recommended reading

The Google guy who snooped for wireless data was a 'god' among engineers

Virginia Mayo/AP

That "rogue engineer" who collected personal information over wireless networks via Google's Street View cars has been identified in today's New York Times as Marius Milner, the creator of wireless detection software NetStumblr. Milner, who had previously only been identified as Engineer Doe in the controversy, collected masses of data, including email addresses, passwords and search history, while gathering information about wireless networks to improve location based searches. He even went around bragging about it to his Google colleagues, which makes sense given he was a rockstar in the community of technologists working with wireless. As one colleague describes on Milner's LinkedIn. "Marius and I worked together in regards to his Netstumbler Software but due to NDA's, I'm not allowed to speak about what I did," writes John K. "He has revolutionized the wireless community with his software and allowed many companies to use his software to their advantage to make sure they have a secure wireless network. He is a GOD in the wireless community." Google, of course, knew of his prestige when they selected him for the job, making this data collection "side project" seem all the more suspicious.

NetStumblr is a wireless detection software, which can pick up LAN signals, but is also used for "wardriving," where people drive around trying to pick up wireless signals, which is exactly why Google "tapped" Milner for this project. Before the Street View cars set off to map the world and sneakily collect WiFi data, Milner worked as a software engineer at the YouTube branch of Google, a completely separate part of the organization, says his LinkedIn. Though he had spent five years at Google doing other software engineering things, for the last three years he worked at the video subsidiary. Yet, given Milner's "wardriving" expertise, Google selected him for Street View. 
Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

Threatwatch Alert

Stolen laptop

3.7M Hong Kong Voters' Personal Data Stolen

See threatwatch report


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.