Friday, December 2, 2011

It's Even Worse Than We Thought

Carrier IQ is a mysterious application that collects everything you do on your smartphone and transmits it to some central location for use by unknown entities for unknown purposes. Trevor Eckhart, a soft-spoken computer researcher, cracks open the machine code and displays it on his computer screen for your amusement and instruction in a seventeen-minute YouTube video, attached herewith.

If you don't have seventeen minutes to follow his demonstration, I'll tell you what you would see. First he demonstrates that the application is nowhere listed among the legitimate applications on his Android. Then he demonstrates that in spite of its invisibility the program is running at all times. Then he accesses the button that ought to turn the application off, and presses it. Nothing happens. It continues to run.

Then he shows you on his computer screen, which his Android is plugged into, every machine instruction that the Carrier IQ program executes. Nearly every keystroke is coded for transmission to the shadowy central location. All your text messages, whether they are actually delivered or not. All of your secret billet-doux to your lover. Every Google search you execute. Every website you visit. Every userid, every password you enter, even on https sites, before encryption takes place. Want to do online banking now?

And not just your Android. Your Blackberry, your IPhone, all of them have this application embedded un-removeably for the purpose of collecting data. Who is behind this? Rupert Murdoch? Homeland Security? An evil ring of identity thieves?

This is not a spy novel, folks. It is not science-fiction. Senator Al Franken plans to look into it. So should everyone else.

Kate Gallison


  1. WOw!!! I think I'll go back to morse code. Or does the ghost of ole Morse monitor them signals? tjs

  2. When I was a child, I learned in school that God knew everything, knew the number of hairs on my head, every thought I thunk--saw all, understood all. I'm with you and Al Franken. We need to find out who is doing this. But considering the millions of cell phones in the world, and Brazillions of bits of data being collected, and the capacity needed for the machines to store all that data, I think we might find God on the other end.

    This is a GREAT post Kate. A blockbuster!

  3. I knew it, Annamaria, it's God! But even though He's an IPhone, I'm not buying it!

  4. This is outrageous and if I think too deeply about it I get the Heebee-geebees!!