Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Secret Software on Millions of Phones Logging Everything

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.


Alex Greene said...

Bloody Wayne Industries again ...

Bruce said...

"How the heck do you manage to get such software, which has to be illegal, onto millions of phones from different providers?"

The providers, or carriers, buy the software from Carrier IQ. The carriers have the manufacturers put it on the phones at the factory, along with other carrier specific software.

Michael said...

Some retired senators have gone on record saying that they never looked at the PATRIOT act or even had the time to. It was waiting in the wings until there was another "Oklahoma City".

Charles said...

The "Patriot Act", or most of it, existed before Oklahoma city.

Oklahoma City created an atmosphere of fear. (Ever notice how rapidly perpetrators of such acts are killed compared with other people under death sentence?)

9/ll was calculated to put the US back into a war on false pretenses--largely for profit and in order to remove people's rights openly. It did this by creating an atmosphere of fear, as fear is a very basic emotion which overrides logical thought. To get your enemy to fear you is to win.

The vast majority of human decisions are based solely on emotions--manipulating emotions is the key to everything from politics to conmen.

There's a problem of time scales: people tend to live for today and the very near future.

Most organizations are similar, though the scale is usually 1-10 years, and lower management often thinks quarter to quarter to about 3 quarters.

Politicians, who ought to think in terms of centuries and millennia, live election to election.

Dynasties think in terms of centuries and millennia--the seeds of our current economic situation go back at least a century.

The whittling away of the US Constitution started the day after it was posted--it's been effectively a dead document for at least a decade, I'd date it to the US declaring "War on Drugs."

The ideal con ends with the victim begging to have you take what you want...forcing you to accept it.

Hitler used the technique extremely effectively. Our current situation is another example of the effectiveness of fear in assiting that process.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Yep, people who don't think in the future are living in perpetual emergency situations.
Families who think long term have huge estates and couldn't be taken out with nukular bombs.

And I think something similar must be true on the spiritual/mental side of things.

Anonymous said...

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.

You and 6 billion other people. I do love how you make it sound like this would have occurred to no one else.