nz.comp... yeah, right group... Google wifi snooping..

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by ~misfit~, May 15, 2010.

  1. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Bloody Google huh? Had WiFi sniffing gear in their 'street view' photo cars
    and collected as much info as possible while driving around, linking it to
    locations, especially looking for non-password protected routers. To me
    that's really stepping over the line.

    I predicted a few years ago that Google were the 'evil empire' to be feared,
    not Microsoft. Why would they want this data <rhetorical>

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/d...oogle-halts-Street-View-Wi-Fi-data-collection
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-30686_3-20005051-266.html?part=rss&amp;subj=news&amp;tag=2547-1_3-0-20

    "inadvertently collecting data about people's online activities from
    unsecured Wi-Fi networks over the past four years"? Yeah, right. That's like
    accidently raping someone. There was intent. They had the equipment in the
    vehicles, collecting data for *four years*. I don't see anything inadvertant
    about that... The bastards are everywhere.

    You can reach me at ....
     
    ~misfit~, May 15, 2010
    #1
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  2. ~misfit~

    Squiggle Guest

    On 15/05/2010 11:49 a.m., ~misfit~ threw some characters down the intarwebs:
    > Bloody Google huh? Had WiFi sniffing gear in their 'street view' photo cars
    > and collected as much info as possible while driving around, linking it to
    > locations, especially looking for non-password protected routers. To me
    > that's really stepping over the line.


    "especially looking for non-password protected routers" nice bit of
    spin you've added there .. From what i read it looks like they simply
    had wifi gear in promiscuous/search mode recording all wi-fi data that
    they could detect, no special searching for open networks needed.

    >
    > I predicted a few years ago that Google were the 'evil empire' to be feared,
    > not Microsoft. Why would they want this data <rhetorical>
    >
    > http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/d...oogle-halts-Street-View-Wi-Fi-data-collection
    > http://news.cnet.com/8301-30686_3-20005051-266.html?part=rss&amp;subj=news&amp;tag=2547-1_3-0-20
    >
    > "inadvertently collecting data about people's online activities from
    > unsecured Wi-Fi networks over the past four years"? Yeah, right. That's like
    > accidently raping someone. There was intent.


    Thats a bit rich, next you'll be accusing the guy walking his dog on
    your the street that glanced at your house of casing it for a buglary..

    > They had the equipment in the
    > vehicles, collecting data for *four years*. I don't see anything inadvertant
    > about that... The bastards are everywhere.
    >
    > You can reach me at ....
    >
    >



    I think you're overreacting a bit there misfit, there are several
    reasons I can think of for collecting wifi network data that are not an
    invasion of privacy or at all nefarious:

    Developing a map of technology to study the spread of wifi
    technologies.. eg how fast does 802.11b/g/n get adopted.

    And the spread of free/paid wifi hotspots etc. Personally i would love
    to be able to jump on google maps and check if the place I was meeting a
    friend for coffee had a wifi hotspot in the area.

    Using wifi presence as a proxy for affluence of a neighbourhood etc.

    Studying frequency congestion.. how many people in the neighbourhood are
    already using the band, ie, how much interference will your wifi be
    getting from your neighbours network

    All of that is useful and valuable information.
     
    Squiggle, May 15, 2010
    #2
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  3. ~misfit~

    Peter Guest

    Squiggle wrote:
    <snip>
    > I think you're overreacting a bit there misfit, there are several
    > reasons I can think of for collecting wifi network data that are not an
    > invasion of privacy or at all nefarious:
    >
    > Developing a map of technology to study the spread of wifi
    > technologies.. eg how fast does 802.11b/g/n get adopted.
    >
    > And the spread of free/paid wifi hotspots etc. Personally i would love
    > to be able to jump on google maps and check if the place I was meeting a
    > friend for coffee had a wifi hotspot in the area.
    >
    > Using wifi presence as a proxy for affluence of a neighbourhood etc.
    >
    > Studying frequency congestion.. how many people in the neighbourhood are
    > already using the band, ie, how much interference will your wifi be
    > getting from your neighbours network
    >
    > All of that is useful and valuable information.


