South Korea raids Google over Street View

By Matthew · 18 replies
Aug 10, 2010
Post New Reply
  1. South Korean authorities raided Google's Seoul office today, seeking any user data obtained illegally through its Street View project, which has caused the search giant quite a bit of legal friction. Along with Korea's pursuit, 37 US states and the Federal Trade Commission are investigating Google's Street View service -- not to mention a variety of probes overseas and class action lawsuits.

    Read the whole story
  2. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 718   +236

    Oh yes sure lets all crucify Google for getting info from UNSECURED networks!

    Last I checked if I leave my car doors open with my wallet/GPS/Cellphone on the car seat and return 2 hours later to find them stolen the police will laugh at me when I report it as a crime; how is this any different?
    I don't get why this is even under investigation, can those cameras see anything that normal people walking around there cant?
    Are all those people under investigation for seeing whats going on around them, and God forbid having a netbook with them to log onto wifi hotspots?
  3. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Its very cheeky, but its gray ground really.

    Can it really be deemed as illegal to access and possibly view private information on a publicly accessable, unsecured network?
  4. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,147   +915

    Completely Agree with you, I wish I could put a "friendface" Like on the above comment.

    Very well said lipe123
  5. tengeta

    tengeta TS Enthusiast Posts: 612

    Yes the people aren't smart leaving their networks insecure, but a corporation has no business doing what Google was.
  6. Well just because it's unsecured it doesn't give them the right to snoop around; it's not their network. Just as they wouldn't snoop around your mailbox because it was unsecured.
  7. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    That is like saying 'it is ok for a thief to get in and steal stuff, when you have forgotten to close one of the windows in your home'. So that is one very stupid argument IMO.

    Problem is 'fair play, and ethical responsibility' just doesn't exist in the corporate culture. Hence, continuation of finding ways to exploit people in every which way they can find.
  8. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    True, but its is also the responsibility of the person in question to ensure it is secure.

    The same can be said for cars; If you leave your keys in the car and someone steals it, its involantary theft. You get no insurance payout, but at the same time you haven't commited a criminal offence either.

    Is the same not true of this?

    I don't think its ethically correct, and it was very stupid on the part of google, but have they really commited a criminal act when scanning for wireless networks without protection? Using the above comment as reference, I really don't see how someone could legally prosecute a person (or company/corporation) for accessing something unprotected.

    Or maybe I'm looking at it the wrong way, as I'm unaware of the laws surrounding this, in large part due to the fact they don't apply to anything I would do. lol.
  9. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    I am fairly certain that you can find a way to drag google into court, especially if evidence can be found that 'they either sell that information to someone, in some form', which results in e.g. theft of banking related info of a user. There are so many possibilities, i am sure a lawyer will be able to come up with lot more info on that one.

    There is difference between that car scenario, and about being tech savvy enough to know the intricacies of configuring a safer network, when we talk about ordinary people; one can't expect that from them anyway, and the problem is compounded by 'half experts who do the stuff for them, without bothering to implement security ring around the network'. Locking a car doesn't involve such skills, if one doesn't do it, its pure negligence.
  10. Neojt

    Neojt TS Addict Posts: 223   +56

    In canada you can get a ticket if you dont lock your car doors as it promotes steeling

    you should get a ticket if your WiFi is not secured as it makes peaple look for these and exploit them
  11. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,147   +915

    I agree with that also, ISP's shouldn't give their customers Routers with no Security on and at least tell the users they are not secure.

    Also who buys and set's up a wi-fi network and doesn't know that it needs security on? I mean, if you can setup the modem and everything, I can't see why they cannot click on the mysterious "security" settings?

    Whats worse is that anti-piracy laws are getting stricter and more often users are getting done because their IP was found to be downloading a torrent.

    Surely their should be campaigns out there promoting protecting your wi-fi or something?
  12. TJGeezer

    TJGeezer TS Enthusiast Posts: 385   +10

    A few years ago Robert Cringely wrote a column for PBS about how he combined open signals from his neighbors' unsecured wifi "hot spots" into a free high-bandwidth access point for his study. (Couldn't find a later column I think he wrote on using a home-built mesh system to get extremely high bandwidth but his first experiment is described at )

    If this was doable in 2005 as a self-professed nerd's home project, I have to wonder why home wifi equipment isn't automatically secured right from the factory by now.
  13. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 718   +236

    No the crucial difference here is, your car is typically located in a public street/parking lot at a mall. Your house in in your yard, its common knowledge that its "personal space" thats off limits.

    The big obvious fact here is, its not the government/ISP/your mom/etc's responsibility to keep your network safe! Computers/routers/etc should come with a license just like cars do. The fact is any ***** can go buy a pc and a router and get it running in under a hour with no idea what security even is. Also impossible to factory secure these devices cause everyone would know the default factory pass admin/admin for example anyways.

    Bottom line, unsecured network + data stolen = YOUR FAULT!!!
  14. TJGeezer

    TJGeezer TS Enthusiast Posts: 385   +10

    All sorts of electronic devices generate highly randomized signal encryption, from cordless phones to auto ignition systems. The point of doing so with a router would be to bar easy access to a clear signal from outside, not from inside the local net where a known router password like "ADMIN" might be applied. Encrypting the wireless signal to the router could be an automated part of the setup - it could be all but transparent to the user. Or so I would think. What am I missing here?
  15. kathieleopoldo

    kathieleopoldo TS Rookie

  16. emeritaschlitz

    emeritaschlitz TS Rookie

  17. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,485   +45

  18. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    I've heard that info about Google before but one thing that's still not clear to me (can someone clarify)

    When Google's Street View vehicles roam the streets, just what data are they collecting from public wifi anyway??? Let alone what they may put on the net

    When i first heard of Google's street view vehicles i thought of them just as TeleAtlas or NAVTEQ data collection vehicles (they're nav map database providers) that roam the streets

    ==> You have a car driving around with cameras and sensors to geo-code video imagery with GPS location (so you can see snapshots of things and take "virtual" drives along any street) along with capturing things like road signage and landmarks, etc.

    ==> So just what is it Google is collecting from wifi and geo-coding with the other data???

    Any one know??

    /* edit */
    And since the vehicle's GPS data doesn't come over public wifi, nor does the camera imagery (well, unless they use wireless cameras) but even then what other data are they collecting from wifi?

    /* edit 2*/
    And i guess, more specifically: Just what wifi data goes into their Street View product? (other then geo-coded imagery). Cuz maybe the more fundamental question is: Are they simply collecting unprotected personal data that they use for direct or in-direct resale for their own separate business purposes (e.g. selling marketing / web site / sampling data by collecting IP addresses over wifi that's geo-coded to specific neighborhoods so advertisers will pay for local marketing data.? If so, that data has NOTHING to do with Street View... Hmmm....:suspiciou )
  19. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    You probably hit the nail right on its head, revenue from advertising side is bread and butter of google, so I wouldn't be surprised if they are snoozing around to get their dirty hands on whatever unprotected networks/and data they can, and use it to their advantage. That is pretty smart way of making money ...... twice from the same sources over and over.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...