills and their ability to comprehend and utilize new information.

Re:I wonder who they forgot to bribe? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803312)

>>>"Voting Exam"

We had these in the US (mostly in the Eastern member states). They lasted about fifty years until the Supreme Court declared them illegal and nulled them.

Re:I wonder who they forgot to bribe? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34802956)

"Corporations shall not donate money to candidates," seems like a simple enough law. And already-existing laws only allow $2000 per person to be donated, in order to avoid undue influence by any one man. So I don't know why this hasn't been fixed, unless it's because the politicians like to keep the current corrupt system.

They should also revoke those laws that forbid any other party from being on the ballot except Republican and Democrat. Now that we have electronic ballots, there's no reason why we can't list 5-to-10 parties on each one, and let the people decide.

Re:I wonder who they forgot to bribe? (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803188)

They should also revoke those laws that forbid any other party from being on the ballot except Republican and Democrat. Now that we have electronic ballots, there's no reason why we can't list 5-to-10 parties on each one, and let the people decide.

Where do we have laws like this?

I've lived in nine different states, and none of them restricted the ballots to Republican and Democrat.

Re:I wonder who they forgot to bribe? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34803278)

They don't explicitly restrict the ballots to R and D, but most states have laws making it very difficult for third party politicians to get on the ballot. For instance, they will require an obscene number of signatures for parties that did not get a certain percentage of the vote in the previous election. In Pennsylvania, the courts routinely kick third parties off the ballot for "fraudulent signatures." A few years back Nader got kicked off the ballot and *fined* for a few dozen fraudulent signatures... out of thousands. He had three times the legally required number. It didn't matter that he definitely had the required amount of valid signatures. It didn't matter that his opponent only showed a handful were fraudulent. It didn't matter that there is no way to check that every signature out of thousands is legit. He was kicked off and fined. Not that I'm a fan of Nader, but the court really went out of its way to send a message to third parties: don't even try.

Re:I wonder who they forgot to bribe? (3, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803350)

>>>ballots to Republican and Democrat.

In my state if you are a third party, like Libertarian or Communist or Constitutionalist or Green, you must either win 10% of the previous vote or collect signatures from 5% of the population. Since the standard is set so high, the ballot is effectively banned to anybody but the R and D parties. It's a way for them to maintain their control.

Ironically if the R or D parties don't meet these standards (don't get 10% of the vote, or 5% of signatures), it doesn't matter. They are automatically added.

Re:I wonder who they forgot to bribe? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803424)

In my state if you are a third party, like Libertarian or Communist or Constitutionalist or Green, you must either win 10% of the previous vote or collect signatures from 5% of the population.

Which state is that? I'd like to know so I can avoid ever moving there.

Re:I wonder who they forgot to bribe? (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803150)

IMHO this all boils down to various Governments wanting to maintain their MONOPOLY on the right to spy. Take the example of Britain where Google got in trouble because their CameraCar caught somebody's wash hanging outside. First off Google did nothing wrong - if you have your undies in view of the front street, then you're just plain stupid. Second you have no right to forbid Google or Me or anybody else from photographing it.

But the UK government decided otherwise, ordered google to erase the undies image, and fined them. Meanwhile that same UK government has cameras installed on every fucking street that are capturing everything from Undies hanging in front yards to... well, fucking.

But that's okay. It's okay for the Government to maintain its Monopoly to spy on us.
Google and other private photographers get slapped down; but the government invades our privacy every day.

Re:I wonder who they forgot to bribe? (1)

Tom (822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803156)

Where exactly does the dividing line between "spends millions on lobbying and campaign contributions" and "bribes politicians outright" get drawn?

Which line?

Campaign contributions by corporations are legalized bribing, nothing else. It is a clear violation of the basic principles of democracy that entities that have no votes can leverage influence on the political process.

Re:I wonder who they forgot to bribe? (1)

Tom (822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803140)

Every now and then, they are brought to justice even though they did.

It's not that it used to be any better. Power, influence and money have always managed to put themselves above the law, I doubt you'll find a period in human history where this wasn't so, or where common folks didn't dream of better times when it would not.

Re:I wonder who they forgot to bribe? (0)

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Cooperating? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34802728)

The country's Cyber Terror Response Center broke the encryption on hard drives raided from Google last August and confirmed that private information had been gathered, violating South Korea's telecommunications laws.

[..]

"We have been cooperating with the Korean Communications Commission and the police, and will continue to do so,' said a Google Korea spokesperson."

So if Google is cooperating with the police, why did they have to break the hard drive encryption?

anyone who believes Google did this by accident (0)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34802730)

Anyone who believes Google did this by accident is a fucking idiot. Of course, their motivation may not have been to actually use this data, but to test government response to data collection on such a grand scale and open the dialogue for reduced privacy rights.

Let us ignore what Google says and ignore what involved governments say, instead watching what each group is actually doing in terms of respecting privacy and other privileges to data.

Also, to occupatio the inevitable: no, you don't have a right to record it on a grand scale just because you can eavesdrop it. Not until I can use my infrared camera and highly sensitive microphone to upload video of your daughter on the toilet.

Re:anyone who believes Google did this by accident (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34802832)

Hi. I'm a software engineer. A few months ago, I dumped a few million social security numbers to a log file. It sure is a good thing I turned off that logging before I switched projects.... Of course, it was turned on for five days until that happened, and nobody realized that SSNs were part of that log.