    On the radio, they explained one potential use was to assist handpieces (eg
    Android phones) to locate themselves. That is, if the handpiece can detect
    which wifis are in range, it gets a hint on where it is.
     
    Peter, May 15, 2010
    #3
  4. ~misfit~

    victor Guest

    On 15/05/2010 11:49 a.m., ~misfit~ wrote:
    > Bloody Google huh? Had WiFi sniffing gear in their 'street view' photo cars
    > and collected as much info as possible while driving around, linking it to
    > locations, especially looking for non-password protected routers. To me
    > that's really stepping over the line.
    >
    > I predicted a few years ago that Google were the 'evil empire' to be feared,
    > not Microsoft. Why would they want this data<rhetorical>
    >
    > http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/d...oogle-halts-Street-View-Wi-Fi-data-collection
    > http://news.cnet.com/8301-30686_3-20005051-266.html?part=rss&amp;subj=news&amp;tag=2547-1_3-0-20
    >
    > "inadvertently collecting data about people's online activities from
    > unsecured Wi-Fi networks over the past four years"? Yeah, right. That's like
    > accidently raping someone. There was intent. They had the equipment in the
    > vehicles, collecting data for *four years*. I don't see anything inadvertant
    > about that... The bastards are everywhere.
    >
    > You can reach me at ....
    >
    >

    I'd expect them to GPS map all the public hotspots they by looking for
    the http captive portal landing pages as any citizen is entitled to.
    Theres heaps out there, every motel, hotel, coffee chains, isps,
    airports, truck stops, transport hubs, hospitals etc
    Its the best way to do it, I don't care if some bozos leave their home
    wifi open, I don't see why their incompetence should stand in the way of
    the gathering of useful public service information.
     
    victor, May 15, 2010
    #4
  5. ~misfit~

    victor Guest

    On 15/05/2010 1:07 p.m., Peter wrote:
    > Squiggle wrote:
    > <snip>
    >> I think you're overreacting a bit there misfit, there are several
    >> reasons I can think of for collecting wifi network data that are not an
    >> invasion of privacy or at all nefarious:
    >>
    >> Developing a map of technology to study the spread of wifi
    >> technologies.. eg how fast does 802.11b/g/n get adopted.
    >>
    >> And the spread of free/paid wifi hotspots etc. Personally i would love
    >> to be able to jump on google maps and check if the place I was meeting a
    >> friend for coffee had a wifi hotspot in the area.
    >>
    >> Using wifi presence as a proxy for affluence of a neighbourhood etc.
    >>
    >> Studying frequency congestion.. how many people in the neighbourhood are
    >> already using the band, ie, how much interference will your wifi be
    >> getting from your neighbours network
    >>
    >> All of that is useful and valuable information.

    >
    > On the radio, they explained one potential use was to assist handpieces (eg
    > Android phones) to locate themselves. That is, if the handpiece can detect
    > which wifis are in range, it gets a hint on where it is.
    >


    The primary use is to enable users to find free wifi using Google Maps

    http://www.ehow.com/how_2272891_use-google-maps-free-wifi.html

    They don't need to send out cars to do that, all the GPS and Wifi phones
    etc will scan out all that information for them eventually and inevitably.
     
    victor, May 15, 2010
    #5
  6. ~misfit~

    Peter Guest

    ~misfit~ wrote:
    > Bloody Google huh? Had WiFi sniffing gear in their 'street view' photo
    > cars and collected as much info as possible while driving around, linking
    > it to locations, especially looking for non-password protected routers. To
    > me that's really stepping over the line.


    Looks like Google has stopped this now ...
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/3702291/Google-halts-
    Street-View-Wi-Fi-data-collection

    "Google says it will no longer collect WiFi network information for its
    Street View mapping service after "mistakenly" gathering personal wireless
    data."
     
