Carrier IQ doth protest too much; shouldst really quit the incriminating denials

'Spying' and 'making spyware' are not the same thing, but aren't that different, either


Carrier IQ went on the record again yesterday with VentureBeat to try to clear from its name the assumption Carrier IQ is providing data about the activities of end users to the FBI.

Since Carrier IQ and the remarkably comprehensive smartphone-monitoring app it provides to cell-phone carriers was outed as collector of detailed usage, performance and location data on more than 100 million phones worldwide, the company has been intent on correcting the record.

Unfortunately for Carrier IQ, people are really, really interested in to what extent their phone providers are spying on them, as are members of Congress and European regulatory bodies.

A site called MuckRock even put in a Freedom of Information Request to the FBI asking what Carrier IQ-collected data it was being provided to use in its investigations.

The FBI has been promiscuous in its use of loopholes and signing privilegesin the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 that allow it to demand some information about personal cell phone accounts from the carriers, without having to get a warrant first.

Almost all the major carriers (and Google) have admitted having received requests from the feds; Google admitted how many and how often it acceded; the rest said nothing.

MuckRock's FOIA request asking whether data collected by Carrier IQ software was part of those investigations was rejected.

Photo Credit: 

Trevor Eckhart/CallerIQ demo

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