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Consumer Watchdog Praises Attorneys General For Google Probe, Renews Call for Congressional Hearing on Wi-Spy Scandal

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Wed, Jul 21, 2010 at 9:54 am

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Consumer Watchdog Praises Attorneys General For Google Probe, Renews Call for Congressional Hearing on Wi-Spy Scandal

Santa Monica, CA — Consumer Watchdog today praised a group of 37 state attorneys general for seeking to get to the bottom of the Google Wi-Spy scandal and reiterated its call for the House Energy and Commerce Committee to hold hearings on the issue.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal sent a tough letter to the Internet giant asking whether Google had tested its software before use and demanding the company identify the individuals responsible for the Wi-Spy snooping code.

Blumenthal said the group would take appropriate steps — “including potential legal action if warranted” — to get answers.

“The action by the state AGs is welcome news, but it’s long past time for Congress to hold a hearing on the issue,” said John M. Simpson, consumer advocate with Consumer Watchdog. “Just as the CEO of BP was asked to explain the Gulf Oil spill to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, so should Google CEO Eric Schmidt be required testify about the gross intrusion into consumers’ privacy that is Wi-Spy.”

Read Blumenthal’s letter to Google here.

Consumer Watchdog first called for the State Attorney General to investigate in a letter to the National Association of Attorneys General on June 2.

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Consumer Watchdog, formerly the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights is a nonprofit, nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization with offices in Washington, DC and Santa Monica, Ca.  Consumer Watchdog’s website is http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org. Visit our new Google Privacy and Accountability Project website: http://insidegoogle.com

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This post was written by:

John M. Simpson

- who has written 361 posts on Inside Google.

John M. Simpson is a leading voice on technological privacy and stem cell research issues. His investigations this year of Google’s online privacy practices and book publishing agreements triggered intense media scrutiny and federal interest in the online giant’s business practices. His critique of patents on human embryonic stem cells has been key to expanding the ability of American scientists to conduct stem cell research. He has ensured that California’s taxpayer-funded stem cell research will lead to broadly accessible and affordable medicine and not just government-subsidized profiteering. Prior to joining Consumer Watchdog in 2005, he was executive editor of Tribune Media Services International, a syndication company. Before that, he was deputy editor of USA Today and editor of its international edition. Simpson taught journalism a Dublin City University in Ireland, and consulted for The Irish Times and The Gleaner in Jamaica. He served as president of the World Editors Forum. He holds a B.A. in philosophy from Harpur College of SUNY Binghamton and was a Gannett Fellow at the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of Hawaii. He has an M.A. in Communication Management from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication.

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19 Responses to “Consumer Watchdog Praises Attorneys General For Google Probe, Renews Call for Congressional Hearing on Wi-Spy Scandal”

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