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FOI request turns up Carrier IQ surprise

G-men slurping snooped smartphone data?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The Carrier IQ scandal is a gift that just keeps giving: a US FOI report suggests that the FBI is using data captured by the creepy smartphone snooping app.

The discovery was made by FOI blog MuckRock, which asked for “manuals, documents or other written guidance used to access or analyze data gathered by programs developed or deployed by Carrier IQ”.

The FBI said “no”, but not because they didn’t have the information. Rather, the feds didn’t want to release the data because it could impact a current investigation:

“I have determined that the records responsive to your request are law enforcement records,” the response states, “that there is a pending or prospective enforcement proceeding relevant to these responsive records; and that release of the information contained in these responsive records could reasonably be expected to interfere with the enforcement proceeding” (The Register’s emphasis).

MuckRock’s conclusion is that it’s likely that the FBI is using data gathered by Carrier IQ in an investigation – unless, of course, it’s Carrier IQ that’s under investigation.

Given the claim and counter-claim surrounding Carrier IQ – from its original hostility to the blogger who first turned up its software on Android phones to the later, more conciliatory tone adopted by the company – this latest angle must surely be regarded as giving an unwelcome impetus to the story. ®

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