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U.S. top court rejects Google bid to drop Street View privacy case [illegal Wi-Fi wiretap]
Reuters ^ | June 30, 2014 | BY LAWRENCE HURLEY

Posted on 06/30/2014 10:07:27 PM PDT by Jim Robinson

(Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected Google Inc's bid to dismiss a lawsuit accusing it of violating federal wiretap law when it accidentally collected emails and other personal data while building its popular Street View program.

The justices left intact a September 2013 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which refused to exempt Google from liability under the federal Wiretap Act for having inadvertently intercepted emails, user names, passwords and other data from private Wi-Fi networks to create Street View, which provides panoramic views of city streets.

The lawsuit arose soon after the Mountain View, California-based company publicly apologized in May 2010 for having collected fragments of "payload data" from unsecured wireless networks in more than 30 countries.

Google was accused of having collected the data while driving its vehicles through neighborhoods from 2008 to 2010 to collect photos for Street View.

(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: email; google; passwords; personalinfo; privacy; scotus; streetview; surveillance; wifiwiretap
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1 posted on 06/30/2014 10:07:27 PM PDT by Jim Robinson
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To: ShadowAce

Tech ping.


2 posted on 06/30/2014 10:09:21 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (Resist in place.)
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To: Jim Robinson

The first comment at the source alleges that Google designed that in... they did war driving as they videoed, and grabbed neighborhood peripheral data as they went, from people who hadn’t bothered to password protect their networks.

That was pretty presumptuous of Google. I do not know what they hoped to accomplish by doing this. “Dear john@doghouse.com: we took note of your email address while we were going down Main Street in Hackersville, USA. Please look at our photos of this street and let us know if you like them.”

Funny thing, though, a degree of snooping that might get an individual thrown in jail results in a fine that is a pittance for a corporation like Google.


3 posted on 06/30/2014 10:17:30 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: All

Does anyone know how to get a job with Google driving around in a camera truck?


4 posted on 06/30/2014 10:46:05 PM PDT by VerySadAmerican (Liberals were raised by women or wimps.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

They were collecting wifi network names (SSID) and their locations so that they could use that data to help user geolocate themselves more quickly. The other data came along for the ride. People should have encryption enabled on their networks anyway. What google did is more analogous to recording CB radio transmissions than wiretapping.


5 posted on 06/30/2014 11:10:24 PM PDT by MrShoop
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To: MrShoop

They did it to provide mapping of open WiFi access points which many are public on purpose. For example a coffee shop or fast food restaurant.

The bottom line is, if people don’t secure their networks while using the public airwaves they should have no expectation of privacy. I think calling it an illegal tap is seriously bad law.


6 posted on 06/30/2014 11:26:03 PM PDT by DB
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To: MrShoop
They were collecting wifi network names (SSID) and their locations so that they could use that data to help user geolocate themselves more quickly.

This is not a grammatical statement and sounds like obammy-speak.


7 posted on 06/30/2014 11:38:15 PM PDT by 867V309 (Don't tread on me, bro)
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To: 867V309

Especially since SSIDs are not guaranteed to be unique.


8 posted on 06/30/2014 11:41:30 PM PDT by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: DB
They did it to provide mapping of open WiFi access points which many are public on purpose.

I could do that without "accidentally collected emails and other personal data" and I have a whole lot less technology than googel.

The bottom line is, they were data-mining (spying).


9 posted on 06/30/2014 11:44:52 PM PDT by 867V309 (Don't tread on me, bro)
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To: 867V309

At best this is too clever by half. Oh, this guy’s email (which they can see if he is logged into gmail) looks like the chatter we found at the corner of 2nd and Maple, Anytown. We think we’ll bring that corner right up when he asks for Google Maps.

They managed to follow my MAC ID to suggest places I hadn’t been to in a coon’s age.


10 posted on 06/30/2014 11:56:11 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: DB; 867V309
They were collecting all the names (SSIDs) of the wifi networks they discovered, public and private, and mapping their location. With your permission, your browser can send a list of all the nearby wifi networks to Google, and then they can cross reference to their list, and estimate your location. It can be surprisingly accurate. For me, it will be within 50ft. Here is the FAQ from the Firefox website on their implementation:
What is Location-Aware Browsing?

