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Watch the Creepy Software That May Be Spying On Your Phone

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posted on Nov, 30 2011 @ 04:13 PM

Security researcher Trevor Eckhart has recently been shining light on something called Carrier IQ, a sort of "rootkit" that is embedded in a staggering array of phones, monitoring events like button presses, screen taps, text message traffic, GPS location lookups, and web traffic. Now Eckhart has taken the crucial step of putting the creepy spy software to video. His 17-minute upload captures a disturbing flow of data from his stock HTC Evo Android phone, even when he's entire logged off the cell network. Watching text messages and Google searches surreptitiously retransmitted puts to lie Carrier IQ Inc.'s claim that its software is only meant "to understand... where phone calls are dropped, where signal quality is poor, why applications crash and battery life."

This really bothers me. Sure I have nothing to hide, but I don't want my searches, phone calls or anything being recorded or tracked. Especially when I think I have disabled that tracking component. I love my Android but this is giving me pause. Watch at 13:50. You location will still be logged even when in airplane mode and using wifi instead of the cell network. Creepy.


posted on Nov, 30 2011 @ 04:18 PM

posted on Nov, 30 2011 @ 04:19 PM
reply to post by burntoast

Nope. You could click the link provided in the OP to see where I got it. I don't frequent Reddit.

posted on Nov, 30 2011 @ 04:59 PM
This does not sit well with me.
I pay bills with my phone through wifi thinking it's more secure!
I wonder if this comes with rooted phones?
I haven't seen an IQ app running.

posted on Nov, 30 2011 @ 05:18 PM
reply to post by GmoS719

I wonder if this comes with rooted phones? I haven't seen an IQ app running.

Not sure. It's a little freaky to think someone who steals your phone is going to be privy to what you've been up to.

posted on Nov, 30 2011 @ 05:20 PM
This is only happening with US carriers so youve nothing to worry about if youre not living there.

Obviously sim free phones are ok too.

posted on Nov, 30 2011 @ 07:02 PM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Nov, 30 2011 @ 08:34 PM
reply to post by Flyer

Stupid foreigners with your fancy phones that don't spy on you.

posted on Nov, 30 2011 @ 09:49 PM
Well if you don't trust your smart phone I guess you could go back to one of these pretty things...

But you can't carry this phone so easily (you need a really long cord!) , you can't save any of your contacts with it, you can't have a calendar or a newsfeed, you can't send or receive pictures, you can't do e-mail, and you can't do touch tone dialing either.

There are tremendous advantages with a smart phone. You can GPS yourself on a map when you are lost, you can translate a foreign language, you can take/send/receive photos of revolutionary action or police brutality...

Learning how to use the smart phone is in your best interest as a citizen on this planet. It is not a phone anymore.... it is a mobile computing platform... and in this day and age... Information Age... it is the critical device for levelling the playing field around the world.

Despots, tyrants and dictators have fear of the smart phone.... it is the most magnificent, non-violent tool for peace & equality in the world!

posted on Nov, 30 2011 @ 10:39 PM
I bet there are not many people on here who can say what I am about to say in the next line.

I have never owned a mobile phone in my life and will not be starting anytime soon.

Apart from the fact that such a device is completely redundant to me (there is no one I can call), I despise small screens, monthly payments and electronic surveillance. I'm happy with my 1st gen ipod touch (I won't buy apple again though) and don't use any of it's extra features.

posted on Nov, 30 2011 @ 11:05 PM
Just adding another source... and

Looks like Carrier IQ is one of the "thug mentality" type of corporations...

I checked my phone.. nothing from them on it.. (Sumsung Android phone on Sprint)

edit on 11-30-2011 by rogerstigers because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 30 2011 @ 11:25 PM
MOBILE SPY $49.95 lets you spy on texts, email etc, etc.

posted on Dec, 1 2011 @ 03:41 AM
reply to post by rogerstigers

Congrats on another good thread Domo, I was just coming to post this as I saw it on Gizmodo.

RT. I have a samsung galaxy 2s on sprint and i went through all my processes and could not find it either.

This really pisses me off... just when I thought I had found all the crap android was doing there's more... pisses me off. Apparently it's not just google phones doing it either.

I'm thankful at least my phone doesn't seem to be doing this.

ETA this appears to be their homepage: they have a creepy ticker bragging about how many handsets they are on!
edit on 1-12-2011 by pianopraze because: (no reason given)

ETA here is what they say about privacy... which is abiously strait up lies based on the video on gizmodo:

n providing our products and services, Carrier IQ enables our customers to gather information on Mobile User Experiences. Carrier IQ's products were developed from inception to respect and protect user privacy and security. We have established "Best Practices" approach to privacy and security. Our products are designed and configured to work within the privacy policies of our end customers and include functions such as anonymization and encryption. When Carrier IQ's products are deployed, data gathering is done in a way where the end user is informed or involved.

With deployment on over 130 million phones globally, we have considerable experience in protecting the privacy of the end user and doing so in a highly secure manner. Information transmitted from enabled mobile devices is stored in a secure data center facility that meets or exceeds industry best practice guidelines for security policies and procedures.
edit on 1-12-2011 by pianopraze because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 1 2011 @ 04:13 AM
It can be one of two things.

One: Its just information and actions of the phone. I say this because there is a such thing as binary code that allows technology to function. Whatever devices he is using clearly translates the binary codes. The question here is, "Is the information actually being sent to someone?"

Which brings up the second option.

Two: They are spying on us.

