Google logging wireless network info

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

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  1. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    Listening to someone's unencrypted wifi data is like eavesdropping on a loud conversation in a coffee shop. It isn't illegal nor should it be, encrypt your ****.
     
  2. elapsed

    elapsed Registered Member

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    Microsoft Shares Source Code for Wi-Fi Data Collection Software

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsof...-code-for-wi-fi-data-collection-software.aspx

    I'm guessing this is the route Google should have taken.
     
  3. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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  4. Baserk

    Baserk Registered Member

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    Dellusions of grandeur, it seems.
    Yeah, right Google, we're all gonna change our SSID to accomodate a commercial company making more money.
    They haven't realized that most folks haven't got a clue how to get to their router's GUI, never mind changing the SSID?

    In defense of Google, this idea was presented by the Dutch Data Privacy Protection MoronsOrganization ("College Bescherming Persoonsgegevens").
    Google accepted gladly of course but a majority of Dutch members of parliament have already stated, they'll have none of it.
    It's gonna be either opt-in or nothing. Not some ridiculous 'do-it-yourself-or-you-are-to-blame-if-we-download-anything-from-you-again' opt-out rule.
     
  5. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    This is so silly.

    Opting out is plenty. Not only that... but public wifi is just that. Public.

    There's something called a reasonable expectation of privacy and if I'm on the sidewalk yelling "Hey! I just made bacon! lollololol like.png" everyone is free to hear or even record that.

    If I'm on a wireless network broadcasting to the sidewalk and it's a public network the same rules apply. In that case I have absolutely no reasonable expectation of privacy.

    This is more about the first link.
     
  6. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    From Google`s WiFi Opt-Out Process Makes Users Navigate Technical Maze:
     
  7. Baserk

    Baserk Registered Member

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    Well, cultural differences I guess.
    First of all, the opt-out rule means an obligation to rename a SSID with '_no map' at the end.
    No commercial company should be able to propagate such a rule on behalf of, in the end, it's stock holders.
    Like you wrote previously; "Listening to someone's unencrypted wifi data is like eavesdropping on a loud conversation in a coffee shop. It isn't illegal nor should it be, encrypt your ****."

    A conversation doesnt need to be loud necessarily, to listen to someone talking about his or her cancer treatment.
    Does the fact that it occures publicly, give enough reason for a company to collect such info?
    According to Google it was. Until the uproar that is, then apologies followed.
    However, they weren't willing to destroy collected private information in Europe until threatened with fines and court rulings.
    CEO Schmidt's remark "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place." ought to have been self applied.
    For me, this gathering of private information and the unwillingness to destroy it, has been a deal breaker.
    Some folks, especially Google reps have tried to downplay this affair a lot but in (Northern)Europe lots of folks remember it pretty well.
    So, opt-in, if any.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011
  8. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    https://ssd.eff.org/your-computer/govt/privacy
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expectation_of_privacy
    http://www.rbs2.com/privacy.htm

    Reasonable expectation of privacy. Yes, when you're in a public place you lose a lot of it. When you're having a conversation in a public place in a nature where that conversation can be overheard (ie: public wifi, loud conversation) you lose it even moreso. I don't think celebrities even have it once they're off their private property... if they even have it while on it.
     
  9. Baserk

    Baserk Registered Member

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    Hidden SSID is bogus security imao.
    Most wifi users will then have a notebook calling all day; Hidden SSID, are you there, are you?
    At home/uni/work. The same with their smartphone, it will also be asking; "Hello, specific hidden SSID, are you there?
    A hidden SSID really isn't a security feature; link, link.
     
  10. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    I agree. Hidden SSID will only help you from the skiddiest of skiddies.
     
  11. Baserk

    Baserk Registered Member

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    Links are about US laws and they're all about citizen vs state. That doesn't mean much to me.
    If a commercial company gives me the idea that they are trying to imitate the DOJ, in trying to define laws/legal fabric of society, they've lost already imo.
    I see a big difference between the rights of a citizen vs state and those of a citizen vs commercial companies.
    Again, perhaps cultural differences.
     
  12. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    Opt out ?

    So now we have to wait for Google's cars to drive by ?
    When is that going to happen, five years from now ?

    Agreed, this mass surveillance is immoral. Legal ? Who makes and enforces the laws, who can afford lobbyists, who has the money for lawyers ?

    There are many avenues to collect data. Geolocation, any mobile device/computer even temporarily connected to your network can give a lot away. I wouldn't be surprised if manufacturers of routers would sell or share their data.

    Unsecured networks should not be considered public unless indicated otherwise. Are people who don't know how to properly secure a network fair game ? Is a security setup that fails fair game ?
     
  13. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    Most lobbyists work pro-bono for like.... 75% of their cases.

    Anyways, unsecured networks are public by definition. They're literally called public networks lol

    If you use WEP, you have a right to privacy. If Google were to crack it and sniff packets that's a blatant violation of privacy.

