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Aussie police probe Google

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Robert McClelland, Australia's Attorney General, has asked the police to investigate the collection of network information by Google's StreetView cars.

The Australian Federal Police High Tech Crime Centre confirmed to iTnews that it was considering a full probe.

McClelland said his department had received many complaints but it was up to the police to decide if a full investigation is needed. He said there had been possible breaches of the Telecommunications Act.

The Street View cars collected SSID and MAC addresses from open Wi-Fi networks as well as taking pictures.

Google's Eric Schmidt has been busy claiming that the accidental snooping was all the work of a rogue engineer - now being investigated by the company.

This interpretation has yet to explain why Google applied for a patent for its supposedly accidental network-sniffing technology back in January.

The search and ad giant is already under investigation from privacy watchdogs and police in the Czech Republic and Germany. Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Justice, has also made unhappy noises.

In other news from the land down under, Aussie police are following CEOP's Jim Gamble in demanding that Facebook install a panic button for children to make direct reports of suspicious activity. AFP also wants Facebook to employ a police liason officer in the country, iTnews reports. ®

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