There's also the wider threat of Internet insecurity as a whole. InfoWorld security guru Roger Grimes proclaims that we have the technology and means to secure the Internet today if only we could get the right parties to the table. Politicians are among the necessary party members. Is anyone going to step up?
Perhaps taking on broad Internet security or fighting organized cyber criminals is too tough, as they both require actions beyond U.S. soil. Then how about pouring some serious resources into looking at e-voting instead of the witch hunt against Google? There've been reports of e-voting problems since the 2000 presidential elections. A decade later, problems continue to linger, effectively undermining the process upon which our democracy depends.
Most recently is the bizarre case of an unemployed, near-penniless man named Alvin Greene winning the South Carolina Democratic primary for Senate. Theories abound as to how Greene -- who held no rallies, raised no money, and got no publicity -- decisively beat out his opponent. According to reports, there was a striking disparity between the percentage of absentee votes he received versus the percentage of votes cast in his favor on Election Day. The former were mailed in, of course, and have a paper trail. The latter were cast on touchscreen machines that leave no paper trail.
Yes, Google made a mistake, but it's already come out with its hands up, and it's cooperating with authorities around the globe. Moreover, I'm willing to wager that the damage caused by Google's Wi-Fi sniffing is infinitesimal -- except, perhaps, causing a jolt of fear in people with the realization that an insecure Wi-Fi connection is, gasp, insecure! I can appreciate the need for an investigation of some kind against Google, but certainly not at the scale some elected officials seem to be advocating. There are much bigger cyber fish to fry.
This article, "Google's Wi-Fi sniffing should be the least of our worries," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog.