So rather than them driving outside and around our homes we have to worry about our neighbors and friends being some sort of wifi spys without even knowing it probably. I think I'll stop broadcasting my wifi SSID hopefully that prevents this
[citation][nom]Dirtman73[/nom]Have they learned their lesson? Doubt it.[/citation]
I like it better when computer intelligent people come and make comments who actually know something about the tech behind an article...
There are two types of "security and privacy violations", one is illegal and the other isn't.
If you own a home and leave the front-door open, this is not an invitation for people to walk into your house and take your belongings. You own the house and everything inside, its still your property and uninvited people are trespassing.
However, if you take your belongings and place them on the public sidewalk and leave them there, people are free to walk-up and take them, they've been abandoned on public property (obviously, if you've placed them there because you're loading up a moving van, they haven't been abandoned, but you should still be watching out for them).
If you have a wired network in your house, and google breaks in a plugs in a wire to your switch and monitors traffic, that's illegal. If you broadcast an open network that can be heard from the street, and Google simply listens, that shouldn't be illegal.
Same with peeping. If you undress in front of an open window that overlooks the street, people in the street are not peeping if they look at you. If, on the other hand, they have to scale your fence and cut-down your trees and bushes and peek through a small crack in the curtains, then that is peeping and illegal.
These people with open wifi networks are undressing in their front yards and throwing their belongings into the street and complaining that Google is watching them and taking their belongings. They have no leg to stand on, they have to assume some responsibility for their own security and privacy.
And no longer (or ever) paid it fair share of taxes....
Google Inc. cut its taxes by $3.1 billion in the last three years using a technique that moves most of its foreign profits through Ireland and the Netherlands to Bermuda.
Google’s income shifting -- involving strategies known to lawyers as the “Double Irish” and the “Dutch Sandwich” -- helped reduce its overseas tax rate to 2.4 percent, the lowest of the top five U.S. technology companies by market capitalization, according to regulatory filings in six countries.
“It’s remarkable that Google’s effective rate is that low,” said Martin A. Sullivan, a tax economist who formerly worked for the U.S. Treasury Department. “We know this company operates throughout the world mostly in high-tax countries where the average corporate rate is well over 20 percent.”
The U.S. corporate income-tax rate is 35 percent. In the U.K., Google’s second-biggest market by revenue, it’s 28 percent.
Google, the owner of the world’s most popular search engine, uses a strategy that has gained favor among such companies as Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp. The method takes advantage of Irish tax law to legally shuttle profits into and out of subsidiaries there, largely escaping the country’s 12.5 percent income tax. (See an interactive graphic on Google’s tax strategy here.)
The earnings wind up in island havens that levy no corporate income taxes at all. Companies that use the Double Irish arrangement avoid taxes at home and abroad as the U.S. government struggles to close a projected $1.4 trillion budget gap and European Union countries face a collective projected deficit of 868 billion euros.
[citation][nom]rsud[/nom]And no longer (or ever) paid it fair share of taxes....Google Inc. cut its taxes by $3.1 billion in the last three years using a technique that moves most of its foreign profits through Ireland and the Netherlands to Bermuda.[/citation]
And so does just about every single company that can afford lawyers to draw it up. Its why a lot of companies in the US register in states that allow them to pay very little if no taxes. multinationals register in the Bahamas or wherever. They're going to where they can get the best deal. That's what ALL businesses do.
Is it right? The law allows it, but I'd want companies to actually pay taxes on income earned in specific regions. That's not always so cut and dry these days either.
How do you fix it? That itself is a Gordian knot, since business crosses so many boundaries, you might get taxed in several places at once. If you wanted to simplify things, the way business is set up would mean you'd have to change the very nature of every government and business, It could get rather hairy.
OK, tell me if I have this straight. Google was driving around in vans full of sophisticated wifi snooping equipment, recording the MAC addresses of every AP they passed, and, if the AP was unencrypted, actually recording the data traffic. I understand that much as it is all public information. What I struggle with is how they could claim that this was ACCIDENTAL. That van full of snooping equipment was designed for a purpose, was it not?
As far as the argument that it is not against the law to receive unencrypted wifi signals, you are absolutely correct. People should encrypt their wifi. Perhaps the bigger question here is the recording. While it is legal to listen to your neighbors, it is not legal to record your neighbors without their permission. Wifi is a gray area, and the courts will have to rule on whether Google broke the law. Regardless of the legal decision, what Google was doing was sleazy and unethical at the least, and lying about it afterward demonstrates a complete lack of integrity.