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A roundup of the latest high-tech news “Hot Off the Wire” from The Associated Press and Local Tech Wire:
• Google says no privacy laws broken
HARTFORD, Conn. — Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) representatives on Monday said the search engine company has not broken any laws with the collection of data for its mapping service, after Connecticut’s attorney general pressed the company to "come clean with the American public."
Authorities fear the information gathered for Google’s Street View service, which provides pictures of neighborhoods, may violate privacy laws.
Last month, Google acknowledged it had mistakenly collected data over public Wi-Fi networks in more than 30 countries.
Police in Germany and Australia already have launched their own investigations into the matter.
"As we have said before, this was a mistake," said a Google spokeswoman in an e-mail statement to the Associated Press. "Google did nothing illegal and we are working with the relevant authorities to answer their questions and concerns."
The attorneys general of Connecticut and Missouri have both sent letters to Google executives asking for clarification on the information collected for Street View.
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal held a press conference Monday urging the search engine company to reveal whether it had illegally collected data from state personal and business wireless computer networks.
"People have legitimate expectations that private information will be kept private," he said. "These drive-by data sweeps may violate not only those expectations, but also possibly the law."
• China says will keep blocking online content
BEIJING — China says the internet will remain a a strictly regulated place.
A policy statement says anything considered subversive or threatening to "national unity" will continue to be blocked.
The statement was released three months after a public dispute over censorship prompted Google Inc. to shut its mainland-based search engine.
The government aims to boost internet use to 45 percent of the population in the next five years by pushing into rural areas where the statement says there is a "digital gap."
But China, which routinely blocks websites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, gave no sign there would be an easing of the "Great Firewall" — the nickname for the network of filters.
• Blackwater, now called Xe, seeks new owner
RALEIGH, N.C. — The security firm formerly known as Blackwater is looking for new ownership, announcing Monday it is pursuing a sale of the company that became renowned and reviled for its involvement with the U.S. government in Iraq and elsewhere.
The Moyock, N.C.-based company now called Xe Services announced its decision in a brief statement that gave few details.
"Xe’s new management team has made significant changes and improvements to the company over the last 15 months, which have enabled the company to better serve the U.S. government and other customers, and will deliver additional value to a purchaser," the statement said.
Owner and founder Erik Prince said selling the company is a difficult decision, but constant criticsm of Xe helped him make up his mind.
"Performance doesn’t matter in Washington, just politics," Prince said in a further statement.
The private company became famous as Blackwater, which provided guards and services to the U.S. government in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. It became one of the most respected defense contractors in the world, but also attracted sharp criticism over its role in those missions.