FBI admits it uses Carrier IQ cellphone spy software but refuses to say how

Sourced by OzHouse.org

techdirt.com

So remember Carrier IQ? That would be the company that is providing what’s been deemed a root kit on a ton of mobile phones. While the company has sought to downplay the security and privacy risks of its software (to the point of threatening the main researcher behind the revelation), further research suggested that the software likely tracked actions down to the keystroke.

Again, Carrier IQ has insisted that its only purpose was to help mobile operators get data and information to help out when users are having problems. For example, it notes the ability to highlight when and how users have dropped calls. And if this was all it really does, then the software might be slightly reasonable (though, the fact that it’s hidden and almost impossible to remove represents a significant problem no matter how benign the software might be).

However, Michael Morisy over at the site Muckrock, decided he might try a different angle to learn about Carrier IQ and whether it was used for surveillance: he filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI to find out if and how it uses Carrier IQ data. Not too surprisingly, the FBI won’t provide him any details, but the way in which it turned him down was actually quite telling.

Rather than just saying there were “no responsive documents,” it instead said that it did have responsive documents “but they were exempt under a provision that covers materials that, if disclosed, might reasonably interfere with an ongoing investigation.”

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