    But a network without encryption is literally a public network and anyone can join it.

    Packets are just words really. There are billions of words floating around in a public network. You can "talk in another language" (encryption) to avoid detection but don't complain if someone's listening in when your words travel 100 feet radius.

    This is not breaking into a network. This is not exerting any effort. This is purely listening to someone talk when they're next to you.
     
  14. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

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    Except that MOST people out there have NO idea this could/has/is happening, & therefore are vulnerable :thumbd:

    They should/do however realise that speaking etc publically is open to eavesdropping etc.

    MOST people out there don't understand what their comps etc, & others, are capable of doing !
     
  15. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    Is it Google's job to explain it to them?

    Most people don't know anything about privacy laws anyways.

    Public wifi is public. That's really the long and short of it.
     
  16. Baserk

    Baserk Registered Member

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    No it's not, it's driving around town and recording conversations held by folks in public. A bit more sinister than occasional eavesdropping.
    What's so difficult to understand?
    Sure, when having a conversation in public f.i. on a cafe terras outside on the street, everyone sitting there around you can listen in on your conversation.
    But are folks to be expected that when Google drives around and is loggin all locations of cafes and bars for it's business purposes, folks have to take into account that such company will also record every conversation? Just because they can?
    Only because those conversations are held in public, it's reasonable for a company to record them?
    I think it would be immoral, and imo that's the long and short of it.
     
  17. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    So if I go around listening to people it's a crime but if I just do it once in a while it's a-ok?

    Yes. That's how privacy laws work... if I'm on a public place anyone can legally record me though often times a TV show will blank out faces to avoid any grey areas and it's situational (some areas are consider "more public" than others.)

    I can sit in a starbucks tomorrow and record peoples conversations. It's a public place.
     
  18. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    What planet are you from ?

    No.
    That's your definition.
    Simply because a network is not secured doesn't mean it's intended for the general public.
    Are computers that are not password protected or computers that are 'on' public computers if there is no physical barrier to prevent access to the computer ? Think open door/window, computers in corporate situations ?

    Non-wireless networks are often not encrypted. Does that mean it's fine to tap into the network ?

    Accessing a network without knowing it is private is one thing.
    Intentionally accessing and using a private network that is not (properly) secured is AGAINST THE LAW. Where I live, anyway.

    Perhaps you should consider that there is a world beyond the USA ?
     
  19. x942

    x942 Guest

    Your missing the point. A wireless network is like taking a message and broad casting it to anyone within 30 metres. A wired network is not this at all. They would have to tap it (like you said) which would be illegal.

    Why? Because the data over the wire is not being transmitted everywhere within 30m it's being transmitted from Point A to B (the computer to the modem). With Wifi the data is litterally in the air. I don't even need to connect to log it. If google was doing this neferiously they could have denied it. Since they never connected there is no log of them doing anything.

    Honestly if you are running an unprotected hotspot you have more to worry about than google. Any one that can google can find out how to pull data using wireshark and even how to hijack sessions.
     
  20. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    Lobbyists put in hundreds of hours of pro bono work. IDK why you think that's so farfetched. It's standard practice for them quite often.

    And when I said "public by definition" I think it's really obvious that a network that is referred to as "public" is in fact public.

    Going into someone's wired network (which is just as likely to be encrypted) is illegal. There is a huge difference.

    1) Reasonable expectation of privacy obviously changes
    2) It's in someones home... you'd need to break in.

    For Google the USA is the boss - Google is a company based in the US.

    This is also less to do with a personal and unsecure network and much more to do with a coffee shops public network. That's where they're collecting their data.

    Again, if I'm in a coffee shop having a loud conversation I should expect someone to overhear it and they have a legal right to record it.

    I'm sorry but that's how privacy law in the US works. Packets are just snippets of a very very loud conversation and they're going on in a public area (they're a public network.)
     
  21. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    In fact it's less like a conversation and more like someone shouting at you. Packets are there whether you're connected or not, as pointed out by x942.
     
  22. JRViejo

    JRViejo Super Moderator

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  23. elapsed

    elapsed Registered Member

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    A year later, justice is... served?
     
  24. arubarocks77

    arubarocks77 Guest

    :thumb: :thumb: Right On!
     
  25. EncryptedBytes

    EncryptedBytes Registered Member

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    Unless more details have surfaced since last year that I am unaware of, I recall Google was only capturing SSID and MAC of the networks? This information is broadcasted in the clear on any WLAN encrypted or not, and you can even view the MACs of connected clients. If they were connecting to the unsecured networks and logging packet information that is one thing, though what they were logging is similar to writing down names and addresses from a phone book. Not to mention in terms of reliable information private networks are volatile, the BSSIDs and devices are always changing. I see very little harm if any being done with what they did in this case.
     
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