Carrier IQ - The FBI connection

Carrier IQ - The FBI connection

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 MuckRock to 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.


Topics: Government US, Government

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  • RE: Carrier IQ - The FBI connection

    First off, Carrier IQ can deny any involvement with federal authorities with impunity, since they have specific instructions to do so. This is true of any government contractor who is engaged in "sensitive or secret aspects" of government affairs as described by 32 C.F.R. 2001 and Executive Order 13526.

    But the more important thing to understand is that there are several different agreements with the telecoms and the Feds, many of them started under the CALEA act and extended through the Patriot Act and other national security legislation. The US government actually subsidizes some of these tools, although it never quite shows up that way on the books.

    But to me the issue wasn't really about government monitoring, since I've been aware of different methods of doing it for many years. It is the issue that Carrier IQ uses fairly insecure systems that could expose the data to hackers or others who intend to use passwords and account numbers for fraud and identity theft.
    terry flores
  • On the other hand...

    It would be remiss of the FBI not to take at least a preliminary look at the CIQ situation....
  • RE: Carrier IQ - The FBI connection

    funnny as much as people are incensed over this I dont see them switching carriers or phones looks like people really dont give a crap
    • RE: Carrier IQ - The FBI connection

      @KineticArtist Or switch to cyanogenmod
    • Prohibitive

      In my case, the cost to break my contract is prohibitive. I suspect that's true for a lot of people. In general I choose to believe that the CIQ software is being deployed and used for troubleshooting purposes more than anything else. But I could just be seeking what comfort I can find in a bad situation.
    • RE: Carrier IQ - The FBI connection

      @KineticArtist Cooked rom downloads skyrocket. Personally expecting a big "not my job" from this administrations justice dept. I rooted, then overwrote the late and bloated provided carrier oem rom package with a newer version of android cooked up and available nightly (CyanogenMod). All my connections are much quicker. It may be an illusion but it seems like conversations are crisper as well. While driving the bluetoothe headset is crystal clear. The compass in google map now points the right direction rapidly.
  • RE: Carrier IQ - The FBI connection

    it's simply all crooked and all about money!
    somebody is paying someone else off!!!
    • Captain Obvious

      Welcome to the world of Capitalism. True, what we really have is a system of modified Capitalism, but the profit motive is what pushes ALL technology forward. Or did you think that the computer you typed that on was sold to you for flat cost to produce?
  • RE: Carrier IQ - The FBI connection

    If Carrier IQ and the FBI do have a surveilence agreement in place, than the US Government Senate hearings regarding this topic will end quietly without much fanfare.
  • RE: Carrier IQ - The FBI connection

    This is very irresponsible journalism even reporting on the issue. The FBI has clearly stated that the data is only used in the course of law enforcement, so let it go. It is what is best for the people, to keep them safe. What is so hard to understand about this concept?
    • RE: Carrier IQ - The FBI connection


      DERP DERP.
    • RE: Carrier IQ - The FBI connection


      "If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom."
      - Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • RE: Carrier IQ - The FBI connection

    At least if Google holds your data it's for searches (and maybe some selling) but they're nice about it. The government, on the other hand, could use it to arrest you. And CLEARLY doesn't ask nicely, if at all.

    Yeah, if I have to be tracked, I'd much rather it be by Google themselves than by someone else who is turning stuff over to the gov't. (I realize Google would also do the same, but at least you know they're tracking you before something blows up in the news like an unstable nuclear reactor in the middle of NYC.)
  • I don't see why people are scrutinizing our ally . . .

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation is our friend and they are only trying to protect us. The IQ net module in smart phones is a safety measure as well as a demographics data collector. I don't see why people are acting like this is an invasion of privacy, when the phone companies have every right to know when and where their technology is being used. According to the Freedom of Privacy over telecommunication devices Code 8.35132e Rev. 0233020 there is no law that keeps a person from jail-breaking their phone, but the law that binds the contractual agreement between the phone technology makers and the government and the phone service carriers supersedes the artificially-created mandates made independently upon the sole-decision of the phone customer.
  • RE: Carrier IQ - The FBI connection

    Well, isn't this a bit late? A while ago, the government forced the carriers to include GPS radios in every phone so they could track us "in an emergency". I think that's the time everyone should have complained vigorously.

    It's outrageous that in America the gov could force companies to do this, forcing us to purchase the means for them to track us. Before this, some phones had it, and others didn't. It was up to us which we wanted.

    That's freedom. Worrying about your privacy now? Don't you think the cat is out of the bag?