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Oh, the hypocrisy....

> "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.

I totally agree. And I was even more stumped by Eric Schmidt's hypocritical blathering.

This from the guy, who blacklisted CNN for reporting on him based on information found on Google.


Wow, it's been a long time since CNN wrote news. I wonder if they've been coopted and the new owners are trying to piece them out by devaluing the brand.

Erm, what? Which law did they break, and which civil rights did they violate?

Like indiscriminately and illegally sucking up WiFi data with their street view mobiles?

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.

That did happen, but I believe the data was captured and stored by mistake. At the least, they had no intention to view or use any of that data.

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.

Except, they didn't explicitly mean to do that, stopped doing that, and paid for the autonomous collection of trash that they threw out.

How do you do that by accident? Somebody had to design, implement, and test a feature to sniff and store data off wireless networks.

The goal was just to sniff the wifi APs MAC to pair it with a GPS location for wifi location lookups, not to store the entirety of the packet.

As the story goes, the code [library] was written for another, past project at Google and a work in progress; the car project extended or implemented it without looking under the covers.

You are very naive if you think that Google does something by mistake (that also happens to fit well into their Big Black Hole of Information).

I work for Google, and I can assure you, we do 100,000 things by mistake every day.

In your narrative, would Google have self-reported this intrusion? Because, they didn't have to, and they did it anyway.

You are very paranoid if you think a corporation with thousands of employees never makes mistakes.

First of all, the public should do something about their privacy, if they are concerned about their privacy. Parents are teaching their children that anything they do on the internet is never private.

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.

Given some of the other revelations, is it too tinfoil-hat to entertain the notion that Google were compelled to make the aforementioned slip-up?

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.

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.

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.
Where did I say anything like that?

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.

Receiving a broadcast isn't illegal - you shove it out into the air, you lost all privacy rights on that broadcast legally speaking.

You can debate the ethics of it, but it wasn't illegal. And Google did get penalized for it.

I'm not sure about the storage issue. At least not in the EU, which has pretty heavy restrictions on data collection and storage.

Who in their right mind broadcasts account information and passwords unencrypted and expects it to not be recorded? That would be akin to using a megaphone and yelling your credit card numbers and expecting your neighbours to pretend they didn't hear you.

Tax evasion in EU/US by Google/Apple is beyond imagination.

Are you claiming they act illegally, or are you claiming that they have some duty to pay more than they do today?


Why do they have a duty to?

Unfortunately, it's not illegal.

Immoral? Yes. Evil? Yes.

Oh no! Now the government knows the same things about you as we do! It's OK for us to exploit this information for profit, but I'm pissed as hell someone else might make use of it. I sense a little bit of butthurt from security people who thought they were the bee's knees but where getting completely owned.

How can Google become a more well behaved company if everyone working for them follows that rule?

True but I don't really mind hypocrisy. Would you rather he stayed quiet about the government?

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