How does it work?

When you visit a location-aware website, Firefox will ask you if you want to share your location.

If you consent, Firefox gathers information about nearby wireless access points and your computer’s IP address. Then Firefox sends this information to the default geolocation service provider, Google Location Services, to get an estimate of your location. That location estimate is then shared with the requesting website.

If you say that you do not consent, Firefox will not do anything.

You can test it out here: http://html5demos.com/geo
11 posted on 07/01/2014 12:05:13 AM PDT by MrShoop
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To: HiTech RedNeck
They managed to follow my MAC ID...

evil sons of bitches


12 posted on 07/01/2014 12:08:04 AM PDT by 867V309 (Don't tread on me, bro)
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To: MrShoop

Well that’s kind of double-talky misleading.

Share your location? Well, unless my ISP will tell them that, they shouldn’t know.

I happened to be granted a US patent, by the way, on a means of location-adaptive website behavior. It was based on the user’s domain. If some voice had whispered to me that I should use some snooped network information, and hide the description of what I was doing on some other web site, I would have told it that it was crazy.


13 posted on 07/01/2014 12:09:49 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: 867V309

I mean how else, a bunch of cookie and Google-stored-data clearings later, would they know I had been in Maryland?


14 posted on 07/01/2014 12:13:06 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: 867V309

But somehow, yeah, they did it. On a completely new Linux installation on an old netbook that I had been using in Maryland. My MAC ID is the ONLY thing that would have been the same!


15 posted on 07/01/2014 12:16:27 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
I mean how else, a bunch of cookie and Google-stored-data clearings later, would they know I had been in Maryland?

You're right. And we haven't even started to discuss facial recognition software, EXIF data, and all the other under-the-radar privacy invasion going on. Don't get me started.

Make no mistake, Googel, Fakebook and Twitster are all evil NSA chumps.


16 posted on 07/01/2014 12:26:05 AM PDT by 867V309 (Don't tread on me, bro)
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To: 867V309

But it would be so CONVENIENT to be able to destination-map the truck stop that was next to the motel I stayed in for 3 months while contracting in Maryland 2 years ago...

Google is too big for its britches. When I want Google to forget, I mean it!


17 posted on 07/01/2014 12:28:55 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Convenience at the price of privacy

Security at the price of freedom


18 posted on 07/01/2014 12:36:19 AM PDT by 867V309 (Don't tread on me, bro)
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To: 867V309

I call this creepy and spooky behavior. Unless I can know how Google knows something I expect it NOT to know!


19 posted on 07/01/2014 12:37:26 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: 867V309

I mean, they probably have a record of everything my MAC ID surfed in the Google network, right down to the last grotty You Tube video. A veritable Golem of snoopdata.


20 posted on 07/01/2014 12:39:16 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: 867V309

Well, maybe IRS should have been using gmail. Then Lois Lerner’s emails would never, ever, ever have been lost!


21 posted on 07/01/2014 12:44:05 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: 867V309

I would guess they simply recorded the packets they captured on the various WiFi channels as they drove by and processed all the data at a later time.

There’s a difference between sitting there and waiting for networks to identify themselves while scanning all the channels (the software you use). This is a drive-by where they capture whatever happens to be going on at the moment while briefly present.

If you can’t be bothered to minimally secure your network on the public airwaves then you have no right to complain that others are capturing what you’re broadcasting. I might add the the frequencies involved are unlicensed public frequencies.


22 posted on 07/01/2014 12:44:08 AM PDT by DB
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To: DB

Well even war-driving setups tend to be more intelligent than this. They will parse the traffic as they get it.


23 posted on 07/01/2014 12:45:15 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
I mean, they probably have a record of everything my MAC ID surfed in the Google network,

Your browser sends a lot of info about your system when it requests a website, but I don't think your wireless MAC address is included by default. If I'm wrong, we're sure to hear.


