Citizens' Issues
Public Interest Exclusive
Google Wi-Spy scandal heats up

Google needs to fully explain to Congress and the public what it knew about the collection of data through its Street View program

ConsumerAffairs.com, in a report said that critics are questioning how much Google knew about the rogue engineer supposedly responsible for Google's gathering of massive payloads of data from private Wi-Fi networks.

“Google’s motto has always been ‘Do no evil’. It should also be ‘Do no eavesdropping’,” said Rep Edward J Markey (D-Mass.), senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Google needs to fully explain to Congress and the public what it knew about the collection of data through its Street View program.”

Google already faces an ongoing Federal Trade Commission (FTC) anti-trust probe that took on new life last month when it was disclosed that the government had hired a top private attorney to manage to case.

Now Consumer Watchdog, a non-profit advocacy group in California, has filed a Freedom of Information Act Request with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seeking all documents related to the Commission’s investigation of the Google “Wi-Spy” scandal. The FCC recently fined Google $25,000 for wilfully obstructing the FCC’s investigation into how Google’s Street View cars gathered “payload data” from private Wi-Fi networks.

“The FCC order gives an overview of what happened and shows that others including a senior manager knew—or should have known—about plans to gather messages from private Wi-Fi networks,” said John M Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director. “The order makes it clear that Google stonewalled and was uncooperative.  That’s why the public needs to see all the documents that are related to the case.”

“Google is paying a $25,000 fine for its non-compliance and is trying to portray the FCC order as exonerating the company. That is not the case at all,” said Mr Simpson. “The FCC order shows that substantial questions about the Wi-Spy scandal remain unanswered and that is largely because the engineer responsible for writing the code that gathered payload data invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify.”

(Courtsey: ConsumerAffairs.com/James R. Hood)
Read the original report here
 

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Osama offered no resistance to US commandos: book

When the moment finally came, Osama bin Laden went out not with a bang but with a whimper. The 54-year-old bin Laden may have grown complacent or tired during his decade on the run; he had no real escape plan, and there was no secret passageway out of his house says a new book

Washington: Al-Qaeda emir Osama bin Laden, who all his life boasted that he would go down fighting and would ask his bodyguards to shoot him if ever he came near Americans, offered no resistance when US commandos cornered him in his Abbottabad hideout a year ago, claims a new book.

"For all his bluster that he would go down fighting and his bodyguards would shoot him if he were ever found by the Americans, when the moment finally came, bin Laden went out not with a bang but with a whimper," wrote Peter Bergen, author of the 'Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden - from 9/11 to Abbottabad' that hit the bookstores this week, reports PTI.

Mr Bergen, director of New America Foundation- a Washington-based think-tank and national security analyst of the CNN, in his new book provides fresh insight into the last few hours of bin Laden and the successful American operation that killed the most wanted terrorist of the world on 2nd May last year.

"The 54-year-old bin Laden may have grown complacent or tired during his decade on the run; he had no real escape plan, and there was no secret passageway out of his house. Perhaps he expected some kind of warning that never came. Or perhaps he knew that a fire fight inside the enclosed spaces of his house would likely end up killing some of his wives and children," Mr Bergan wrote in his book giving a detailed account of what happened when US commandos entered his safe house.

"On a shelf in his bedroom were the AK-47 and Makarov machine pistol that were bin Laden's constant companions, but he didn't reach for them. Instead, he opened a metal gate, which blocked all access to his room and could be opened only from the inside, and quickly poked his head out to see what the commotion was. He was immediately spotted by the SEALs, who bounded up the next flight of stairs," he wrote.

"At this point, unless bin Laden walked out of his bedroom with his hands up and said, 'I surrender', there was no chance that he would be taken alive. Retreating inside, bin Laden made the fatal error of not locking this gate behind him, allowing the SEALs to run past it into a short hallway. They then turned right into his bedroom," Bergen said.

"Hearing the sounds of strange men rushing into their room, Amal (one of Laden's wife) screamed something in Arabic and threw herself in front of her husband. The first SEAL who charged into the room shoved her aside; concerned she might be wearing a suicide bomb vest. She was then shot in the calf by another of the SEALs and collapsed unconscious onto the simple double mattress she shared with bin Laden," he wrote.

"Bin Laden was offering no resistance when he was dispatched with a 'double tap' of shots to the chest and his left eye. It was a grisly scene: his brains spattered on the ceiling above him and poured out of his eye socket. The floor near the bed was smeared with bin Laden's blood," he said.

President Barack Obama, who along with his national security team were in the Situation Room of the White House quietly said, "We got him, we got him," when he was told the code word 'Geronimo EKIA.'

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BCCI chief's son arrested in brawl case

While talking rudely to the staff of the bar and later with police, the Cricket Board chairman's son stated he was very influential and from a rich family

Mumbai: BCCI president N Srinivasan's son, Ashwin and his friend have been arrested for allegedly thrashing the staff of an upscale restaurant-pub in suburban Bandra and later a cop, who asked them to leave the bar after paying the bill, police said on Thursday.

According to a PTI report, Ashwin (40) and his friend Avi Krishnamurthy (35) had spent the night in Bandra police station's lock-up and were produced before a local court which granted them bail on Tuesday.

Police said, Ashwin went to Escobar on Monday night and was having drinks. He asked the staff to bring some more alcohol which they refused citing 0130 hours deadline.

Enraged Ashwin and his friend started arguing with the waiters and refused to pay the bill, that run up Rs30,000, until their order was accepted.

"When the staff refused, the duo assaulted them. The bar staff notified police when our men went there. When asked to pay the bill and leave the bar, the furious duo punched one of our constables," said DCP Pratap Digaonkar.

"They two were taken into custody and booked under relevant sections of the IPC for assaulting and preventing a public servant from discharging his duty," Digaokar added. The duo was on Tuesday produced before a court which granted them bail, he said.

According to sources, while talking rudely to the staff and cops, Ashwin stated he was very influential and from a rich family.

When contacted, Mr Srinivasan, who owns the IPL team Chennai Super Kings, shot back saying "What do you want me to say," and disconnected the phone call.

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