Carrier IQ: Consumer Watchdog Asks Justice, FCC to Investigate

Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Group asks for investigation of all involved parties

    Advocacy group Consumer Watchdog announced this afternoon that it has sent letters to the Justice Department and the FCC calling on them to investigate not only Carrier IQ, but also operating system makers, as well as handset manufacturers and phone carriers for their role in what it has dubbed the “Spyphone scandal.”

    As we have previously reported, the scandal stems from Android developer Trevor Eckhart’s discovery of Carrier IQ’s software on a variety of mobile phones. As he demonstrates in a YouTube video posted on Monday, the software tracks location data and keystrokes, as well as intercepting web traffic and incoming SMS messages.

    In the letters, one sent to Attorney General Eric Holder (PDF), the other to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski (PDF), the group asks that Carrier IQ be investigated for what it says could be “one of history’s largest examples of federal wiretapping law violations.”

    Furthermore, the letters argue, it is not only Carrier IQ who are culpable in this case. They name a variety of other suggested targets for the investigation, including carriers AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile, as well as operating system creators Apple, Google, and RIM, and handset manufacturers Samsung, Nokia, HTC, and Motorola.

    In the press release that accompanies the two letters John Simpson, director of Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project, also suggests that “meaningful Do Not Track Legislation” might better enable consumers to protect themselves from future problems of this kind.

    There is no word yet of any response from the Justice Department or the FCC. We will let you know more when it becomes available.

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