Life with data is difficult. Fields of "arbitrary data" are logged, sometimes publicly. There's nothing any reasonable person or company can do to stop it. The best they can hope for is that they've hired ethical people who will respect the limits of what they should and should not see.

s/\d{3}-\d{2}-\d{4}/SSN-SS-NSSN/g

Re:anyone who believes Google did this by accident (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34802986)

Hi, can you confirm that you reported your mistake to your employers and that your employers reported their mistake to anyone affected by your action?

I'm sure you'll come round with "but all the logs and their backups and so on were wiped!" - but since you made the mistake of logging the information in the first place, how can I trust that you didn't also make a mistake when wiping?

Re:anyone who believes Google did this by accident (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34803194)

Of course he didn't. See TFA and your original retarded comment for the reason why.

Re:anyone who believes Google did this by accident (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34802846)

You are a fucking idiot for thinking they'd capture WLAN traffic to gather private data. Hello? Someone left up there? It's frickin google. They can gather more private data from their servers in a second then all google streetcars could in a decade.....

Accidentally capturing WLAN traffic while charting APs sounds like a very reasonable explanation. Kismet in default settings anyone? Why make up some great conspiracy when the truth is so much more probable?

Re:anyone who believes Google did this by accident (0)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34802976)

Are you paying attention? I as much as stated that they might not have done it to gather private data but to stimulate debate on privacy issues.

Accidentally capturing WLAN traffic while charting APs sounds like a very reasonable explanation. Kismet in default settings anyone?

Because of your ego, you're assuming Google project leaders are not much brighter than you. I tend to assume that all people high up in large organisations (government or otherwise) are brighter than me: if it's not obvious why they've done something, it's because I'm not smart enough to have figured out why yet. Geeks tend to be so full of themselves that they assume stupidity rather than subtle intent for any human action they can't explain, but I pride myself in having grown out of the "ppl r just dumb (altho im quite smart)" mindset.

To assert that so much data is useless and must have been recorded accidentally is to reach cult-like levels of apology when referring to the biggest data miner in history.

Even if you don't see any value today in information on how people use wireless networks (you know, for targeted ad systems and all that jazz), the data might be useful at a later date, so why not gather it?

Re:anyone who believes Google did this by accident (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803228)

Geeks tend to be so full of themselves that they assume stupidity rather than subtle intent for any human action they can't explain, but I pride myself in having grown out of the "ppl r just dumb (altho im quite smart)" mindset.

Ironic then that you are the one coming across as being so full of himself, claiming some insight into subtle intent that us poor idiots can't divine. You seem transfixed on "stupidity". I think it makes more sense to consider fallibility as an inherently human trait, present no matter how "high up" people may be in a "large organisation".

To assert that so much data is useless and must have been recorded accidentally is to reach cult-like levels of apology when referring to the biggest data miner in history.

I humbly suggest that to assert the data must have been recorded intentionally requires an equally uncritical manner of thought.

A single command line option would have spared Google this embarrassment. It wasn't set and went undetected, probably because more attention was put into ensuring that is was capturing the needed information rather than checking it wasn't capturing data they weren't looking at anyway. The reality is that setting a single command line option would have avoided Google collecting the additional data, however not settin

Re:anyone who believes Google did this by accident (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803686)

Ironic then that you are the one coming across as being so full of himself, claiming some insight into subtle intent that us poor idiots can't divine.

You are asserting that it must be Google's stupidity. I am suggesting that it's better to be humble about your own abilities (e.g. to discern intent) while not assuming others are stupid.

I don't know precisely why Google did it, but I think it is the height of egomania to accuse them of gross negligence.

I think it makes more sense to consider fallibility as an inherently human trait, present no matter how "high up" people may be in a "large organisation".

This isn't an oversight of something subtle or complex corporate machinery repressing glorious logic. This is the professional fencer running around the streets waving his foil around and expressing shock that he injured random passers by.

Re:anyone who believes Google did this by accident (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34803242)

Because you can tell so much more about a person from 64 bytes of data pulled from a random IP packet than you can from their entire search, browsing and email history.

Re:anyone who believes Google did this by accident (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803638)

Well, yes, you can find out some of what people across the world are doing with their own wireless networks, which is not the same as finding out what they're doing on the Internet while they use Google services or services supported by Google.

Re:anyone who believes Google did this by accident (1)

gravos (912628) | more than 3 years ago | (#34802848)

Personally I am not a huge fan of gargantuan multinational corporations, so if Google loses billions over this it wouldn't really bother me. But judging from the thoughts of people I know who actually work at Google (as opposed to someone whose handle is FuckingNickName), it's unlikely that the engineer who wrote the code was intentionally violating any laws. Even if he meant to collect the data, he probably didn't realize the implications of doing so.

Re:anyone who believes Google did this by accident (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34802960)

so if Google loses billions over this it wouldn't really bother me.

Oh but it might. I'm sure it's arguable by people in power that Google has become too big to fail. The economic prosperity of Google accounts for a lot of jobs that are still left this side of the Pacific. If these "slip ups" continue, it will get to a point that they deviate from their mission and end up like every other corporation before them.

I thought they were supposed to be better than that?

Re:anyone who believes Google did this by accident (1)

Burnhard (1031106) | more than 3 years ago | (#34802854)

Yes, I was just thinking that when reading the headline. I was trying to work out how you capture and archive data like this "by accident".

Re:anyone who believes Google did this by accident (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803026)

It's not particularly hard to work out. They were interested in a couple of pieces of information from Wifi (basically SSID and MAC information) but it's not as if they can sniff for only those bits of info. Rather they are going to receive whole packets of information. Their mistake was in not immediately filtering out the parts they weren't interested in prior to writing it to disk. Google have provided fuller explanations [blogspot.com] of what happened.

