FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, responding to letters from Congressmen Graves Rogers and Barrow Scalise regarding Google Street View, wrote that "the Bureau's inquiry seeks to determine whether Google's actions were inconsistent with any rule or law within the Commission's jurisdiction." The FCC Chairman declined to provide specifics, though there is growing frustration in Congress about the investigation, which has been pending for more than a year following a complaint filed by EPIC. Recently, in a case in which EPIC filed an amicus brief, a federal judge found that Google's purposeful and secretive collection of wi-fi data as part of its "Street View" activities could constitute illegal wiretapping. For three years in thirty countries, Google's Street View cars collected data, including the content of personal emails, from wireless routers located in private homes and businesses. Several countries, including the U.K., Germany, Spain, and Canada, have conducted similar investigations and determined that Google violated their privacy laws. For more information, see EPIC: Google Street View.
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by Ryan Calo, A. Michael Froomkin,