This thread is going terribly off-topic, but I could not resist...
On Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 07:45:38PM +0100, Joe wrote:
> Today, not only governments but private companies vacuum up every bit
> of data they can find, presumably just because they can. There is
> almost certainly a certain amount of 'we don't know what to do with it
> now, but we're sure it will come in handy one day'.
> Look at Google, 'accidentally' harvesting private wifi information
> while their StreetView cameras were doing a job totally unrelated to
> wifi. There was no possible legitimate reason for doing that, nor any
> reasonable expectation that something good but unanticipated might
> result from it later. And wireless sniffing hardware and software
> doesn't just fall into camera cars while they are parked overnight,
> connect itself up and turn itself on.
Actually, IIRC they were quite open about that: Knowing the locations
of wifi access points helps with determining the location when GPS is
unavailable. Although not as accurate as GPS, it is probably faster
to determine an approximate location this way.
Obviously, they had no need to save the actual *traffic*, merely the
access point MAC address, signal strength and streetview car location
to do this.
Just my 2p
Karl E. Jorgensen