Street View Exposes 'Secret Base' in Israel; Google Subpoenaed in Zeus Botnet Case; Likely to be Fined by U.S. Court Over Apple Safari Breach; Lost Over $97.7 Million Android Money in 2010

Google Maps recently opened its Mapping services in Israel facing now some issues with images appearing on its Street View of what's described as a "secret base" in the Tel Aviv area. But the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) says everything is fine. There's nothing in the Ynetnews article that places any blame on Google. In […]

Google Maps recently opened its Mapping services in Israel facing now some issues with images appearing on its Street View of what's described as a "secret base" in the Tel Aviv area. But the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) says everything is fine. There's nothing in the Ynetnews article that places any blame on Google.

In fact, an IDF spokesperson is quoted as saying all images on Street View have been reviewed and approved for display, and that there are no military security-related reasons to hide the images in question.

"Soldiers and vehicles inside a "secret base" are clearly visible on Street View, which just launched in Israel a couple weeks ago," revealed Ynetnews.

Google Street View showing vehicels in secre military base

"Journalist and new media consultant Yossi Dorfman posted that a secret Tel Aviv-area base has been fully exposed by Google's new service. The images allow users to see the guard post at the entrance to the base, several soldiers inside it, and vehicles parked in the base with their license plates clearly visible. The article goes on to quote a "veteran officer" who saw the images and called it a "first-rate screwup" on the IDF's part to allow the images to show up online."

A Google spokesperson issued the following statement:

"We always strive to cooperate with the relevant authorities in countries in which Street View is operated. We had very constructive discussions with the Israeli security authorities and are pleased that they have approved our plans to bring Street View to Israel. The imagery featured on Street View is no different from what any person can readily see walking down the street or looking at other pictures online. Imagery of this kind is available in a wide variety of formats for cities all around the world."

Here is another image of Street View showing vehicels inside of Israel Military base:

In other legal news releated to Google;

Microsoft subponded Google over Zeus botnet case

In its ongoing efforts to shut down the botnets that used the Zeus, SpyEye and Ice-IX variants of the Zeus malware family. Microsoft is now going after a number of people suspected of running the botnets via email records.

To this end, Microsoft is apparently sending legal notices to Google, and other email providers, requesting personal details of the account holder involved in the botnet case. Here is a message being sent to one Google account holder involved in the botnet case:

"Hello,

Google has received a subpoena for information related to your Google
account in a case entitled Microsoft Corp., FS-ISAC, Inc. and NACHA v.
John Does 1-39 et al., US District Court, Northern District of California,
1:12-cv-01335 (SJ-RLM) (Internal Ref. No. 224623).

To comply with the law, unless you provide us with a copy of a motion
to quash the subpoena (or other formal objection filed in court) via
email at google-legal-support@google.com by 5pm Pacific Time on May
22, 2012, Google may provide responsive documents on this date.

For more information about the subpoena, you may wish to contact the
party seeking this information at:

Jacob M. Heath
Orrick, Herrington, & Sutcliffe, LLP
Jacob M. Heath, 1000 Marsh Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025

Google is not in a position to provide you with legal advice.

If you have other questions regarding the subpoena, we encourage you
to contact your attorney.

Thank you."

Microsoft's unconventional approach to pursuing dozens of ZeuS botmasters is drawing fire from a number of people within the security community who question the wisdom and long-term consequences of Microsoft's strategy for combating cybercrime without involving law enforcement officials. Marcia Hofmann, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, states:

I suspect this is a situation where Microsoft feels law enforcement isn't moving quickly enough. But it also basically compromises law enforcement's ability to do anything about the problem, and makes it possible for the suspects to evade any sort of law enforcement action.

Google Safari Privacy breach

Also, Google may be forced to pay a fine to the US government over its alleged breach of the privacy protections in Apple's Safari web browser. The search company is currently in negotiations with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over how big the fine might be.

The fine could amount to more than $10 million dollars, claims a source, who declined to be identified. If levied the fine would be the first by the FTC for a violation of Internet privacy as the agency steps up enforcement of consumers' online rights.

The privacy flaw was first discovered in February by Stanford researcher Jonathan Mayer. Microsoft had slammed Google for the practice, saying at the time, "This type of tracking by Google is not new. The novelty here is that Google apparently circumvented the privacy protections built into Apple's Safari browser in a deliberate, and ultimately, successful fashion."

A US Congress California Representative Mary Bono Mack, said on the Safari breach, " ... these types of incidents continue to create consumer concerns about how their personal information is used and shared."

Google lost over $97.7 million Android money in every quarter of 2010

Also, recently during Oracle's lawsuit against Google, a U.S. District Judge William Alsup reading from an internal Google document, revealed that Google's Android mobile platform resulted in a net loss for the company in every quarter of 2010, all in all presenting a 'big loss for the whole year,' according to Reuters.

So, exactly how much money is Google losing on Android? The documents didn't exactly revealed the numbers, however, but it does say that "Android revenues were roughly $97.7 million (60.35 million pounds) in revenue for the first quarter of 2010."

Another document revealed during the case says that Google expected to lose about $113 million in Android in 2010. But, according to the same document, Google should be making around $248 million on Android, and $548 by next year.

Google issued the following statement,

"The discussions in the documents date from 2010 or earlier, so don't represent current thinking about our business operations. Our industry continues to evolve incredibly fast and so do our aspirations for our various products and services."

Oracle sued Google in August 2010, saying Android infringes on its intellectual property rights to the Java programming language. Google says it does not violate Oracle's patents and that Oracle cannot copyright certain parts of Java, an "open-source," or publicly available, software language.