jastra - 11:44 pm on May 20, 2010 (gmt 0)
In in earlier post I speculated that perhaps the technology involved here may be outpacing current law. Here's a quote from EFF, Electronic Frontier Foundation, on this issue.
"Notably, Google’s potential liability under U.S. law (yes, I understand this all happened in Europe) is not clear. Penalties for wiretapping electronic communications in the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) only apply to intentional acts of interception, yet Google claims it collected the content by accident. Further, the scope of legal protections for unencrypted wireless communications are uncertain. There is an exception to ECPA's general prohibition on content interception when the intercepted communications are "readily accessible to the general public." This exception was not written with Wi-Fi in mind and the courts have not yet directly grappled with the issue, but Google may assert that unencrypted Wi-Fi signals fit that exception."
And, as with so many laws, let's talk about intent. Google have gone on record saying they collected this info by mistake. Their lawyers can no doubt quote chapter and verse of the wiretapping laws, so what do you expect Google to say?
But as somebody saying earlier, if this was a street view operation, and to only identify wi-fi networks, why did they write the code that read the transmissions? And then store it?
Read the full article here: [eff.org...]
I apologize ahead of time that this may all be an affront to Demaestro. LOL.