What’s Up With Carrier IQ – And The FBI??

The G Men are Watching You!

The G Men are Watching You!

Being an old BBS Sysop and Internet Hobbyist, the technology that enables this cyber smart phone spying concerns me.

Thinking back, i remember when i first bought my T-Mobile G2 and began it’s setup. I read the Google user agreement and almost returned the phone afterward. But if i returned it T-Mobile would charge me a 10% restocking fee, so i kept it. After much grumbling and screaming many colorful metaphors, i finally accepted the fact that there is no privacy with a device like this.

I have been following this Carrier IQ development since Trevor Eckhart first disclosed his findings how Carrier IQ was logging smartphones data and posted this video to YouTube.

That video has had over 1,850,000 views as of this posting.

BTW: Speaking of T-Mobiles G2 Android (Google) Phone, Mine did not have Carrier IQ installed on it.

There are a bunch of articles on the net about this invasion of privacy discovery. I follow ZDNet on Twitter and liked their articles on the subject so far. And found This One really interesting.

“Summary: Freedom of Information Act request refused on the grounds it ‘could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.”

A Freedom of Information Act request submitted by MuckRockto the FBI regarding Carrier IQ results in an interesting twist.

The request to the Federal Bureau of Investigation was made for “manuals, documents or other written guidance used to access or analyze data gathered by programs developed or deployed by Carrier IQ. The FBI refused, quoting exemption 7(A): records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that production of such law enforcement records or information, could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.

Three possibilities come from this:

  1. The G Men already use information collected by Carrier IQ (an activity which Carrier IQ itself vigorously denies any involvement in)
  2. The Feds realize that there might be a treasure trove of information here, and are planning to make use of it
  3. Carrier IQ itself is under investigation

This is MuckRock’s take on the matter: What is still unclear is whether the FBI used Carrier IQ’s software in its own investigations, whether it is currently investigating Carrier IQ, or whether it is some combination of both – not unlikely given the recent uproar over the practice coupled with the U.S. intelligence communities reliance on third-party vendors. The response would seem to indicate at least the former, since the request was specifically for documents related directly to accessing and analyzing Carrier IQ data.

Whatever the reason for the refusal, it is bound to add more fuel to the argument that collecting information without user opt-in raises some serious privacy concerns.

I believe that in the near future, Baby’s will be outfitted with a surgically implanted tracking device and assigned a Federal ID Number that will be used by law enforcement and who knows else, to track and build a file on that persons activities. Rob a bank or become wanted by any law enforcement agency, all it will take is a click of the mouse to reveal that persons physical location and allow that agency access to the suspects file.

You Can RUN – But You Can’t HIDE!

It’s the price we all pay for technology these days!

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