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08/01/2005 Archived Entry: "Have Wi-Fi? Microsoft wants to snoop you."


Is someone listening in to the signal from your wireless computer network, photographing your house or putting a detailed map of your neighborhood online for anyone to see?

In a new initiative, Microsoft has dispatched cars to trawl many city and suburban streets across the U.S. to locate the signals sent out by millions of short-range home and office wireless (or WiFi) networks. (MSNBC is a Microsoft-NBC joint venture.)

The unusual move, now being repeated in the U.K. and some other countries, is part of a plan to create a ground-based location system as an alternative to the GPS satellite system.

It's still creepy.

It can't work for its stated purpose, either. WiFi networks come and go. Hardware is replaced, so MAC addresses (which they're using as a locator) change. What's really (war)driving this?

(This from Richard M. Smith.)

Posted by Claire @ 11:29 AM CST

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