Re:anyone who believes Google did this by accident (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803070)

Google have provided fuller explanations [blogspot.com] of what happened.

Is that an independent audit by someone with a recognised reputation, or the accused party giving its side of the story and your requiring us to beg the question?

Re:anyone who believes Google did this by accident (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 3 years ago | (#34802910)

Being called an idiot by someone who is obviously an idiot doesn't hurt that much.

Re:anyone who believes Google did this by accident (2)

Cyberllama (113628) | more than 3 years ago | (#34802994)

It was a pretty obvious accident, if you understood the technical explanation of what happened. The problem is, if you don't, it sounds like something that couldn't possibly be an accident. The crux of the matter is this:

They were gathering data on purpose. This was NOT the data they were trying to gather. They were trying to gather WiFi SSIDs for geolocation purposes. Unfortunately, the code was simply sloppy. It needed the first X bytes of the packet (which contain the SSID and ended up getting the first X+64. In other words, they weren't even capturing *entire* Payloads of packets -- only fragments of payloads. The data they were trying to gather is perfectly fair game and not at all a privacy issue. All devices do this to some extent, its how they find out what networks are around you and whether or not they're encrypted. You can't simply rely on the broadcast packets for that purpose.

If this was an accident, it was the result of the programmer doing a half-assed job. If it wasn't, however, then the programmer did a completely incompetent half-assed job. If he was *trying* to get this data, then he did it in probably the stupidest possible manner. The only logical conclusion to draw is that it was genuinely an accident.

Re:anyone who believes Google did this by accident (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803016)

I'm sorry, what? If I was trying to record SSIDs, I'd read the packet containing the SSID then extract and log the SSID. If I was trying to record the first X+64 bytes then I'd record the first X+64 bytes.

And if I wasn't Google and couldn't afford to employ a programmer with any training or experience whatever, who for whatever reason confused himself to the point that "log the SSID" is interpreted as "log the first n bytes of the packet", it'd've been caught in code review.

And if it wasn't caught in code review, it'd've been caught after the first careful manual review of data following the first test run.

And if it wasn't caught then, it'd've been caught at the first review of real data collection.

You have to go out of your way in both ignoring spec and ignoring any sort of proper coding or testing practice in order for this to have happened.

Re:anyone who believes Google did this by accident (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803338)

That only holds if avoiding capturing the data frame was part of the spec.

If I was trying to record SSIDs, I'd read the packet containing the SSID then extract and log the SSID. If I was trying to record the first X+64 bytes then I'd record the first X+64 bytes.

If you were writing the code from scratch for a single purpose maybe. If you were leveraging existing code that may, incidentally to your requirements, do other things you may not worry about them too much as long as it achieves, at minimum, what you require.

The software used here was configurable as to whether it logs the data frame (defaulting to capture). If avoiding capturing the data frame wasn't specifically part of the spec for the deployment then:
a) The programmer may not have considered turning it off.
b) Any review may not have considered it an issue.


Uncaught bugs happen during software development and deployment all the time and the issue here wasn't one which affected the stated purpose of the program. As such it's hardly unimaginable that it was a simple oversight.

Re:anyone who believes Google did this by accident (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803620)

The software used here was configurable as to whether it logs the data frame (defaulting to capture).

So the kid just out of vocational college might forget to review a configuration file when running some software on his home laptop. The biggest data miner in the world with a challenging barrier to employment and multiple code reviews will not make this sort of oversight.

Uncaught bugs happen during software development and deployment all the time

One single review of the logged data would have caught this. Since it would be absurd to assume that Google didn't perform any reviews of logged data (even summary information on amount logged) during the exercise, we must assume that it was intentional.

Give it up. Even the smallest accountant would know to audit his processes and his records when performing any data collection. The difference between that accountant and Google is that we know Google has and employs the resources to continuously and carefully analyse personal data.

Re:anyone who believes Google did this by accident (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803254)

"technical explanation of what happened" is they fixed all their fleet with sensitive wifi collection systems, rolled them out and sucked up all the data they could.
"geolocation purposes" was a nice motive, yes they may have been 'simply sloppy", but they did know it was "a privacy issue".
Google just hoped laws would bend in some digital wifi gold rush and google would have a full set of early, ad/wealth maps of wifi geolocation in one early easy, pass.
A "half-assed job" would be a few cars/vans in some cities, this was much more global and the "project leaders" well above their "programmers" signed off on it.
The rest was early PR spin to stop the story, then more PR to make it pass.
Recall http://googlepolicyeurope.blogspot.com/2010/04/data-collected-by-google-cars.html [blogspot.com]
"Is it, as the German DPA states, illegal to collect WiFi network information?
We do not believe it is illegal--this is all publicly broadcast information which is accessible to anyone with a WiFi-enabled device."
"Genuinely an accident" would be a van, a city, a country... and code review/legal would have picked it up.
It was then "mistakenly collecting samples of payload data from open (i.e. non-password-protected)"..

Re:anyone who believes Google did this by accident (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803008)

>>>you don't have a right to record it on a grand scale just because you can eavesdrop it.

Sorry bud but if your daughter strolls across your front yard completely nude or almost-nude bikini, first I will laugh, then I will record it. You don't have a right to privacy when your broadcasting your business within sight of my eyes or ears. As has been said many times, you don't have a right to free speech on a private website or forum. Neither do you have a right to privacy when dealing with a private videographer camming a public street.

