The Ninth Circuit Court has denied Google's petition for rehearing en banc in Joffe v. Google, a suit brought by individuals whose private Wi-Fi communications, including passwords and other sensitive information, were intercepted by Google. The appeals court previously found that Wi-Fi "payload" data are not exempt from protection under the Wiretap Act. EPIC filed an amicus brief in the case, arguing that Wi-Fi communications "are not 'broadcast' like traditional radio communications; they are sent from one device to another directly and there is nothing about the typical configuration of a Wi-Fi device to suggest that users expect that their communications between these devices would be 'readily accessible to the general public.'" Google recently reached a $7-million settlement with the attorneys general of 38 states and the District of Columbia over the Street View collection. For more information, see EPIC: Joffe v. Google and EPIC: Investigations of Google Street View.
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Communications Law and Policy
Jerry Kang and Alan Butler