Feeds

Google claims Wi-Fi slurp legal in the US

Well if you leave your door open you can't complain when etc etc

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Google lawyers reckon its Wi-Fi data harvesting operation will be judged legit in the US.

That's the latest message on the controversy from the firm - but it remains schtum on the legal brickbats being chucked its way in Europe.

In a letter to Congressmen, Google's director of public policy Pablo Chavez said that harvesting data from unencrypted wireless networks was legal in the US.

"We believe it does not violate US law to collect payload data from networks that are configured to be openly accessible (i.e., not secured by encryption and thus accessible by any user's device)," he wrote.

He did however maintain the company line that the practice was a "mistake" on Google's part.

"We emphasize that being lawful and being the right thing to do are two different things, and that collecting payload data was a mistake for which we are profoundly sorry," Chavez wrote.

Yesterday the top law enforcement official in Connecticut claimed as many as 30 states may launch a joint investigation into how Google's Street View fleet intercepted and stored communications over Wi-Fi.

The French data protection has already found that passwords and emails were harvested. Several of its European counterparts have expressed anger and warned of court action.

Google has blamed the operation on a rogue software coder and said he is subject to internal disciplinary procedures.

The Information Commissioner accepted Google's assurances that data collected in the UK would be destroyed. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.