If you happen to bikini sunbathing in your front yard when the Google van drives by, and it later gets uploaded to their mapsite, well tough shit. Maybe you shouldn't be displaying yourself to all the world. Or better yet: Accept the fact that whatever you do in public, IS public. To everyone.

Re:anyone who believes Google did this by accident (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803040)

And that's a strawman. We're discussing whether (radio, sound) waves which can be picked up with suitably advanced tech should be recorded, not whether the behaviour of my eyes can be replicated.

For example, am I allowed to sit outside your house with an infrared camera and sensitive microphone to capture and broadcast your daughter masturbating in the shower?

Re:anyone who believes Google did this by accident (2)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803118)

>>>And that's a strawman.

No it isn't. YOU'RE the guy who brought-up the recording of somebody's daughter ("upload video of your daughter on the toilet"), and I responded to that by saying, IF she's doing it in the front yard then yes a guy with a camera has every right to record it. There is no expectation of privacy in a public view.

Now INSIDE your house, then yes said "daughter" has a right to privacy. And I addressed that in a separate post: "A reasonable limit might be to disallow recording of any sound (or sight) that is not detectable by human ears/eyes."

Re:anyone who believes Google did this by accident (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803582)

"On the toilet" is a British English version of "in the bathroom". I could have offered "in the loo", "on the bog", "dropping the kids off at the station", etc. In the 21st century, that means inside your house. And if Google can collect something leaking from your house around 100mm then I can record leaks of leaks between 1 and 350um.

But I'm glad we agree that any waves not detectable by human ears/eyes should not be recorded without permission.

Who cares about Streetview data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34802732)

Tell me more about "broke the encryption on hard drives raided from Google"! You can't drop a bomb like that and then continue talking about random email and text messages like that is the important bit.

The South Korean Government is no fan of Google's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34802736)

It's no secret that the South Korean government isn't overly fond of Google - the company has shown reluctance in cooperating with that country's repressive internet laws (possibly the worst among democratic countries). For example, large websites in Korea are required to make users post under their real name (verified by their national ID number). Rather than be complicit in this, Google chose to block posts to YouTube from Korea (while encouraging those users to change their country preference to somewhere else, thus evading the block): http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_international/349076.html

Re:The South Korean Government is no fan of Google (3, Informative)

John Saffran (1763678) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803114)

The real-name laws in korea were created for two reasons:

1. Serious instances of unfounded slandering against various people, especially celebrities.but not restricted to them. The aim is to encourage people to behave responsibly on the internet by tieing what they post or upload back to the individual, beyond that the SK government doesn't give a rat's arse what you do online or which sites you go to.

Case in point being, to continue with your example, that Google (or more specifically Youtube) was required either to have a system to point back to the real-person or alternatively restrict the ability to post or upload potentially slanderous material. Google chose the latter and it's worthy of note that people can do everything else, eg. view videos.

Basically it's the side effect of having the highest rate of internet participation in the world .. you get all sorts of people just like normal society, including those who enjoy malicious rumour mongering and think they can engage in that behind the privacy of the internet. Ironically in a large proportion of cases it turns out the posters were immature school kids (including primary schoolers) being just that .. immature.


2. Many government functions that in real-life require authentication are fully online. This is probably beyond the experience of most people on slashdot, but you can do all sorts of personal activities online (eg. taxation, etc) and by definition you can't take people at their word when talking about those. Therefore real-name identification is required there also, particularly as there's rampant attempts at ID theft from china for various reasons.

Ironically your post is a perfect example of scenario 1, ie. malicious slandering by people hiding behind internet anonymity, in the manner in which you deliberately twist the SK's request and google's actions with unsubstantiated additions like:

- It's no secret that the South Korean government isn't overly fond of Google

Hardly, the government has only required that google comply with the laws that were created to address the previously listed comments. Beyond that Google has been free to operate as it sees fit .. calling that repressive is ridiculous, the government doesn't track people's activities nor are companies required to do anything beyond enabling the tracking down of people for legal purposes, eg. lawsuits for slander.

We're not talking about china and it's so-called golden shield (or shower to be more accurate).


- Google chose to block posts to YouTube from Korea

No, google chose to remove the functionality to post without an account liked to a real person. To quote from the article:

YouTube has decided to restrict its video upload and comment functions in South Korea.” It also stated, “Because there is no upload function, users won’t be required to confirm their identification.”

Note that viewing videos is not restricted at all and uploads/comments to sites that are linked to a real-person are unrestricted beyond the uploader being aware that they should be sociable in their behaviour.

I wouldn't be surprised if Google simply didn't feel it cost effective to create complex functionality that would be country specific (with all the possibilities that different countries would then start asking for their own items) so it was easier to simply remove rather than add.

- while encouraging those users to change their country preference to somewhere else

Where exactly did they say that?



It's fair to say that your post is a perfect example of what the law is designed to address, slanderers hiding behind anonymity to post all sorts of lies and half-truths. We'd all like to think that this type of people don't exist, but unfortunately some people only feel better by putting others down, one only has to look at Youtube comments unfortunately.

This type of crap isn't restricted to SK only though, it's being addressed there first because society at large has an understanding of the online world, but there's plenty of this kind of BS taking place in other countries .. it's just not taken as seriously as it should.

A Melbourne mother has blamed her 14-year-old daughter's suicide on the internet and the tragic case has highlighted the problem of cyber bullying among young people.

