Google employees knew of wi-fi snooping

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Search giant releases full FCC report.

A US Government investigation into Google's ability to collect data from unsecure wi-fi networks using its fleet of Street View cars has found several employees knew of the capability.

The Federal Communications Commission's investigation into the matter, released this month, found the Google engineer who wrote the software told two colleagues about it, "including a senior manager".

"Engineer Doe intended to collect, store and review payload data for possible use in other Google projects," the FCC report states, despite the company's insistence over the past year that it did not initially know about the capability.

On first revealing that its Street View cars had snooped unsecure wi-fi networks in May 2010, Google said its actions were "a mistake".

Detail of the company's knowledge had been redacted out by the FCC when it released a copy of the investigative report two weeks ago.

Google released the same report itself over the weekend, with only names and telephone numbers redacted.

Google was fined US$25,000 for allegedly impeding the FCC's investigation into the matter.

The engineer responsible for the software did not agree to testify to the FCC during its investigations, leading to "significant factual questions" about the event going unanswered.

Google released the less-edited version of the report to the media after saying it had cooperated fully with the agency.

"We decided to voluntarily make the entire document available except for the names of individuals," the company said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

"While we disagree with some of the statements made in the document, we agree with the FCC's conclusion that we did not break the law. We hope that we can now put this matter behind us."

With Reuters

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