Investigation of Google "Spy-Fi" Expands, Congress to Hold Hearings

In the expanding probe of the "Spy-Fi" matter, Google admitted in a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee that Street View cars were purposefully downloading and capturing Wi-Fi data. Google claimed that the practice was legal, though it also said it "would stop Street View cars from collecting WiFi data entirely." The response comes two weeks after House members Henry Waxman (D-CA), Joe Barton (R-TX), and Edward Markey (D-MA) wrote to CEO Eric Schmidt demanding answers about Google's Street View vehicles. Google's responses to lawmakers have raised new questions, most notably why didn't Google reveal the full scope of its Street View activities? Representative Barton said, “this matter warrants a hearing, at minimum" and commented that Google's conduct is "ironic in view of the fact that Google is lobbying the government to regulate Internet service providers, but not Google." Representative Markey said, "We will continue to actively and aggressively monitor developments in this area."


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