    Peter, May 15, 2010
    #6
  7. ~misfit~

    Gordon Guest

    On 2010-05-15, Peter <> wrote:
    > ~misfit~ wrote:
    >> Bloody Google huh? Had WiFi sniffing gear in their 'street view' photo
    >> cars and collected as much info as possible while driving around, linking
    >> it to locations, especially looking for non-password protected routers. To
    >> me that's really stepping over the line.

    >
    > Looks like Google has stopped this now ...
    > http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/3702291/Google-halts-
    > Street-View-Wi-Fi-data-collection
    >
    > "Google says it will no longer collect WiFi network information for its
    > Street View mapping service after "mistakenly" gathering personal wireless
    > data."
    >

    Okay so public opinion has guided Google.

    I do think we need to think, remind ourselves where Google came from. Its
    roots, its culture comes from this.

    Google gathers information/data and created a darn good search engine for
    the web. Now with that sucsess what else can we do? They ask themselves.
    Well any and all data that is freely avaliable is the obvious answer.

    The world needs to expalin to Google where the boundaries are. Just like a
    country with nuclear weapons. Because you have it does not mean that you
    shoul, or should use it.

    Society should be sorting out what is okay, rather than what is not.
     
    Gordon, May 15, 2010
    #7
  8. ~misfit~

    Richard Guest

    victor wrote:

    > The primary use is to enable users to find free wifi using Google Maps
    >
    > http://www.ehow.com/how_2272891_use-google-maps-free-wifi.html
    >
    > They don't need to send out cars to do that, all the GPS and Wifi phones
    > etc will scan out all that information for them eventually and inevitably.


    Already have been doing that for years.

    When a new flatmate moved in my non GPS capable phone was showing me
    outsite his old house in google maps for ages.

    When I got the N95, it showed me outside his old house when inside,
    walked outside and the GPS updated once it got a lock.

    Later on, started google maps inside and it showed me on the road
    outside my house straight away.

    I suspect that google were logging whole frames and not just the wifi
    headers with the wifi mac address etc when driving and there was some
    snippits of peoples internet use in the rest of the frames they grabbed.

    No big deal, its like having your curtains open and someone seeing that
    you are watching porn. Expose it to the public with no protection at all
    and to me its public information.

    Would you complain if they logged that you were listening to certain
    music by a microphone in the car as it drove?
     
    Richard, May 15, 2010
    #8
  9. ~misfit~

    victor Guest

    On 15/05/2010 4:29 p.m., Gordon wrote:
    > On 2010-05-15, Peter<> wrote:
    >> ~misfit~ wrote:
    >>> Bloody Google huh? Had WiFi sniffing gear in their 'street view' photo
    >>> cars and collected as much info as possible while driving around, linking
    >>> it to locations, especially looking for non-password protected routers. To
    >>> me that's really stepping over the line.

    >>
    >> Looks like Google has stopped this now ...
    >> http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/3702291/Google-halts-
    >> Street-View-Wi-Fi-data-collection
    >>
    >> "Google says it will no longer collect WiFi network information for its
    >> Street View mapping service after "mistakenly" gathering personal wireless
    >> data."
    >>

    > Okay so public opinion has guided Google.
    >
    > I do think we need to think, remind ourselves where Google came from. Its
    > roots, its culture comes from this.
    >
    > Google gathers information/data and created a darn good search engine for
    > the web. Now with that sucsess what else can we do? They ask themselves.
    > Well any and all data that is freely avaliable is the obvious answer.
    >
    > The world needs to expalin to Google where the boundaries are. Just like a
    > country with nuclear weapons. Because you have it does not mean that you
    > shoul, or should use it.
    >
    > Society should be sorting out what is okay, rather than what is not.


