US states investigate Google for Wi-Fi snooping scandal

July 23rd, 2010 - 2:01 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, July 23 (ANI): A group of 38 attorneys general of different states of the United States led by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal have asked Google for detailed information about its Wi-Fi spying serivices, including what it gathered with its street view cars as it cruised around the world, how the software was tested and who at the company was responsible for the Wi-Fi coding scandal.

“Is there some relationship between Google and the NSA (National Security Agency)?” “Was this data shared with intelligence agencies in America? It’s a question. We just want a straight answer,” Fox News quoted Jamie Court, President of Consumer Watchdog, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group, as saying.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) civil-liberties organization has also weighed in, demanding that Google to “grow up.”

According to the report, the court noted that if there is such a connection, it would explain why there has been little federal government reaction. In that case, representatives would be extremely reluctant to call for an investigation if they felt it might compromise national security.

“One of the greatest concerns is that they’ve got so much data, and that’s available to anyone who can hack into it,” Consumer Watchdog’s John Simpson said.

Google has admitted that it was at fault to include code in their software but denied having done anything illegal.

“As we’ve said before, it was a mistake for us to include code in our software that collected payload data, but we believe we did nothing illegal. We’re continuing to work with the relevant authorities to answer their questions and concerns,” a company spokesperson said.

America’s intelligence community conducted a two-year investigation, which revealed that Google supplies special mapping and search products to the U.S. military and intelligence community, with some Google employees enjoying top secret clearance to work with the government.

The report says that the tentacles of the Wi-Fi spy scandal could stretch far and wide, perhaps touching on Google’s troubles with Chinese censorship and the hacking scandal. Google was the victim of hacks that went deep into its databases. The source of the attacks was traced back to Chinese computers.

At the time, Google had said that hackers were interested in sensitive commercial and technical accounts. (ANI)

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