[kwlug-disc] [OT] Google sniffing wifi, collecting emails and passwords.

Lori Paniak ldpaniak at fourpisolutions.com
Mon Jun 21 22:14:10 EDT 2010

On Mon, 2010-06-21 at 20:19 -0400, Insurance Squared Inc. wrote:

> > 
> > If they want to crack my WPA2 then I'll see them in court.  If people
> > with open wifi expect privacy of any sort, they should put down the
> > crack.  In the meantime, I'll be checking out the current state of Alta
> > Vista and non-Android phones.
> > 
> >   
> I fail to see why encrypting it entitles you to any sort of privacy.
> I have a lock, I don't have a lock.  It's not yours to 'take' either
> way.  As I noted previosly, you are placing the onus on the public to
> have to protect their privacy against invasion by a corporate entity.
> My opinion is that the corporate entity needs to stop doing what
> they're doing.

This goes back to the old days of unencrypted satellite TV.  If the
radio waves arrive in my back yard, then I can look at them.  No I
cannot sell them to someone else, but I can watch them on my own TV.
Once the signal is scrambled, that is a whole different ballgame. 

Clearly in the modern world, one is responsible for their own privacy
and its maintenance.  Most people understand that.  You can't throw your
bank records out in the curbside trash.  You don't even own your garbage
at that point.

> > The part I don't understand is why
> > this is worse/different than Apple or Microsoft?   Or any other
> > corporate entity?  Google has never been central to the FLOSS community
> > and I doubt they ever will be. 
> It's not any different (well except for apple.  They may be closed
> source, but they're not trampling on your privacy).  Except that the
> oss/tech community is where Google built it's company - you folks
> right here.  Yet the tech community is mostly oblivious to Google
> being a completely commercial entity with commercial interests at
> heart.  They still talk like 'do no evil' is something that Google
> still practices.  They don't still practice that.  In other words, the
> difference is the blinders to Google's practices from the tech
> community.  If MS did anything remotely approaching this - even if it
> had nothing to do with OSS, the entire tech community would be burning
> effegies in the streets.  Instead we get platitudes like 'it's not
> their fault, it's yours because you're too stupid to encrypt' and 'do
> no evil'.   
> It's beyond me how anyone can attempt to brush off scraping of emails
> addresses and passwords across the entire planet, as being OK in any
> sense.  

I agree the "do no evil" veil has been tossed aside.  At least since
Schmidt's comments on privacy.  FLOSS doesn't require users of their
products to not be "evil" - though it would be nice.

Google is the least of your worries when it comes to open wifi
communication.  The upside of this whole discussion might be to educate
a few people out there just how much information they are spewing to the
world.  I'm sure the script kiddies and others with open ears are
putting that information to use in ways that are more offensive than
geo-location.  Being naive about that and believing that the law is
actually protecting you, is much more dangerous than what we have been
discussing. I won't even mention things that go on around the open wifi
at the coffee shop.

Give Apple time.  Their next platform is geared to deliver advertising -
completely controlled by Apple, of course.

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