In Australia, one of the first comprehensive studies of cyber bullying shows about 10 per cent of teenagers and children have experienced some form of sustained bullying using technology.

It is a behaviour that can have tragic consequences.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/07/23/2633775.htm [abc.net.au]

10% is a very large proportion of people victimised by cowards .. people need to sit up and take notice.

Re:The South Korean Government is no fan of Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34803402)

2. Many government functions that in real-life require authentication are fully online. This is probably beyond the experience of most people on slashdot, but you can do all sorts of personal activities online (eg. taxation, etc) and by definition you can't take people at their word when talking about those. Therefore real-name identification is required there also, particularly as there's rampant attempts at ID theft from china for various reasons.

WTF? Most government activities can be done online elsewhere in the world and there are no laws like Korea. I'm in a South American hell hole, noted for corruption and lack of efficiency, and I can make my taxes, bid on government contracts, almost everything online. I just need to stop by the local IRS equivalent and get myself a digital certificate for my identification.

Re:The South Korean Government is no fan of Google (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803498)

10% is a very large proportion of people victimised by cowards .. people need to sit up and take notice.

Then don't give the cowards credit. I would guess that 99% of those were just trolls that would not do anything in real life, and like any other trolls ignoring them is the smartest option. If people can't learn how to deal with that then maybe offing themselves was the better choice.

Re:The South Korean Government is no fan of Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34803528)

beyond that the SK government doesn't give a rat's arse what you do online or which sites you go to.

They do, actually: http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2929934 (If someone is foolish enough to fall for the North's propaganda, I don't think anything the South Korean government does is going to help them.)
More worrying was the censorship of bloggers enforced during the last presidential election: http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2883992

Serious instances of unfounded slandering against various people, especially celebrities.but not restricted to them.

The Constitutional Court just struck down the vague law against 'spreading false information': http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/S-Korean-court-rules-internet-ftimes-1769864260.html?x=0&.v=5 (also http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/456284.html)

Where exactly did they say that?

On their Korean blog: http://youtubekrblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/blog-post_08.html (English translation: 'You will still be able to enjoy watching and sharing videos on YouTube. You may still upload videos and comments without proving your identity by choosing a non-Korean country setting from the top of any YouTube page.')

It's no secret that the South Korean government isn't overly fond of Google

Hardly, the government has only required that google comply with the laws that were created to address the previously listed comments.

They didn't seem too happy when Google refused to play along, that's all (http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_editorial/350258.html).

I wouldn't be surprised if Google simply didn't feel it cost effective to create complex functionality that would be country specific

You're probably right - Google doesn't have a huge marketshare in SK - but at least it has the happy side-effect of not being complicit in laws that restrict freedom of speech.

...you can do all sorts of personal activities online (eg. taxation, etc)...

Sure, but verifying someone's identity for taxation purposes is rather different from doing the same in order to post comments on YouTube.

10% is a very large proportion of people victimised by cowards .. people need to sit up and take notice.

And the proportion of people bullied offline is likely many times greater. There's no doubt this kind of behaviour should be punished, but heavy government regulation isn't helpful. Given that the real name law applies only to large websites, do you really think it will do much to prevent children from bullying one another online?

Assuming it were feasible, would you like to see something like the real name law implemented in other countries, like the USA?

Before someone gives the reductionist answer (3, Insightful)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#34802760)

that all Giggle was doing was recording aspects of the electromagnetic spectrum that was hitting their equipment:

What's the limit to that?

Is it also OK to record faint sound waves emitted from a given StreetView address?

Is it also OK to record GSM cell phone transmissions (recently shown vulnerable to cracking)?

Is it also OK to set up a listening device to log the electromagnetic signature emitted by monitors and keyboards, and then associate that with a given StreetView address in your database?

Would it also be OK to use a high-power lens to record photons leaking beyond a window that you thought you had pulled the curtain on?

Would it also be OK to record infrared heat signatures of building occupants walking around or doing whatever?

And if a "normal" person (not a corporation with cute logo) did all this, wouldn't he be arrested for stalking?

Re:Before someone gives the reductionist answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34802800)

"And if a "normal" person (not a corporation with cute logo) did all this, wouldn't he be arrested for stalking?"

No they wouldn't there used to be highly detailed maps of the UK hotspots obtained by wardriving. Which is all google were doing. No-one seemed bothered about this until google started wardriving.

Re:Before someone gives the reductionist answer (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34802982)

Wardriving is one thing. Industrial strength wardriving is another.

Or do you think going fishing with your buddies on the weekend is the same thing as trawling nets across the Florida Keys?

Re:Before someone gives the reductionist answer (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803190)

Wardriving is one thing. Industrial strength wardriving is another.

Or do you think going fishing with your buddies on the weekend is the same thing as trawling nets across the Florida Keys?

Whispering is one thing. Shouting is another.

Or do you think that shouting at your buddies loud enough to be heard in the next house over has the same expectation of privacy as whispering behind closed doors?

Wifi is shouting. Ethernet is not.

Shouting in a made up language that only you and your buddies understand gives you a degree of secrecy, but when doing so you must realize that everyone within earshot can still hear you. Additionally, if you begin the made up language sentences with a common addressing protocol such as "Hey, Tim! Honk, honk, blarg, honk!", or "SSID, MAC, [encrypted data]" you shouldn't expect the non secret "Hey, Tim" or "SSID/MAC" part to be secret.

Re:Before someone gives the reductionist answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34803198)

That is a really bad analogy as they are totally different procedures.

