Ninth Circuit Affirms District Court Ruling in Benjamin Joffe, et al. v. Google, Inc.

September 10, 2013 – In a cutting edge case of first impression involving the question of whether Wi-Fi communications being transmitted over unencrypted networks are protected from interception by third parties under the federal Wiretap Act, SRKW proved victorious at the district court, and now, at the appellate level. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the decision of the Honorable James Ware of the Northern District of California denying a motion to dismiss claims that Google, Inc. violated the federal Wiretap Act when, in the course of capturing its Street View photographs, it collected data from unencrypted networks. The Court held that Google's data collection did not fall within any exemption to the Wiretap Act because data transmitted over a Wi-Fi network is not an "electronic communication" that is "readily accessible to the general public." SRKW is co-lead counsel, representing Plaintiffs and the proposed class of thousands of Americans who had their private Wi-Fi communications intercepted by Google.

In reporting on the Ninth Circuit's decision, Time quoted SRKW partner Jeffrey Kodroff, who serves as co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs: "'[The ruling says] there are limits to what they can take from us,' says Kodroff, 'That's a major victory for us all.'" The complete Time article can be viewed here.

The Ninth Circuit opinion can be viewed here. For further information, contact SRKW partners Jeffrey Kodroff or John Macoretta.