24 posted on 07/01/2014 12:45:55 AM PDT by 867V309 (Don't tread on me, bro)
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To: DB

And one can argue about what “should” be done but the legal precedent is that if you intended it to be private (e.g. not on some agreed amateur frequency) then it is considered a violation of law to snoop. Google was counting on asking forgiveness later. That didn’t happen, at least formally.

People should be more careful. MAC IDs can tell more about you to Mother Google than you expected.


25 posted on 07/01/2014 12:49:10 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: DB
There’s a difference between sitting there and waiting for networks to identify themselves while scanning all the channels (the software you use). This is a drive-by where they capture whatever happens to be going on at the moment while briefly present.

Whatta-buncha-crap. If they were just mapping connections, there is absolutely NO reason to collect personal data.


26 posted on 07/01/2014 12:50:18 AM PDT by 867V309 (Don't tread on me, bro)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Are you sure they didn’t follow your whereabouts from your browser signature?

You MAC address shouldn’t be being passed over the Internet in IP packets.


27 posted on 07/01/2014 12:54:36 AM PDT by DB
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To: 867V309

Well somehow they managed to figure out where I’d been if it wasn’t MAC address. Well enough to show it as a choice when I visited Google Maps. Maybe it’s getting too late at night.


28 posted on 07/01/2014 12:56:42 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

I meant to write “Your” and not “you”...


29 posted on 07/01/2014 12:57:24 AM PDT by DB
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To: DB

What would be clever is how they managed to do that across OS installations. And no I never consented to a “share my location” request.


30 posted on 07/01/2014 12:58:24 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Well somehow they managed to figure out where I’d been if it wasn’t MAC address.

IP address?


31 posted on 07/01/2014 12:59:22 AM PDT by 867V309 (Don't tread on me, bro)
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To: 867V309

If I am using dynamic IP how could that possibly be the same now, on my home network, as it was in Maryland when I was using the motel’s WiFi?


32 posted on 07/01/2014 1:01:52 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
It couldn't. If you are not logged-in, have erased cookies, used different computers, operating systems and browsers, if I were you I'd be creeped out.

My next step would be to travel to another place and see if they track you there. If so, seek professional help.


33 posted on 07/01/2014 1:13:11 AM PDT by 867V309 (Don't tread on me, bro)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Your browser provides a lot information about your system, for example the browser type and version, the operating system type and version (including major service packs), the browser plug-ins and their versions, the screen resolution and DPI of your display. You add all that together and it makes a pretty good signature. People install different plug-ins (Adobe Reader, Flash, etc.) for different needs.

When you log into Youtube, Gmail or any other Google service they have who you are with your signature. So when the signature moves across different networks, they can track you without cookies or logging into anything. All without your MAC address.

IPv6 is different. It normally uses your MAC address as part of your IP address. Every MAC address is unique making each IP address unique. Therefore you can be tracked everywhere you go directly including everything you view online. I find IPv6 to be rather disturbing for that reason.


34 posted on 07/01/2014 1:15:28 AM PDT by DB
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To: 867V309

See #34


35 posted on 07/01/2014 1:18:18 AM PDT by DB
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To: HiTech RedNeck

How you can hide (in terms of being tracked if you move around) is to use VMware or equivalent to virtualize your browser’s environment. Use a generic OS with a common screen resolution, DPI and color depth with only the minimum plug-ins needed to work and never log into any Google service with it. Erase your cookies if you allow them after every use. They shouldn’t be able to track you then.


36 posted on 07/01/2014 1:28:36 AM PDT by DB
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To: DB
IPv6 is different. It normally uses your MAC address as part of your IP address.

Well, maybe.

To reduce the prospect of a user identity being permanently tied to an IPv6 address portion, a node may create temporary addresses with interface identifiers based on time-varying random bit strings[34] and relatively short lifetimes (hours to days), after which they are replaced with new addresses.


37 posted on 07/01/2014 1:28:43 AM PDT by 867V309 (Don't tread on me, bro)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

They can do it with different OS installations if you’ve logged into any Google service with each OS install. It could be a simple as watching a Youtube video through a Youtube account. Then they have who you are and the signature of each OS you use.


38 posted on 07/01/2014 1:33:56 AM PDT by DB
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To: DB
How you can hide (in terms of being tracked if you move around) is to use VMware or equivalent to virtualize your browser’s environment.

