> "Bypassing that system is illegal for a good reason."
Yes, so is invasion of privacy. Yet Google has no problem breaking the law and violating civil rights for profit.
> "Unfortunately we live in a world where all too often, laws are for the little people."
Yeah, like tax laws and privacy laws...
If you want to get on this high horse, you shouldn't be working for Google.
This from the guy, who blacklisted CNN for reporting on him based on information found on Google.
Including account information and passwords on unsecured WiFi connections.
Even if the accusation of "violating laws" may be a tad hyperbolic in the great scheme of things it's not a stretch to deem Google one of the most hypocritical companies around.
The NSA on the other hand actively intends everything it's doing in this case. Comparing Google's Wifi mishap with the NSA's hundreds (thousands?) of deeply questionable operations driven by invasions of privacy and security is comparing apples with oranges.
Nonetheless, I doubt I'm naive to believe engineers are not always making mistakes. The trick is always in admitting mistake, learning from them, and fixing the future. In this case, Google acknowledged the -- lawful -- slip in privacy encroachments and assigned a privacy director to oversee engineering and product management efforts. Every Google product now maintains a privacy-design document.
Almost certainly it is, but would I be surprised if it were true? Would anyone be?
I'd be willing to bet the NSA had a good browse of the resulting data, either way.
I remain amazed at the ability of people to project their own biases (Google is Evil in this case, probably via extrapolation from Apple is Insanely Great) onto things that one would hope would be objective moral points (spy agencies shouldn't be attacking the networks of non-enemies!).
Sniffing unencrypted wifi packets and (apparently accidentally) storing them is just as bad as deliberately breaking into someone else's network to steal data? Come on.
Paraphrasing -, or quoting something that has absolutely no relation to what was really said is a pretty dishonest and low debating tactic in my book.
You can debate the ethics of it, but it wasn't illegal. And Google did get penalized for it.
Immoral? Yes. Evil? Yes.