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'Rogue' programmer at the center of Google's Wi-Spy debacle has been identified
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'Rogue' programmer at the center of Google's Wi-Spy debacle has been identified

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'Rogue' programmer at the center of Google's Wi-Spy debacle has been identified

The software engineer who wrote the code that enabled Google to gather personal data from potentially millions of people as part of its Street View project has been identified on Monday.

Google has previously declined to identify the engineer, as has the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which recently concluded a 17-month investigation into what has become known as the Wi-Spy case.

However, speaking on condition of anonymity with the New York Times, a former state investigator identified the person previously known only as 'Engineer Doe' as Marius Milner, who has been working at the Google subsidiary YouTube since 2008.
A former state investigator identified YouTube programmer Marius Milner as 'Engineer Doe' at the center of Google's Street View scandal.

Scapegoat: A former state investigator identified YouTube programmer Marius Milner as 'Engineer Doe' at the center of Google's Street View scandal

On his LinkedIn page, Milner, of Palo Alto, California, lists his occupation as 'hacker,' and under the 'Specialties' category he writes, 'I know more than I want to about Wi-Fi.'

The LinkedIn page also states that before the engineer joined Google in 2003, he worked at Lucent Technologies and Avaya, communications and computer networking companies.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the programmer has been credited with creating a popular program for Windows called 'NetStumbler,' which has earned him the status of 'god' in the wireless community, according to a former colleague.

'NetStumber' has been described as an application that locates wireless networks using Wi-Fi. In order to design Street View’s code for finding wireless hot spots, Google tapped 'Engineer Doe,' according to the FCC's final report that was released on Saturday.

In 2010, Google has found itself in the middle of a firestorm when it was forced to admit that as part of its ambitious plan to photograph and map the world’s streets, it 'mistakenly' collected private data while gathering information about local wireless networks.

The FCC has found that an engineer working for Google inserted code intended to collect unencrypted emails, usernames and passwords in dozens of countries.

The data was gathered between 2007 and 2010 using specially equipped cars.
Google was forced to admit in 2010 that as part of its ambitious plan to photograph and map the world's streets, it 'mistakenly' collected emails and passwords.

Wi-Spy: Google was forced to admit in 2010 that as part of its ambitious plan to photograph and map the world's streets, it 'mistakenly' collected emails and passwords

While Google has maintained that the unsanctioned data collection was the handiwork of a rogue engineer, the FCC's report disagrees with this claim, saying that the programmer in question told at least one of his supervisors about the code, and that seven other engineers were likely aware of what was happening.

According to the report, 'Engineer Doe' even detailed his intentions in design documents - a fact that has been denied by Street View project managers.

In the course of the inquiry into the scandal, 'Engineer Doe' invoked his Fifth Amendment right, declining to provide evidence that could be used against him.
Google was slapped with a $25,000 fine for obstructing the FCC's inquiry into the Street View data-gathering case.

Payback: Google was slapped with a $25,000 fine for obstructing the FCC's inquiry into the Street View data-gathering case

Both Milner and Google declined to comment on these latest developments in the case.

While the FCC inquiry found that Google did not violate wiretapping laws since it was only capturing unencrypted data, the agency fined the Internet giant $25,000 for obstructing its investigation.

With the new information detailed in the FCC's report coming to light, Google may face another round of congressional hearings, as well as a possible class action lawsuit.


'Engineer Doe' unmasked! 'Rogue' programmer at the center of Google's Wi-Spy debacle identified | Mail Online

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