1) a bunch of amateurs in cars cover my whole city in war drive.
2) google in two cars cover my whole city in a war drive.

The only difference was it took google a lot longer to gather the information.

Re:Before someone gives the reductionist answer (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803042)

A reasonable limit might be to disallow recording of any sound (or sight) that is not detectable by human ears/eyes.

So if the sound is below, say, 10 dB then it would be forbidden by private persons/companies to record it. Or if the EM captured is below 50 lux(?) that too would be forbidden to record. That would stop them from using super-sensitive equipment to hear conversations in the kitchen, or take a peak into darkened bedrooms.

Re:Before someone gives the reductionist answer (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803334)

A reasonable limit might be to disallow recording of any sound (or sight) that is not detectable by human ears/eyes.

So, telephoto lenses should be illegal? Directional microphones? How would you record a speech in a public place?

I recommend you watch a classic film from the 1960s, "Blowup" by Michelangelo Antonioni where a photographer unknowingly takes a picture of a murder in a public park. Even simple equipment may capture sounds and sights that humans wouldn't detect.

The rule should be expect no privacy in public places. And in private places be discreet. If the neighbors can hear your wife screaming while you have sex, it's not their fault. If the neighbors can see your WiFi network it's not their fault either.

Not getting it (1)

tusam (1851540) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803056)

No it's not ok to invade privacy but it happens, so what was the big deal with this "information gathering" to begin with?
I'm always assuming there's at least one neighbour or car on the street listening to my wifi, that's why it's encrypted, not bridged to lan etc. Anyway here's some of those reductions..
1) While simply driving by most of what you get is beacon frames
2) They mostly drove around during week days when most people are at school or at work (where which I at least hope they have encrypted wifi)
3) They're google, they already have all the data they could ever want and a lot more personal stuff than what you get in half a minute from the street

They say they were collecting SSIDs for mapping purposes (which has been done by many projects for years as already mentioned), didn't mean to get other data and are not using it for anything. Not that I'd trust them more than any other multinational corporation, but can't see why they'd be lying about that.
It's a lot easier to place inexpensive kismet_drones in busy areas or with big antennas on hill tops overlooking residential areas than it is to drive around catching glimpses of some lone unemployed bozo surfing porn.

Also, wouldn't mind seeing more wifi hacking being punished by law, but in the actual cases where there's crimes being committed (theft, damage, defacing) and not just for the public spectacle.

Re:Before someone gives the reductionist answer (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803096)

that all Giggle was doing was recording aspects of the electromagnetic spectrum that was hitting their equipment:

What's the limit to that?

The limit is the expectation of privacy. I do not expect my 200ft range non encrypted WiFi to be private. I do not expect the SSID & MAC broadcasts of my router to be private. Turn on your wifi, view available networks. See any that arn't yours? Guess what? You just did EXACTLY what Google has done -- except that Google logged the WiFi data from all over the world. I don't expect sound, light and/or RF waves that can be clearly discerned from more than 200ft away from my house to be private -- The police can use such emanations (e.g. gun fire) as probable cause to enter without a warrant; If I was broadcasting FM radio signal at the range my router does for 2.4Ghz, without a license, the FCC could use such recordings as evidence against me and ticket me for having a pirate radio station....

Such emanations are not considered private.

Once I set up a new WRT54GL. The SSID was "linksys" by default. I connected to it via my laptop, later I changed the SSID & enabled encryption. Two days latter I was at a friends house using my laptop -- It automatically connected to my friend's neighbor's WIFI -- their router SSID was "linksys" and was not password protected or encrypted. I disconnected, but meanwhile, did I just break the law because someone is too stupid to setup their router? Should I be fined? NO.

Is it also OK to record faint sound waves emitted from a given StreetView address?

Google did not do this. A more equivalent question would be: Is it also OK to stand in the street with a microphone and record the very loud shouting match that is occurring in a house 50 ft away, behind closed doors, yet is easily discernible to normal human hearing at the same range?

Is it also OK to record GSM cell phone transmissions (recently shown vulnerable to cracking)?

Yep! It's OK to record any EM you can build an antenna to detect. Is it OK to aim a satellite dish at a satellite that is broadcasting encrypted data? Yes. Is it OK to decrypt the data? No. Is it OK to access unencrypted transmissions without express permission If the data is not encrypted? Yes (Hint: TV & AM/FM radio).

I have never been comfortable revealing login credentials over any phone system -- wireless or otherwise. I know it's not private.

Is it also OK to set up a listening device to log the electromagnetic signature emitted by monitors and keyboards, and then associate that with a given StreetView address in your database?

Should It be illegal to walk around the neighborhood and take pictures and films of birds and trees? What if a house is in the background? Should it be illegal to geo-tag my video of a blue-jay attacking a cat and upload it to Youtube?
What if your monitor is causing interference with my camera's audio recording? I would have captured some EM signal -- Where does the insanity begin?

Would it also be OK to use a high-power lens to record photons leaking beyond a window that you thought you had pulled the curtain on?

Would it be illegal for me to testify that I heard screams and gunshots coming from a house, and describe the person I caught a glimpse of via a window that the murderer thought they had pulled the curtain on? Would it be illegal if I had picked up my video recorder and used it to record the same information?

Would it also be OK to record infrared heat signatures of building occupants walking around or doing whatever?

Yep. In my town the cops use infrared cameras and do flyovers to find hot-spots where folks are growing marijuana in their attics... All energy is information. If it is escaping into the public -- it's public information.