    As they said, anyone can do it. The tools are just more aggressive than
    they needed for the ssid and MAC info they wanted to capture.
    They probably used wireshark, and other apps which anyone can easily
    find bundled as BackTrack.
    There are tutorials on youtube, quite interesting.
    http://revision3.com/hak5
     
    victor, May 15, 2010
    #9
  10. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Somewhere on teh intarwebs Squiggle wrote:
    > On 15/05/2010 11:49 a.m., ~misfit~ threw some characters down the
    > intarwebs:
    >> Bloody Google huh? Had WiFi sniffing gear in their 'street view'
    >> photo cars and collected as much info as possible while driving
    >> around, linking it to locations, especially looking for non-password
    >> protected routers. To me that's really stepping over the line.

    >
    > "especially looking for non-password protected routers" nice bit of
    > spin you've added there .. From what i read it looks like they simply
    > had wifi gear in promiscuous/search mode recording all wi-fi data that
    > they could detect, no special searching for open networks needed.
    >
    >>
    >> I predicted a few years ago that Google were the 'evil empire' to be
    >> feared, not Microsoft. Why would they want this data <rhetorical>
    >>
    >> http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/d...oogle-halts-Street-View-Wi-Fi-data-collection
    >> http://news.cnet.com/8301-30686_3-20005051-266.html?part=rss&amp;subj=news&amp;tag=2547-1_3-0-20
    >>
    >> "inadvertently collecting data about people's online activities from
    >> unsecured Wi-Fi networks over the past four years"? Yeah, right.
    >> That's like accidently raping someone. There was intent.

    >
    > Thats a bit rich, next you'll be accusing the guy walking his dog on
    > your the street that glanced at your house of casing it for a
    > buglary..


    LOL, you haven't seen where I live.

    >> They had the equipment in the
    >> vehicles, collecting data for *four years*. I don't see anything
    >> inadvertant about that... The bastards are everywhere.
    >>
    >> You can reach me at ....
    >>
    >>

    >
    >
    > I think you're overreacting a bit there misfit, there are several
    > reasons I can think of for collecting wifi network data that are not
    > an invasion of privacy or at all nefarious:
    >
    > Developing a map of technology to study the spread of wifi
    > technologies.. eg how fast does 802.11b/g/n get adopted.
    >
    > And the spread of free/paid wifi hotspots etc. Personally i would love
    > to be able to jump on google maps and check if the place I was
    > meeting a friend for coffee had a wifi hotspot in the area.
    >
    > Using wifi presence as a proxy for affluence of a neighbourhood etc.
    >
    > Studying frequency congestion.. how many people in the neighbourhood
    > are already using the band, ie, how much interference will your wifi
    > be
    > getting from your neighbours network
    >
    > All of that is useful and valuable information.


    Hehee! At least the post got a conversation going in this group that is
    relevant and wasn't OS dick-sizing.

    Google did this in 30 countries, including the US, where the FBI have made
    it clear that what they did was essentially wiretapping and is illegal.
    --
    Shaun.

    "When we dream.... that's just our brains defragmenting" G Jackson.
     
    ~misfit~, May 15, 2010
    #10
  11. ~misfit~

    peterwn Guest

    On May 15, 11:49 am, "~misfit~" <>
    wrote:

    If you do not secure your home wireless, you need your head read.
    Don't use WEP - this is hopeless. Use WAP with a reasonably decent
    password. If you do not do this, your bandwidth may 'leak' especially
    in densely populated areas.