I think it maybe be both. I believe we're being watched in almost every way possible. I don't even care anymore to be honest. I really think its a system that highlights keywords such secret code names, for example, "Operation Blackjack" There are many code names like that meant to be secret, so if something like that is highlighted in their system I think they'd pay you a visit. That's what I want to believe since I don't believe that thousands or possibly millions of text messages and web data being monitored on a tempered level. Just saying.. they're bound to miss something lol

posted on Dec, 1 2011 @ 04:30 AM
reply to post by Mizzijr

It is clearly both. The more I read on this the more pissed I get.

Why must I be forced to void the warranty and root my phone to maintain my privacy?

Not just my privacy.. this damn app sends all your typed info.. your passwords, texts, emails... this is beyond big brotherish.

The only ways around it are to :
1. Buy a "nexus" phone - required to have no added apps to carry that label
2. Root your phone for anyone else.

This apparently is on Rim, IOS, Android, even BREW pcmag says. So all your phones are spying on you. I hope the DOJ sues the pants off everyone involved with this... but they probably won't because our system is now corporate owned...

Corporatocracy is really just
corporat Fascism

posted on Dec, 2 2011 @ 02:36 AM

Originally posted by Domo1
reply to post by Flyer

Stupid foreigners with your fancy phones that don't spy on you.
hey Domo I am posting this post from a smRtphone so now where's the conspiracy eh?

posted on Dec, 2 2011 @ 02:44 AM
I was interested to read that these phones' cameras can be switched on remotely. Personally, I never use a mobile phone even though I have one. It is just not part of my life. However, people who visit have these 3G and 4 G phones and I'm considering asking them to leave their phones either OFF or out of the house, simply for privacy and thinking what kind of 'creep' or pervert might be allowed to use these applications. If we have children, we need to understand that people who are prone to 'the Lucifer Effect', ie 90% of the population, might be drawn to 'spying' industries and so are more likely to misuse or 'snoop' on innocent folk for their own thrills.

posted on Dec, 2 2011 @ 03:41 AM
That's nothing to be surprised of.

How many of you have a tapped phone? That is to say, how many, when speaking to specific people, regardless of land/mobile line usage get their phones tapped?

That's what I thought...

posted on Dec, 2 2011 @ 11:19 PM
I'm surprised at you ATSers. This shouldn't be a shock to anyone on here. Come on we are conspiracy freaks!!!! Anyway, now I'll tell you why you shouldn't be shocked about this as someone who has experience in the mobile phone hacking community.

The only way right now to get rid of this Bull # is to root your phone, which many do not want to do, and to use an app that costs a buck! What a great marketing scheme this was.

This is NOT hacking

Technically it's not really hacking, it's more like monitoring without consent.
Carrier IQ doesn't break into your emails and mess with them, it watches you login to them. Hacking usually involves breaking into things, changing things, and using information for criminal purposes. As far as we know now, Carrier IQ didn't do this. They just monitored and nobody's personal records emails banking info have been corrupted by this yet...I am sure a full investigation will reveal a lot more. But it could be years before we know the full extent of the damage this thing has done, if any.

That's also how CEO's of companies can monitor computers when the employees are working, only difference here is IQ did so illegally.

Cell Phones are grey areas because not a lot of people know every single feature in their phones or why it is dangerous then when something like this is discovered, paranoia erupts!

Julian Assange Says Carrier IQ is Just the Tip of the Iceberg:

Assange explained that more than 150 private organizations in 25 countries can easily track phones and intercept messages, browsing history, email accounts, phone calls and more remotely.

For people here that don't know. Every time you click I accept on certain softwares or apps. You are agreeing to let the companies use certain information they need to run the app. I think the only reason this is getting so much media attention is because, it's being done in secret. However, when you click allow or accept, you don't know where the companies are sending your information either. You just know they are doing it.

It's almost becoming second nature to people that own smartphones to click accept on everything without fully knowing the extent each app does to their phone or where it connects to the internet and sends out information to ad agencies so it can make money. Then people complain about crappy batter life because they don't know how to use apps properly.

NOTE: I am in no way defending their actions, just shifting through the paranoia!
All I can say is educate yourself about the inner workings of smartphones and you wouldn't be so shocked about this type of stuff. It happens more than you realize. Carrier IQ is just one small example.

posted on Dec, 3 2011 @ 01:08 PM
reply to post by Domo1

Curiously enough, I got the news from the How-to-Geek newsletter I'm subscribed to. Thanks for posting this information.

I have an EVO 4g on Sprint.

However, it doesn't affect me. I rooted my smartphone 3 days after I got it, voiding the warranty of course, but I just had to do it. The linux geek in me made me do it. (Do you guys know that Android is based on linux, open source and all?) I'm running the Azreal 2.3 ROM, of course I'm too lazy to update it, but I should go and check to make sure no CIQ is involved. Pretty sure it isn't, as Azreal is a pretty slim footprint, like only 137 mb.

Mind you, I did back-up all my data, my OEM ROM, blah blah blah, so IF I had to take my phone in for servicing, I can flash it back to it's original state in just a few minutes. I carry my restore files in a folder on my phone, and one backed up to my network as well. Of course, my phone is now out of warranty, so I'm not too worried about going back to OEM settings. My new ROM has functioned perfectly from the day I flashed it.

I highly recommend rooting your Android, and avoid the issues of spying and hidden apps. I have complete control over my phone, and that's the way it should be. I even have the Android SDK installed, and a bootable cd just for kicks.

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