June 10, 2010
Google is “almost certain” to face prosecution for collecting data from unsecured wi-fi networks, according to Privacy International (PI).
The search giant has been under scrutiny for collecting wi-fi data as part of its StreetView project.
Google has released an independent audit of the rogue code, which it has claimed was included in the StreetView software by mistake. But PI is convinced the audit proves “criminal intent”.
“The independent audit of the Google system shows that the system used for the wi-fi collection intentionally separated out unencrypted content (payload data) of communications and systematically wrote this data to hard drives. This is equivalent to placing a hard tap and a digital recorder onto a phone wire without consent or authorisation,” said PI in a statement.
A History of Google Government Ties
Considering Google’s history as an intelligence operation, the fact the corporation is collecting data with its StreetView operation from wi-fi networks should certainly come as no surprise.
In 2006, Robert David Steele, a 20-year Marine Corps infantry and intelligence officer and a former clandestine services case officer with the CIA, told Alex Jones the CIA helped bankroll Google from its inception. Steele named Dr. Rick Steinheiser as the CIA’s contact with Google.
Google’s cozy relationship with the mega-snoop agency includes providing it with software, hardware and tech support, Paul Joseph Watson reported on March 31, 2008.
“Google is selling storage and data searching equipment to the CIA, the FBI, the National Security Agency, and other intelligence agencies, who have come together to build a huge internal government intranet,” Watson writes. “Google is also providing the search features for a private Wikipedia-style site, called Intellipedia.”
“But it is not simply the CIA,” Infowars.com noted last year. “Google is high up on the elitist NWO pyramid, a fact pointed out by an Infowar’s reader and missed by the editors. As it turns out, Google is a corporate member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In late 2006, Google bought YouTube for US$1.65 billion in stock, so it is fair to say YouTube is also pushing the CFR’s one-world government agenda.”
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
In January, 2006, Anthony L. Kimery, writing for HSToday, reported that Google’s secret relationship with the US intelligence community was divulged by an IT contractor and confirmed by US intelligence authorities familiar with the matter during a technology conference outside of Washington.
The source said “at least one US intelligence agency” (presumably the CIA) worked to “leverage Google’s [user] data monitoring” capability as part of an effort by the intelligence community to glean from this data information of “national security intelligence interest” in the war on terror, in other words the war on the American people (or more specifically those in opposition to the government).
Moreover, the source said the CIA’s Office of Research and Development “has been giving [Google] additional money and guidance and requirements.”
In 2005, In-Q-Tel , described as a venture capital firm set up by the CIA to “identify and invest in companies developing cutting-edge information technologies that serve United States national security interests,” was linked to Google through the sale of the corporation’s stock.
Google sold Keyhole, Inc., to the CIA’s In-Q-Tel in 2004. Keyhole does work in “geospatial data visualization applications” of the sort that work as the engine behind GoogleEarth.
In addition to Google, the CIA and the spook community have compromised Facebook and the social networks. Last December, the Electronic Frontier Foundation sued the CIA, the US Department of Defense, Department of Justice and three other government agencies for allegedly refusing to release information about how they are using social networks in surveillance and investigations.
Facebook, like Google, is also linked to the CIA’s In-Q-Tel. The social network received venture capital from Accel Partners. Its manager James Breyer was formerly chairman of the National Venture Capital Association, and served on the board with Gilman Louie, CEO of In-Q-Tel. Dr. Anita Jones also served on the In-Q-Tel’s board. She had been director of Defense Research and Engineering for the US Department of Defense.
“Although the project was initially conceived by media cover star Mark Zuckerberg, the real face behind Facebook is the 40-year-old Silicon Valley venture capitalist and futurist philosopher Peter Thiel. There are only three board members on Facebook, and they are Thiel, Zuckerberg and a third investor called Jim Breyer from a venture capital firm called Accel Partners,” writes Tom Hodgkinson of The Guardian.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg told an audience at a conference earlier this year that Facebook is only reflecting the changes that society is undergoing and the loss of privacy is part of that change.
In other words, much of the internet now serves as a massive surveillance mechanism and electronic panopticon. “People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people,” he said at the Crunchie awards in San Francisco in January. “That social norm is just something that has evolved over time.”
For Zuckerman and the CIA, the new social norm is surveillance. It has evolved since the creation in 1970 of what is now known as the internet.
As most of us know, the internet was established by the Pentagon. It now serves as the most effective surveillance medium known to man. Thus it makes perfect sense Google is driving around sucking up data from unsecured wi-fi networks.
Such behavior is only the tip of the iceberg when one considers parallel vacuum-cleaner surveillance of all electronic communications by the NSA.