David Kravets reports:
Google “likely” breached a U.S. federal criminal statute in connection with its accidental Wi-Fi sniffing — but not for siphoning private data from internet surfers using unsecured networks, a former federal prosecutor said Tuesday.
Ironically, says former prosecutor Paul Ohm, it’s likely Google did not violate wiretap regulations, but instead might have breached the Pen Register and Trap and Traces Device Act for intercepting the metadata and address information alongside the content.
“I think it’s likely they committed a criminal misdemeanor of the Pen Register and Trap and Traces Device Act,” said Ohm, a prosecutor from 2001 to 2005 in the Justice Department’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section. “For every packet they intercepted, not only did they get the content, they also have your IP address and destination IP address that they intercepted. The e-mail message from you to somebody else, the ‘to’ and ‘from’ line is also intercepted.”
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