The company I mentioned a couple days ago that specializes in making root kit software for today’s smart phones isn’t taking the news about their little business being publicized very well:
A data-logging software company is seeking to squash an Android developer’s critical research into its software that is secretly installed on millions of phones, but Trevor Eckhart is refusing to publicly apologize for his research and remove the company’s training manuals from his website.
Though the software is installed on millions of Android, BlackBerry, and Nokia phones, Carrier IQ was virtually unknown until the 25-year-old Eckhart analyzed its workings, recently revealing that the software secretly chronicles a user’s phone experience, from its apps, battery life and texts. Some carriers prevent users who actually find the software from controlling what information is sent.
When Carrier IQ discovered Eckhart’s recent research and his posting of those manuals, Carrier IQ sent him a cease-and-desist notice, saying Eckhart was in breach of copyright law and could face damages of as much as $150,000, the maximum allowed under US copyright law per violation. The company removed the manuals from its own website, as well.
So Carrier IQ doesn’t like the fact that their little software has become very public. This is likely because people who have heard this news haven’t been taking it very well and I’m sure complaints have been rolling into the customer support lines of AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint. While it sucks that Carrier IQ are such dicks that they have threatened legal action against Eckhart for bringing their shenanigans to light it’s good to hear Eckhart’s cavalry has arrive:
On Monday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation announced it had came to the assistance of the 25-year-old Eckhart of Connecticut, whom Carrier IQ claims has breached copyright law for reposting the manuals.
This is why I give money to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Hopefully this case is quickly resolved so Eckhart can continue his research unmolested.