December 13, 2011
FBI Denies Request For Info About Carrier IQ
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has denied the request for information regarding Carrier IQ.
Reporter Michael Morisy of Muckrock News filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act for “manuals, documents of other written guidance used to access or analyze data” gathered by any Carrier IQ program.However, the FBI said it had information but could not disclose it because it is considered "law enforcement records."
Carrier IQ has been accused of it missing controversial tracking probes present in Android, Nokia and BlackBerry smartphones around the world.
Two lawsuits were filed that accuses Carrier IQ, HTC Inc. and HTC America Inc. of unlawfully intercepting communications from private mobile phones, smartphones and handsets.
The software comes pre-installed on smartphones, secretly collects data in the background, sends reports back to operators, and cannot be disabled without completely losing all data on the mobile device.
Washington Post reporter Hayley Tsukayama says that “regulators in the European Union have said they are looking into the software, and lawmakers in the United States have urged the Federal Trade Commission to start its own investigation.”
Morisy said that the denial by the FBI to release the information does not necessarily mean that the program is being used a spyware by the government. He said that it could also mean that the FBI is investigating Carrier IQ.
The company released a report that said Carrier IQ collects information about carrier networks, smartphone actions like sending and receiving text messages and other multimedia messages, data transmission speeds and battery life.
Carrier IQ responded to the reports of the FBI's denial of the request in a statement that said it has “never provided any data to the FBI. If approached by a law enforcement agency, we would refer them to the network operators because the diagnostic data collected belongs to them and not Carrier IQ.”
It said that its “data is not designed to address the special needs of law enforcement. The diagnostic data that we capture is mostly historical and won´t reveal where somebody is and what they are doing on a real-time basis.”
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