And if a "normal" person (not a corporation with cute logo) did all this, wouldn't he be arrested for stalking?

The point is that Google didn't do all the things you say. What Google did do is use a tool that just logs batches of WIFI data. The SSIDs and MAC addresses are extracted later and used to help with Geo-location on Android.

This is exactly how your WIFI card finds available networks. Do you think your WIFI card never captures any surrounding unencrypted traffic before it extracts a list of valid SSIDs / MAC addresses?

Considering that ANYONE who is using "pick a SSID from this list" technology is basically doing exactly what Google did -- No, I don't think everyone should be arrested for stalking.

Encryption broken? (3, Informative)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 3 years ago | (#34802772)

“We succeeded in breaking the encryption behind the hard drives, and confirmed that it contained personal e-mails and text messages of people using the Wi-Fi networks,” said a [Korean] police official.

I was however assuming
1. that in such case Google would have been legally forced to provide the encryption key,
2. and anyway, that a HD encrypted by Google wouldn't be so (apparently) easy to break.

Re:Encryption broken? (1)

_merlin (160982) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803282)

and anyway, that a HD encrypted by Google wouldn't be so (apparently) easy to break.

They probably doubled the security by using ROT26!

wrong way (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34802782)

while it would really surprise me if they collected all the data on accident, i still think many governments are going the wrong way here.

ok, they collected something that they shouldn't, let them destroy it. if you wish, stand next to them while they destroy it, fine them for having collected it in the first place.

but do not demand the data that shouldn't have been. what do you want to do with it? its like stoping a coke trade and then keeping all the drugs, not destroying them. i am sure it happens, but it is wrong.

Hang on... (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34802820)

... letting aside the "breaking the encryption behind the hard-drives" containing "sensitive private information from unencrypted wireless networks during the filming process."... what the hell is with:

“We are looking to penalize whoever ordered and developed the program, but are unsure as of yet who that might be,” said a police official.

1. first whoever ordered and whoever developed are highly probable two different persons.Did both of them broke the SK law?
2. why they go after the "whoever ordered and developed" and not after "whoever used the tools"? Is it in SK customary to go after the person that manufactured the knife used in a stabbing?
3. the way I know, Google used some open-source components in putting the "tool" together. Is the original author of these components equally guilty?

Re:Hang on... (1)

John Saffran (1763678) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803142)

It's still under investigation, ultimately the case rests on information such as whether this data collection was his work (intended or otherwise) or he was ordered to include this 'feature'. Followed by determining why it's there, eg. was it his own work or was it because of an order from above, etc. Juristiction is being mentioned because SK police obviously don't have the right to interview a US citizen without the cooperation of the US government, but beyond that the story so far is pretty stock standard for an ongoing police investigation.

Re:Hang on... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803468)

It's still under investigation, ultimately the case rests on information...

I wouldn't raise the question if the wording would allow me. Let me quote again the TFA, with a bit of emphasis.

“We are looking to penalize whoever ordered and developed the program, ...” said a police official.

Hmmmm... the police... to penalize [princeton.edu] more than 1 person... So, what's going on with the police in SK: investigates, judges and inflicts penalties all together?

Re:Hang on... (1)

Tom (822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803148)

1. first whoever ordered and whoever developed are highly probable two different persons.Did both of them broke the SK law?

The "and" inbetween does indicate that, yes.

2. why they go after the "whoever ordered and developed" and not after "whoever used the tools"? Is it in SK customary to go after the person that manufactured the knife used in a stabbing?

Because that would mean going after the minimum-wage drones who rode in the streetview cars. That's not the people you want to punish for this.

3. the way I know, Google used some open-source components in putting the "tool" together. Is the original author of these components equally guilty?

Non sequitor. Nowhere does it say anything like that, or that they'd go after the manufacturers of the car, or the antennas, cameras, whatever.

Your trying to throw up strawman here to cloud the fact that as far as government reactions go, this one is actually a pretty good one.

Re:Hang on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34803510)

Non sequitor

You mean: sequitur? (if posing as an erudite, do it to well. Otherwise, a plain English "it does not follow" would be fairer).

Re:Hang on... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803690)

My dear latin speaking friend: if the law was broken by Google, you go after Google as a company.
Not after individuals that got nothing to gain from the actions: I don't see how the developer (that made a honest mistake to capture more than necessary) and the manager (that didn't take enough care to double check the tools) can be more responsible than the "minimum-wage drones": I argue that none of them had something to gain from the excessive WiFi traffic collection (do you know otherwise?)

If you go after individuals in this case, why not go after all the individuals that were part of the actions violating the laws? (since when not knowing that you break the law is a defence?)

BTW: in your reply at point 2, what the "minimum-wage" has to do with the responsibility of breaking the law?

Hard drive encryption broken? (2)

Graftweed (742763) | more than 3 years ago | (#34802872)

"We succeeded in breaking the encryption behind the hard drives"

Wait, what? All of the solutions I know of to encrypt hard drives at block or filesystem level are prety well implemented. You can't just brute force them. So either:

  • Someone at google left the password/phrase on a postit note next to the HDDs and/or it was '12345'
  • It wasn't 'encrypted' at all, but the Cyber Terror Response Center[1] thought it would sound awesome to say they broke it
  • The South Koreans are hiding the most advanced super computer in the world on some basement somewhere. Or some methematicians who can factor large primes in their sleep.

[1] What the hell is up with these bullshit terror-inspiring names anyway? It sounds like a bunch of kids getting together on the playground and trying to think of the most kick-ass name for their dodgeball team.

