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FCC drops Google investigation over WiFi snooping, issues small fine

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posted on Apr, 17 2012 @ 12:03 PM
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FCC drops Google investigation over WiFi snooping, issues small fine


arstechnica.com

The FCC has dropped its investigation of Google's collection of WiFi "payload data" as part of the company's Street View project, but has slapped the company with a $25,000 fine for obstructing its investigation. ... sought to determine if Google had improperly collected and stored personal information from traffic over unsecured personal WiFi networks, including e-mail, text messages, and webpage requests. An investigation by the Federal Trade Commission was dropped in October of 2010 ....
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
arstechnica.com
arstechnica.com
www.nytimes.com

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posted on Apr, 17 2012 @ 12:03 PM
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Google.... don't be evil.... remember that?

Apparently, the upshot of this is that since the key witness interviewed generally "plead the 5th Amendment defense against self-incrimination" regarding whether Google actually "designed" the Streetview system to capture the data; the investigation is over.

So the multi-billion dollar corporate regime need only provide a $25,000 fee to compensate for the difficulties it managed to impose on the rest of the world.


In a notice dated April 13, released in a partially redacted form (transition.fcc.gov...) on April 15 by the FCC, the commission claimed, "For many months, Google deliberately impeded the (FCC Enforcement) Bureau's investigation by failing to respond to requests for material information and to provide certifications and verifications of its responses.


The 'redacted' parts of the notice are probably those referencing the identity of, or information about the Google employee in question.

Now why, I wonder, is it that pleading the 5th is often portrayed by the media as an indication of guilt in any case that isn't about big companies, banks, or the government?

Don't answer that... it was rhetorical... we all know why.

arstechnica.com
(visit the link for the full news article)
edit on 17-4-2012 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 17 2012 @ 12:26 PM
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so let me get this straight.

while google vans where driving around neighbourhoods getting street views of intersections in the middle of nowhere, they were actually scanning and collecting consumer information or whatever unsecured info they could get their hands on. i.e. spying.

probably in unmarked vans too.

i wouldn't be surprised if the google founders where given junior g-men badges and filled will all sorts of secret agent stories and commendations by cia and their handlers.

it sounds like a movie starring will smith.



posted on Apr, 17 2012 @ 12:35 PM
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reply to post by randomname
 


It is kind of insulting.

You see, they thought (I guess) that they could create a database of accessible wireless networks to somehow engineer them into a database useful for their "service."

But somehow, the act included "payload data" (in other words, emails,. text messages, web surfing hits, etc.) not just network identifiers... Had it been just network identification information it STILL would have been problematic, I think. If I want Google to know the MAC address of my wireless router I will tell them (or at least they should ask) ... I certainly don't expect the likes of Google to go around "war routing" like a common cyber-criminal.

But you see, that's just the point. If they do it - they are NOT cyber-criminals... it's only criminal if a human being does it... not a corporation.

Their vehicles were marked... but not initially.

One justice for us... another for the megalith businesses of the world (and those who hide behind or within them.)


edit on 17-4-2012 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 17 2012 @ 01:17 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 


What makes you think it's illegal to sniff packets being broadcasted through the air for anyone? Last I checked you can even legally make your card be able to hear SAT and DOD frequencies, but you better not broadcast on them though.
edit on Tue, 17 Apr 2012 13:17:58 -0500 by TKDRL because: took out a redundant word.



posted on Apr, 17 2012 @ 01:27 PM
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reply to post by TKDRL
 


I never claimed there was something illegal about sniffing packets... it's what you do with the data that represents an ethical hazard.

People may be careless with their networks... many inexperienced or casual users are. But just because you are speaking to a friend in public about something doesn't mean you should expect your conversation to be cataloged and stored by a passer-by.

Mind you, this is the interesting difference between accepted corporate conduct and that of individual citizens....

For example... I bought a videotape.... it doesn't explode or set of an alarm if I try to copy it... and if I say... "well, they didn't adequately protect from me - so i can do what I want with it, include make copies and sell them... " well we know that doesn't fly legally as a defense..... except for Google? AT&T, etc.?

Also, although the witness plead protection from self-incrimination... he was operating at the behest and under the sponsorship of a "sovereign' corporate entity... did they plead the fifth when he did?

This is the nature of the problem. You can easily get "arrested" if you are known to be "sniffing" in the wrong places.... except for Google I guess.... because none of the private citizen's data is protected... and when they do protect... "they must have something to hide."



posted on Apr, 17 2012 @ 01:35 PM
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Only a 25,000 dollar fine makes me wonder if some person in the FCC might have had a little secret talk with a google brass and made his personal bank account grow fatter by promising to let them off with only a 25k fine and just dropping the whole thing....

I wonder what officials would do to some petty hacker type person for cruising around town and collecting and snooping data like an ATM thief or other activities?

Straight to jail for a class C felony charge or some such thing and half a million dollars bail seems likely...

Just not for google when they have the ability to give generous bribes to all of our corrupt American officials...

Of course this is speculation on my part, but it doesn't seem far fetched to me..

Thanks for posting


Someone could email a google brass and ask them how much they paid that FCC official



posted on Apr, 17 2012 @ 03:07 PM
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So i guess if i had the right funding and i released and marketed a unit that can crack 100% of all wifi connection's and 3g and 4g that are online would i be able to plead the 5th ?

P.S. that unit does exist as many members already know but it isn't available for the general public but it sure is available to those who require it.



posted on Apr, 17 2012 @ 09:22 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 



it's only criminal if a human being does it... not a corporation.


Well said

edit on 17-4-2012 by tooo many pills because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 17 2012 @ 09:49 PM
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reply to post by randomname
 


Yes, that seems to be what they were doing alright, and police are still doing it, and who know who else is. And, with most using Windows, and by default most allow remote ports to be open, it is surprising easy to do this.



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