Excellent! Here's how to do it using VirtualBox (free).

http://lifehacker.com/5965889/how-to-run-windows-xp-for-free-in-windows-8


39 posted on 07/01/2014 1:37:29 AM PDT by 867V309 (Don't tread on me, bro)
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To: 867V309

Yes, you can spoof your MAC. But it requires some effort and knowledge to do so.

And I wouldn’t be surprised that at some point the government outlaws the ability to do so with normal commercial products because it hinders law enforcement.

It is big government’s wet dream to have an unambiguous way to track Internet traffic of the masses down to the individual device.


40 posted on 07/01/2014 1:40:20 AM PDT by DB
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To: DB
It is big government’s wet dream to have an unambiguous way to track Internet traffic of the masses down to the individual device.

It is big government’s wet dream to track everything all the time.
41 posted on 07/01/2014 1:45:03 AM PDT by 867V309 (Don't tread on me, bro)
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To: DB

If you fail to lock your wifi, doors, windows or automobiles you’re taking a risk. Would it be okay if they compiled a list of houses with unlocked doors and/or windows, and published the list?


42 posted on 07/01/2014 2:03:30 AM PDT by BykrBayb (Wagglebee, welcome home we missed you! ~ Þ)
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To: BykrBayb
Would it be okay if they compiled a list of houses with unlocked doors and/or windows, and published the list?

Sure nuff. Even better if they stepped inside and did an inventory.


43 posted on 07/01/2014 2:07:24 AM PDT by 867V309 (Don't tread on me, bro)
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To: 867V309

That would certainly be convenient. Don’t see how anyone could complain.


44 posted on 07/01/2014 2:15:42 AM PDT by BykrBayb (Wagglebee, welcome home we missed you! ~ Þ)
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To: BykrBayb


I'm sure the gibme underclass would. Probably get Morgoon & Morgoon (Florida) to file suit.


45 posted on 07/01/2014 2:22:00 AM PDT by 867V309 (Don't tread on me, bro)
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To: DB
"Your browser provides a lot information about your system, for example the browser type and version, the operating system type and version (including major service packs), the browser plug-ins and their versions, the screen resolution and DPI of your display. You add all that together and it makes a pretty good signature."

Just to follow up on this, you can check to see how unique your browser's signature is by using Panopticlick, a tool set up by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

There are many excellent tools available for Firefox browser that can assist you in protecting your privacy. Here are a few of my favorites:


46 posted on 07/01/2014 5:43:20 AM PDT by Cato in PA (Resist!)
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To: Jim Robinson

IMHO, the fact that you can be tracked 24/7 if you use a cell phone is way more potentially invasive than this.


47 posted on 07/01/2014 6:13:07 AM PDT by upchuck (Everyday, Joe Wilson becomes more correct!)
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To: VerySadAmerican
(The following post is based entirely on speculation and should be disregarded as nonsense.)

I don't. FWIW, Im not sure that Google actually does the driving. I suspect that the driving is contracted. I base this on having seen the job ads for drivers in this area (the contact was not Google) and the fact that the local Google truck parking lots were at businesses that had nothing to do with Google directly (for example, a local land survey company).

48 posted on 07/01/2014 10:10:18 AM PDT by gnarledmaw (Obama: Evincing a Design since 2009)
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To: gnarledmaw

Sounds like a good gig if you like to travel. Then again, I’m sure you’d have to go to the big city Amish areas.


49 posted on 07/01/2014 11:07:21 AM PDT by VerySadAmerican (Liberals were raised by women or wimps.)
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To: Jim Robinson

Might be just my public education, but I don’t get it.

How SLOW does one have to drive to ‘...accidentally collected emails and other personal data...’

Even in my area, where there exists multiple SSIDs (all secure, so the little icon says), taking the strongest signal available; you’re still talking seconds to ‘handshake’, more still to snoop and more still to receive...all at the end/edge of these connections/from the street/etc before the signal drops ala range??


50 posted on 07/01/2014 11:23:23 AM PDT by i_robot73 (Give me one example and I will show where gov't is the root of the problem(s).)
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