Secret Software on Millions of Phones Logging Everything, article/video on Wired.
From there, the data — including the content of text messages — is sent to Carrier IQ’s servers, in secret.
By the way, it cannot be turned off without rooting the phone and replacing the operating system. And even if you stop paying for wireless service from your carrier and decide to just use Wi-Fi, your device still reports to Carrier IQ.
How the heck do you manage to get such software, which has to be illegal, onto millions of phones from different providers?
Related, here's Wired's 9 Reasons To Wear Tinfoil Hats article.
The Patriot Act
National security letters, perhaps the most invasive facet of the law, are written demands from the FBI that compel internet service providers, financial institutions and others to hand over confidential records about their customers, such as subscriber information, phone numbers and e-mail addresses, bank records and arguably websites you have visited.
The FBI need merely assert, in writing, that the information is “relevant” to an ongoing terrorism or national security investigation. Nearly everyone who gets a national security letter is prohibited from even disclosing that they’ve received one.
Within a couple of hours after the fall of the WTC towers on 9 Sep 2001, I knew that something like the Patriot Act would be proposed very soon. It just struck me out of that clear blue September sky: fuck, they are really gonna use this, ain't they?
I might have had a faint hope that sanity would prevail, but it was only a faint one I'm sure. "Never underestimate the power of human fear", to paraphrase Bob Heinlein. It seems 99% of everybody is always willing, nay, eager to give up basic liberties in exchange for a little sense of false security.
Update: US senator Al Franken has sent an open letter to Carrier IQ.