Tag Archives: WiFi

Better to cloak SSID? Google won’t say

WirelessWiFi users who opt for the convenience of broadcasting their SSIDs, versus cloaking their wireless networks, based on the security strategy that a privacy measure calls attention to itself, were shocked last week to learn that Google’s Street view vehicles were mapping neighborhoods, logging their open WiFi signals, including the data flowing across the networks.

Google was quick to explain and apologize, but further revelations suggest the extent of the data mining went beyond even tracking computer MAC addresses on the networks. Google appended its mea culpa / won’t-do-it-again to detail the network activity it may have recorded, and now between the lines netizens familiar with sniffing technology can surmise the privacy stalker was taking in quite a bit more.

Here is how Google explained the initial anomaly when news emerged from a German Government probe of their alarming information sweep:

In 2006 an engineer working on an experimental WiFi project wrote a piece of code that sampled all categories of publicly broadcast WiFi data. A year later, when our mobile team started a project to collect basic WiFi network data like SSID information and MAC addresses using Google’s Street View cars, they included that code in their software—although the project leaders did not want, and had no intention of using, payload data.

Who is to say what is “publicly broadcast data?” Users could presume it means unencrypted transmissions, but not necessarily. The real revelation was the suggestion of “payload data.”

Google had to follow up their FAQs when their customers fielded some tougher questions:

…it’s now clear that we have been mistakenly collecting samples of payload data from open (i.e. non-password-protected) WiFi networks, even though we never used that data in any Google products.

We’re getting over the shock of Google ads targeted at us based on where we’ve surfed, subjects about which we’ve emailed, and social network conversations. Get ready for profiling based on file and folder names on our desktop.

Free wireless spots in Colorado Springs

WiFiWhere to plop your laptop if you can’t make it home to post a bid. Independents predominantly, by area, and hours. Please contact us if you’ve been omitted. Cheers!

DOWNTOWN
Antlers Hilton – lobby, restaurant
4 S. Cascade Avenue – 955.5600
Boulder Street Coffee Roasters
332 N. Tejon St – 577.4291
Coffee Warehouse
526 S. Tejon Street – 227.8639
Dog Tooth Coffee M-F 6:30am-6pm, S-Su 8am-6pm
505 E. Columbia St – 632.0125
El Tesoro Restaurant
10 N. Sierra Madre St – 471.0106
Joanie’s Cafe
2224 N. Wahsatch Ave – 578.9200
McCabe’s Tavern
520 S. Tejon St – 633.3300
Phantom Canyon
2 E. Pikes Peak Ave – 635.2800
Pike’s Perk
14 S. Tejon
Poor Richard’s Wine Bar / Rico’s
322 N. Tejon St – 630.7723

WESTSIDE
Agia Sophia Coffee Shop M-S 8am-10pm, Su 1-7pm
2902 W. Colorado Ave. – 632.3322
Black Cat Books -Manitou Th-Tu 10am-9pm
720 Manitou Avenue – 685.1589
Colorado City Creamery
2602 W. Colorado Ave
6628A Delmonico Dr – 265.6556
CUCURU m 8-4, w-th 8-4, f-s 8-10, su 9-3
2332 W. Colorado Ave – 520.9900
Java Buddha Coffeehouse
2631 W. Colorado Ave – 633-JAVA
McDonalds
3021 W. Colorado Ave
Meadow Muffins
2432 W. Colorado Ave

SOUTH
Blue Star Bar & Grill
1465 S. Tejon St – 632.1086
Canyon Coffee & Cafe
1791 S. 8th St.
Cookie Crumbs
1753 S. 8th St
Pikes Perk
1616 S. 8th St

EAST
Colorado Springs Airport – main concourse
7770 Drennan Road
Jazzed on Java M-F 7am-4pm
2201 Saint Paul Dr – 578.1731
Raven’s Nest Coffee
330 N. Institute St.

NORTH
Black Forest Coffee Haus
11425 Black Forest Rd – 495.4804
Good Company Restaurant
7625 N. Union Blvd – 528.8877
Jazzed on Java
5550 N. Union – 264.0232
Pike’s Perk
5965 N. Academy Blvd, #203
5547 Powers Center Point

Beside the corporate joints Panera, Einstein Bros, Bear Rock, Peaberry, It’s a Grind, Dazbog, Borders or Starbucks.