Re:Hard drive encryption broken? (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803002)

methematicians who can factor large primes in their sleep.

I'm curious to know if this was a typo or not.

Re:Hard drive encryption broken? (1)

Graftweed (742763) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803012)

I'm curious to know if this was a typo or not.

It was, but now that you mention it, I wonder if any studies were ever conducted on meth as an aid to prime factoring. No? Well, how do they know, then?!

Re:Hard drive encryption broken? (1)

Marcika (1003625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803214)

I'm curious to know if this was a typo or not.

It was, but now that you mention it, I wonder if any studies were ever conducted on meth as an aid to prime factoring. No? Well, how do they know, then?!

Well, anecdotally, Paul Erdös was on meth constantly for the last 25 years of his life - and he was the most prolific mathematician of all time... So I wonder how Gauss or Euler would have fared on amphetamines...

Re:Hard drive encryption broken? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34803004)

Maths fail. A prime number's only factors are 1 and itself.

Re:Hard drive encryption broken? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803336)

No need for super computer, mathematicians ect.
A postit note, pen and a rather older person who looked about 20-30 yo in May 1980 in the basement can do wonders with locals ie
please cooperate cryptanalysis.

Re:Hard drive encryption broken? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34803674)

Sure, they're well implemented, but often the keys are written into other utilities with far less protection for data backup or recovery reasons. Coupled with access to non-encrypted data and with subpoenas against Google personnel, it's unsurprising that a competent government with access to tapping email at servers, seizing locked data safes, etc. could crack such a drive.

Broke the encryption (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34802874)

Google uses encryption that can be broken? WTF?

Re:Broke the encryption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34803248)

There's no such thing as encryption that can't be broken.

Do no evil ? ROFL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34802928)

This is all part of a large operation in association with the US security services.
It's not paranoia.It's fact. They want to know everything about you about what you do , who you're doing it with and it's all part of post 9/11 US paranoia.Think anything you do on the net is not monitored and logged ? Think when you connect to your bank that it's a private transaction ? Nothing you do on the net is private.Nothing you got as equipment or encryption is not passed through them for approval.( Export control .. reminds you something ? ) When Google passed it was PURPOSEFULLY lifting as much data as could be done with the clear and definite intent of handling the data over to authorities in order to make their surveillance work easier under the cover of " doing no evil "
Im sorry , but i don't trust Google to be the innocent little white sheep.
In my book they are just part of a greater data gathering scheme orchestrated with the US intelligence
organisations.Dosen't look too bad to have a car with a google logo on it .. but it certainly looks weird to have a car written NSA/FBI/* Joint TaskForce go around do the same work.

IMHO : this is far from being accidental, they just got caught with their pants down.

since google is in bed with the NSA (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 3 years ago | (#34802978)

theres no telling what all their spys gathered while driving around everyone's neighborhood...

Encryption Broken? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34802980)

“We succeeded in breaking the encryption behind the hard drives, and confirmed that it contained personal e-mails and text messages of people using the Wi-Fi networks,” said a police official.

Fuck the "Google broke the law" story, give us more information how they broke the encryption on the hard drive!

South Korea's Laws aren't worth squat. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34802998)

Screw South Korea, they depend on the US to keep North Korea from eating them. Let them moan about their silly laws.

Encryption standards? (1)

mercurized (907818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803034)

"The country's Cyber Terror Response Center broke the encryption on hard drives" Wait, what? Either they didnt put a too big effort into encrypting, or they got some means of unencrypting which isnt very well known..

Re:Encryption standards? (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803366)

Maybe the reporters are stupid and there either was no encryption, or Google was forced to hand over the keys.

Or maybe South Korea outlawed strong encryption, but I haven't read about that anywhere.

Re:Encryption standards? (3, Interesting)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34803384)

I RTFA, and the "breaking the encryption" was a direct quote from the police. So it's not the reporters being stupid.

However, it's quite possibly the police lying to sound more badass.

Google Is .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34803262)

Google is the internet god. bow down before them or else your private data become public.

Google & privacy = a bad joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34803276)

I suspect Google knew very well what it was doing from the very first moment.

When they have gathered enough data, they decided to get plausible deniability ("alibi") by announcing: "Oops, our Street Cars have been spying 'by mistake, but we are open about it, see? And we fixed it fast too!'".

As a bonus, your data is now in Government's hands too. That's why I don't use Gmail. It's enough that they have my search queries data for over a year.

Laughable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34803294)

I live in South Korea and the law here is really a joke. If laws are on the books and aren't enforced, then all laws are suspect. Examples: It is law to wear helmets when on motorcycles here in South Korea...no one, save for a few but me, wear them. The police don't stop people. Child seats are the law here in S.K., but few use them. Ive had children wave at me while standing and looking out of sunroofs here, while there was a police car in the other lane beside them. The police thought it was very cute. Before the Olympics ('88?) or the World Cup here (not really sure which as it doesn't affect me) prostitution was made illegal, but yet I was forced to explain to my son, on a trip to Seoul, why there were women sitting in pink lighted windows wearing next to no clothes. There was, hilariously, a police box on the corner, at the entrance to the area.

I had an English student here who happened to be the chief of the national police in the town that I live in, and I questioned him about this weirdness. His answer was simple. "It's too much trouble and everyone does it."

So, could some lawyer not take the non-enforcement of the most basic laws here and use that to go after the prosecution of transgressions of law that are just, to be honest, blatant grandstanding?

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