Feeds

back to article Street View snooping sparks new watchdog site

The row over Google's Street View network sniffing, along with European proposals to keep browsing history, has led Privacy International to set up a new website which aims to harness technical knowledge and skills to push forward debate on these issues. The lobby group wants to focus debate on the technical questions which …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Welcome

Naturally

Given Simon Davies involvement with BT/Phorm, the site makes no mention what so ever of BT/Phorm.

Nice.

Don't get me wrong, a welcome idea. I hope Google are prosecuted (I complained to the Police myself, and await their miserable excuses for sitting on their thumbs with interest).

But PI cannot claim to be impartial, independent, fair, or balanced while their Director can't say the 'Ph word' in public.

8
0
Silver badge

I agree with your sentiment....

I always found these characters try and push the envelope of ethics as a way to make money.

Since the trend is shifting back to keeping information private, I wouldn't condemn anything doing with Simon Davies. I personally don't know the git, but my guess is that if he can make a buck slamming Google and others, he'll jump on the bandwagon and do just that.

So until Phorm pops up its ugly head, he's still innocent until proven guilty.

With respect to the other website and their pages on the whole Google snafu, they ask some basic questions... but they don't delve in to the action versus the laws in those countries that are now considering legal action.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Police Complaint?

If you were a reader of El Reg and therefore supposedly technically savvy, then why did you have an unsecured public WiFi and not use even basic encryption?

Or...are you complaining on behalf of someone else who might have used an unencrypted wireless device and might have had some data listened to?

I don't think the police enact prosecutions based on the complaint of an uninvolved third party(?)

I don't like the fact that Google decided to eavesdrop in the first place and really not sure why they did it, but I wouls consider your complaint to the police a waste of Police resources and your complaints should be made to the overseeing privacy bodies who are able to form prosecutions if deemed valid.

1
1
Happy

Dear AC

Its worth recalling the reason you (and I) encrypt communications is to protect ourselves from eavesdropping criminals.

Google are still eavesdropping criminals.

Here's another thought for you to chew on. Encryption is no guarantee of security. Take the ever popular WEP for example. A sample of your encrypted wireless communications could be cracked by someone with a huge datacentre in a matter of seconds.

3
1
Anonymous Coward

Why are you using WEP?

So, why are you using WEP and not WPA2? WEP doesn't need a huge data centre to crack, it can be cracked with a laptop in the street. Are you saying that Google have cracked your WEP encrypted communications and that is why you have reported them to the Police?

As I said previously I'm not saying Google weren't wrong to eavesdrop, they were, I am just questioning why you reported it to the police - do you believe that this is the appropriate response?

I think this just wastes the time and resources of your local Police force when you would not even know if a crime has occurred against you. The appropriate place to complain is to the relevant privacy watchdog and allow them to form a case.

0
0
FAIL

Shameless plug

That boxcrack site is a useless resource. Can I have my bandwidth back.

1
0

"How come no-one noticed the massive pile of data which must have resulted from using the software?"

... because it was utterly trivial compared to the amount of data captured by the multiple hi-res cameras on the cars..

And anyway, they did notice it.. They knew they were collecting the basic data; SSID etc.. (and publicly announced it at the time) but did not realise they had grabbed the unsecured data until they analysed the dumps from the wifi subsystem on the streetview cars. Until they did that they probably just archived those data grabs for later analysis, and paid no attention at all to it's contents. It's just data.. and Google deals with petabytes of that every day after all..

Never forget that this was, after all , not the primary goal of the streetview scheme.

Cue the usual wonks making like this is a) a lot of data, b) deliberate, c) an evil scheme that has probed the networks and cracked the passwords of every freedom lovin 'tard in the universe.

1
4

There's a rather big difference

between capturing broadcast SSIDs, and sampling the traffic content too.

Google have acknowledge the code involved was deliberately intended to gather communications content data.

3
0
WTF?

Exactly what data did Google record?

If Google just recorded the MAC address and SID then that's NOT an invasion of privacy. Every wifi router broadcasts this data, it's intended to be shared.

So far I haven't read anything about what other data Google have stored. Did they attempt to join insecure networks and access computers and files? If so then they deserve to be put in the slammer, but if they didn't do that then what's the big deal?

1
0
Troll

dephormation? :-) great name

but:

'I complained to the Police myself,';

Why? were you running your Wifi without encryption when Google drove down your street then? Or typing passwords into non SSL encrypted pages? or following any basic safe surfing practice at all?

And since you must be well informed.. I'd love to hear your estimates of the difference between these the following?

% of traffic Phorm (and it lookalikes) logs on your internet connection.

vs.

% of traffic your ISP logs and retains on your internet connection on behalf of the government.

vs.

% of traffic Google logged and retained from your wireless network.

vs.

% of traffic on your wireless network logged and fully decrypted by that 14 year old kid who lives down the street.

Sleep well..

1
3
Happy

No crime without percentages?

Its still a criminal offence to intercept communications in this country. It doesn't matter whether it is one home, or a million, one business, or a million.

Think of it this way...

Just because many elderly people are vulnerable to mugging, doesn't make mugging them legitimate. Just because elderly people are a small percentage of the population, doesn't make robbing them fair. And just because the elderly often carry relatively little cash , doesn't make stealing from them reasonable because it would be too complicated to ask their consent.

The right to private communications is long established in this country, and part of the European Convention on Human Rights (art 8). It is vital that law is enforced robustly, or we all lose our rights.

2
1
Unhappy

YAWN - non story.

Stop cheerleading for the Daily Fail.

2
0

This post has been deleted by a moderator

This topic is closed for new posts.