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Featured, News - Written by Renai LeMay on Sunday, June 6, 2010 23:00 - 6 Comments
Attorney-General refers Google Wi-Fi issue to AFP
Federal Attorney-General Robert McLelland has reportedly asked the Australian Federal Police to investigate whether Google breached any laws during its inadvertent collection of Wi-Fi data by it Street View cars while they were taking photographs of locations around the globe.
In a post on 23 April, the search giant discussed on its Lat Long blog (which is used by the developers of its geographic Earth and Maps services to post updates) the fact that its Street View cars were simultaneously collecting data on Wi-Fi hotspots as they drove around populated countries automatically taking photos.
Google’s senior vice president of Engineering and Research, Alan Eustance, said the search giant would delete the data and stop collecting Wi-Fi data, period (including in Australia). “The engineering team at Google works hard to earn your trust—and we are acutely aware that we failed badly here,” he wrote.
However, the potential privacy breach has not been received well, with governments around the globe expressing outrage towards Google over the matter.
In Australia, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has described the Google breach as possibly “the largest privacy breach in history across Western democracies”.
Multiple outlets reported this afternoon that at the launch of Cyber Security Awareness Week in Melbourne, Federal Attorney-General Robert McLelland said he had referred the matter to the Australian Federal Police.
“On Friday the attorney-general’s department did refer those allegations and those reports to the Australian Federal Police. They relayed in substantial part to possible breaches of the telecommunications interceptions act, which prevents people accessing electronic communications other than for authorised purposes,” outlets such as AAP and APC Magazine have reported the politician as stating.
The AFP has not yet responded to a request for comment on what action it is taking with respect to the situation. “This was a mistake. We are talking to the appropriate authorities to answer any questions they have,” said a Google spokesperson today on the issue.
The news comes several weeks after the Opposition pressured Conroy in a Senate Estimates Committee hearing to refer the Google Wi-Fi matter to authoritises.
“Why are you sitting back and watching? Why are you not referring the matter?” Liberal Senator Mary Jo Fisher asked Conroy, who responded that the matter was being handled through the Federal Privacy Commissioner.
“The Privacy Commissioner is the appropriate place to start this process,” he said.
Latest Delimiter 2.0 articles (subscriber content)
|Politicians from Australia’s major parties need to stop issuing ludicrous blanket pardons for the intelligence community’s ongoing misdemeanours and start applying a basic modicum of transparency and accountability to this important national security function.|
|The independent pro-fibre National Broadband Network movement is doing a far better job of promoting Labor’s Fibre to the Premises-based NBN policy than Labor itself. When is Labor going to wake from its slumber and start supporting this scrappy but energetic grassroots network of activists?|
|Ziggy Switkowski's first substantial public appearance since being appointed NBN Co chief executive has starkly demonstrated just how different he is from his predecessor, Mike Quigley, and just how strictly he will adhere to the guidelines which his patron, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, has set for him.|
|Australian technology companies have been virtually absent from the the nation’s public stockmarket over the past decade as the stigma of the dot com bust took its toll on investor confidence. But a clutch of new listings planned for the closing months of 2013 shows renewed interest in the sector and that local entrepreneurs are smelling money in the air once again.|
|NBN Co’s Strategic Review process gives the company an unmissable opportunity to re-evaluate the early decision to deploy its FTTP network primarily through Telstra’s underground ducts. The company and its new Coalition masters must now seriously consider deploying more fibre aerially on power poles in an effort to speed up its rollout substantially.|
|That moment which many Australian technologists fervently hoped for but never expected to see has come to pass: Simon Hackett has been appointed to the board of the National Broadband Network Company. But what questions should the Internode founder be asking NBN Co’s executive management team? Here’s five ideas to start with.|
|The rapid replacement of respected NBN Co chief operating officer Ralph Steffens with a Telstra executive who appears less experienced with fibre rollouts but better politically connected represents a key signal that NBN Co’s senior executive hiring process has now become completely politicised and is no longer independent from the Federal Government.|
Enterprise IT, Featured, News - Dec 4, 2013 17:02 - 0 Comments
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Featured, News, Telecommunications - Dec 4, 2013 15:18 - 31 Comments
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- Defying the Senate: Turnbull to release NBN Review by end of 2013
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Industry, Opinion - Dec 4, 2013 14:24 - 0 Comments
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Digital Rights, News - Dec 4, 2013 13:33 - 0 Comments
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- Labor open to surveillance discussion
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