South Korean Cyber Crime Unit Raids Google Office

It appears that the fallout of Google’s “unintentional” gathering of Wi-Fi data when working on the Street View project is still escalating. Yesterday morning S. Korea’s cyber crime unit raided Google’s Soul headquarters. According to an article on engadget, the raid was “due to suspicions that it may have collected and stored data from WiFi networks without authorization.”

According to engadget, this whole problem started back in 2006, when a Google engineer “working on an experimental WiFi project” wrote a piece of code for collecting “all categories of public broadcast WiFi data” — basically, all information (known as “payload”) downloaded and uploaded from an open / non-password protected network“. This code ended up in the software used by the vehicles that collected data for Street View.

South Korea is not the only country that has issues with Google’s Street View. Bloomburg.com reported today that German’s Data Privacy officials criticized Google for only giving citizens a four week window to block their buildings from being posted on the service:

“This surprised me very much,” Johannes Caspar, Hamburg’s data protection regulator, said in a statement yesterday. The “quick introduction of the objection tool and the decision to start it during the summer holidays” as well as Google’s refusal to have a complaints telephone hotline “create doubts about Google’s interests in a simple and user-friendly implementation.”

According to the article, other countries are also coming forward. Along with S. Korea and Germany – privacy officials from the US, Canada, Spain, France, Italy and the Czech Republic are also getting involved.

I know it seemed an innocent enough project, seeing a view of buildings from the street level does have its merits. But with all the turmoil that it has caused, one has to wonder about the wisdom of the Street View project.

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~ by D. Dieterle on August 11, 2010.

8 Responses to “South Korean Cyber Crime Unit Raids Google Office”

  1. Google needs to be destroyed. It’s a testiment to how deeply ingrained they are into our government, that it takes other countries to stand up to them.

    Like I’ve said, Any company that’s has “Do No Evil” as a motto should not be trusted.

    • Good point Philo. Most people do not know that Google records EVERYTHING that you do using their services. This includes your searches, the items you clicked on, the ones you didn’t, the places that you requested maps for, everyting…

      Here is some more information about what they do and how you can anonymize your searches, if you so desire too, by using a Firefox add in called “Google Sharing”.

  2. do you know anything about “In Private Browsing” that both Firefox and IE offer now? Supposedly it keeps anything from being recorded while you browse…

    • When you surf, most of the website data that you see is stored in your temporary internet file cache. Which you can delete with the “delete temporary internet files” option.

      But that is not the only place where surfing data is stored. A complete record of your surfing is stored in several index.dat files. (These files are supposedly overwritten now in IE7 and IE8 when you delete internet history). You used to have to boot in safe mode to delete them.

      With the new “Private” browsing, the browser is not supposed to store any internet history of your searching or cookies from sites or offer up cookie type information from your browser. But it is not perfect, it still offers up your IP address to anyone who wants it. (To test, just turn on private browsing and go to whatsmyip.org)

      Google tracks by cookie, but also IP. If you use the GoogleSharing add-in in Firefox by Moxie Marlinspike, it acts as a Proxy server for Google searches. It takes your searches, and runs them on a different computer, along with other searches and it even mixes in some random searches. It just kinda mucks everything in together. Then it returns your search results to your PC. Kinda like a terminal server.

      Of course you have to trust that whoever is running the Googlesharing proxy your connecting to is of good character, because you are basically using them as a internet proxy.

      I could be wrong, but I think this is how it all runs. I hope this makes sense. Sorry about the long reply.

  3. Dig it. thanx homie. :) Not much on proxies, as used in this case. sounds like onion router scam to me. but inprivate browsing may be a winner…

  4. This has actually sparked up an idea in my mind. This really is a superb weblog article.

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