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Google's Wi-Fi snoop prompts Early Day Motion

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Harlow's new Conservative MP Robert Halfon has tabled an Early Day Motion with concerns about Google, a first for the company.

The Motion notes "concerned that the firm may have failed to disclose that it was building a massive database of wi-fi networks across the UK without people's consent". It also registers concern that "BT and other companies are using software to trawl social networking websites such as Facebook to identify anyone making negative comments about them" and "calls on the Coalition Government to balance innovation on the internet against individuals' right to privacy and the new threat of a surveillance society".

El Reg was the first English-language publication to disclose that Google had been eavesdropping on private Wi-Fi networks as its cameras roamed the streets, taking pictures of startled citizens, exhibitionists and Horsechildren. Google initially blamed an engineering cockup - we all know how easy it is to install a WLAN scanner and recorder in a car and forget it's there. But it has since emerged that Google filed a patent on the snooping technique back in January.

Halfon's EDM has received six votes of support since being tabled on Saturday. Most EDMs are never debated.

Google had never been mentioned in an EDM until last week. DUP member for East Londonderry since 2001 Gregory Campbell tabled this one, which calls on Facebook to monitor its site more closely to stop intimidation.

Halfon is a busy Twitter user - or pays somebody to Tweet for him. You can find his feed here. ®

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