Google logging wireless network info

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by funkydude, Apr 23, 2010.

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  1. funkydude
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    funkydude Registered Member

    http://www.neowin.net/news/google-logging-wireless-network-information
  2. mvario
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    mvario Registered Member

    Lots of FUD in there and Peter Schaar doesn't really have his facts straight.

    Google is basically wardriving access points for their geolocation provider service. Which is nothing new or unique. There are many other geolocation services and databases such as the commercial ones from Skyhook/Loki and Intel (http://www.jiwire.com/), open ones like geomena.org and community efforts like wigle.net, all of which are populated by wardriving. Since Google is doing Streetview they just happen to have their Streetview cars pull double duty.

    Ad they aren't mapping MAC addresses to street addresses, but to GPS lat/lon locations. It may be a subtle difference, but a difference nonetheless.

    And the assertion:
    is just nonsense. Mac addresses don't route. That is a function of IP addresses, and MAC to IP mapping only takes place on your local network.
  3. mvario
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    mvario Registered Member

  4. caspian
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    caspian Registered Member

    Mvario, I really appreciate you clarifying some of these things. You have been very helpful.

    Here is another question for you, if you don't mind, concerning other applications. Is there any way to know if another application, like Skype, is sending out geolocation info?? Would something like Wireshark be able to see this sort of thing?
  5. mvario
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    mvario Registered Member

    No problem.

    If it's not encrypted then sure, a packet sniffer will show you the raw data of each packet. It's all http traffic though so you aren't going to find a decode for it, you'll have to inspect packets by hand.
  6. mvario
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    mvario Registered Member

  7. mvario
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    mvario Registered Member

  8. caspian
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    caspian Registered Member

    Thanks for posting these.
  9. LockBox
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    LockBox Registered Member

    For me, it's GOODBYE to everything Google. I discovered Zoho and it can do almost everything you can do with Google. Docs, Notebook, Storage, Email, and about 20 other things (no kidding!) All free for personal use.
  10. caspian
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    caspian Registered Member

    I am wondering something. I know that if in NoScript I block gstatic.com, the geolocation is unable to work....regardless of whether I have it enabled or not. Is there a way that gstatic.com can be blocked by all applications on your computer? If so, then I would think that if you could find out what geolocation service Skype uses, you could block that service from your computer as well.
  11. caspian
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    caspian Registered Member

    Oh wow! Thanks for the tip. I'll have to check them out.
  12. cgeek
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    cgeek Registered Member

    Ok google you have finally pushed my buttons!

    1. Have taken a picture of me and my house without my consent!

    2. Now snooping wi-fi networks!

    This has gone on for way too long and has got to stop!
  13. lodore
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    lodore Registered Member

    as for unencrypted networks its the owners fault for not securing the network.
    the documentation always says make sure you secure the network and tells you how.
  14. LockBox
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    LockBox Registered Member

    I don't know about that. If I leave my safe open that doesn't mean you can inventory my contents and take what you want. If the front door is left unlocked it doesn't mean you're welcome to come right in. These intrusions by Google go beyond just "wardriving"... and it's unacceptable.
  15. cgeek
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    cgeek Registered Member

    :thumb: :thumb:
  16. ploder
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    ploder Registered Member

    I think people should also know that it is currently a criminal offence to use other peoples' internet connection without their permission in the UK:
    Not that this would cover what Google are doing, but interesting re: the comments above about it being the owner's 'fault'. From what I understand Google are not doing anything illegal re: wifi because they aren't actually using your service, just intercepting information relating to that service which is being broadcast into a public place. There might be other laws to fall foul of though in this interesting situation especially in how the information gets used.
    Last edited: May 20, 2010
  17. LockBox
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    LockBox Registered Member

    That's an excellent point. And Google, I'm sure, didn't know this. :rolleyes:
  18. mvario
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    mvario Registered Member

    What is your ultimate goal? Is Skype even currently using geolocation? If they find out what they are doing, and what service if any, then sure, it would be trivial, probably in multiple ways, to block it.

    On the other hand there is no silver bullet that is going to block every untrusted application installed on your computer from doing geolocation. That just is not possible. There are too many ways for it to be implemented and any lookup with a geolocation service provider does not have to take place on the client side. If you really need to keep your location secret then you should probably just disconnect from the Internet.
  19. caspian
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    caspian Registered Member

    LOL!:argh: I will not be disconnecting from the internet but I would like to maintain a little anonymity. I believe that Skype does have a geolocation feature, as an option....the last I checked.
  20. MrBrian
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    MrBrian Registered Member

    And in Germany it's the law.
  21. LockBox
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    LockBox Registered Member

    That's hilarious. Good post though written to clue everyone in that it's a "bizarre" court ruling. The comments are priceless!

    Edit: After further searching, it seems it's not a "law" at all; only a civil case. So, there really is no "law."
    Last edited: May 26, 2010
  22. rogervernon
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    rogervernon Registered Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2010
  23. JRViejo
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    JRViejo Global Moderator

    Google to hand over intercepted data by Maija Palmer and Lionel Barber​
  24. JRViejo
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    JRViejo Global Moderator

  25. JRViejo
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    JRViejo Global Moderator

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