    Having said that, a 'database' of secured home wireless units is not
    particularly useful to snoopers, and Google would be unlikely to pick
    up any meaningful stuff on drive bys.
     
    peterwn, May 17, 2010
    #11
  12. ~misfit~

    victor Guest

    peterwn <> wrote:
    > On May 15, 11:49 am, "~misfit~" <>
    > wrote:
    >
    > If you do not secure your home wireless, you need your head read.
    > Don't use WEP - this is hopeless. Use WAP with a reasonably decent
    > password. If you do not do this, your bandwidth may 'leak' especially
    > in densely populated areas.
    >
    > Having said that, a 'database' of secured home wireless units is not
    > particularly useful to snoopers, and Google would be unlikely to pick
    > up any meaningful stuff on drive bys.
    >

    There is a location service called skyhook that uses all the aggregated
    access points as beacons
     
    victor, May 18, 2010
    #12
  13. In article <d1639bb1-8c89-41c5-8322-
    >, says...
    >
    > On May 15, 11:49 am, "~misfit~" <>
    > wrote:
    >
    > If you do not secure your home wireless, you need your head read.
    > Don't use WEP - this is hopeless. Use WAP with a reasonably decent
    > password. If you do not do this, your bandwidth may 'leak' especially
    > in densely populated areas.
    >


    Seconded.

    Considering the knowledge state of most people who get a router sent out
    by their isp in the mail, preconfigured, and all they do is plug it in
    .... fat chance of that being secured, nor would they have the
    wherewithal.

    I chose to keep wireless turned off on the router. It runs much hotter
    with wireless on, which indicates a useless waste of electricity; plus
    cables are faster anyway, and more secure. Not that I have to worry
    about neighbours tapping into my wireless, they're too far away and
    besides I'm the guy who wired their networks ;-) No Google wardrivers
    beyond the black stump either.

    I don't even turn it on for visitors, they get shown where the access
    point is in the spare bedroom and get a short lan cable put into their
    hot little hands.

    -P.
     
    Peter Huebner, May 18, 2010
    #13
  14. ~misfit~

    Richard Guest

    Peter Huebner wrote:

    > I don't even turn it on for visitors, they get shown where the access
    > point is in the spare bedroom and get a short lan cable put into their
    > hot little hands.


    Too bad if they want to use it on a device with no ethernet I guess.
     
    Richard, May 24, 2010
    #14
  15. In article <htdku3$8lj$>, says...
    >
    > Peter Huebner wrote:
    >
    > > I don't even turn it on for visitors, they get shown where the access
    > > point is in the spare bedroom and get a short lan cable put into their
    > > hot little hands.

    >
    > Too bad if they want to use it on a device with no ethernet I guess.


    you wouldn't believe how many backpackers drag a shlepptop around with
    them these days .... so far, though, every single one had an rj45 port.

    And yes, too bad. We have no cellphone reception, no radio reception and
    no tv either. People who come to stay with us like it, or they move on.

    How many people do you know who keep a computer in their spare bedroom
    exclusively for guest's usage? If that's not good enough, then so be it.

    -P.
     
    Peter Huebner, May 24, 2010
    #15
  16. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Somewhere on teh intarwebs Peter Huebner wrote:
    > In article <htdku3$8lj$>, says...
    >>
    >> Peter Huebner wrote:
    >>
    >>> I don't even turn it on for visitors, they get shown where the
    >>> access point is in the spare bedroom and get a short lan cable put
    >>> into their hot little hands.

    >>
    >> Too bad if they want to use it on a device with no ethernet I guess.

    >
    > you wouldn't believe how many backpackers drag a shlepptop around with
    > them these days .... so far, though, every single one had an rj45
    > port.
    >
    > And yes, too bad. We have no cellphone reception, no radio reception
    > and no tv either. People who come to stay with us like it, or they
    > move on.
    >
    > How many people do you know who keep a computer in their spare bedroom
    > exclusively for guest's usage? If that's not good enough, then so be
    > it.


    Heh! I always set up a computer for guest's exclusive use, restoring it back
    to an image after they've finished using it (without booting into the OS).

    However, back to the thread's subject:

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/196862/google_hit_with_classaction_lawsuit_over_wifi_snooping.html

    I thought that it was just a matter of time....
    --
    Shaun.

    "When we dream.... that's just our brains defragmenting" G Jackson.
     
    ~misfit~, May 25, 2010
    #16
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