Carrier IQ Working With the FBI? FOIA Denial Seems to Suggest as Much


Well this is very interesting. Government transparency group MuckRock, likely perplexed by recent allegations that personal user information is being collected by Carrier IQ, sought to find out if any governing bodies had records that show they work with Carrier IQ in one way or another. One of those governing bodies was the FBI.

They used the beloved Freedom of Information Act to help them out and this is what the Federal Bureau of Investigation had to say:

The material you requested is located in an investigative file which is exempt from disclosure…

This tells us two things – the FBI, in one way, shape or form, is dealing or has dealt with Carrier IQ. And whatever is in this file is too sensitive for it to fall into the wrong hands, deeming its status as exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.

We don’t know what is in these files or why they’re exempt. It says it’s in an “investigative file” but who knows what sort of investigation they’re talking about? As we know, our government is currently “fighting terrorism” so that could be the investigative part.

No one can jump to conclusions based on the limited amount of information afforded to us here but it’s definitely cause for concern and paranoia. And perhaps this opaqueness on the part of both Carrier IQ the United States government will speed up the process of bringing about a formal federal investigation on their practices. [MuckRock via Gizmodo]

[Update]: The very first page of the denial letter specifically states that the information they have in the exempt file is for law enforcement purposes and that they cannot release information that will jeopardize any ongoing investigation.

We’re almost completely sure that the FBI isn’t investigating Carrier IQ so the question is: who is Carrier IQ helping the FBI investigate and where is the information they’re using to help the FBI coming from? A classic “whodunnit and why.” MuckRock intends to appeal the FOIA denial.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Times like these I’m glad I’m on Verizon

    1. Me too. CarrierIQ free!  But, that doesn’t mean they don’t do the same thing another way.

      1. exactly.  these programs are likely there to provide services to agencies that request (and are granted) wiretap approval. Because there is such a thing as lawful interception, there must be means of doing so. So yes, expect those services to exist, Carrier IQ on Sprint, Verizon could have some other service.

        Here’s a cellphone wiretap example from 2006, remotely enabling a cell phone’s mic.

        and cell phones in general have certainly advanced a bit in 6 years, so it’d be ignorant to think they haven’t done their part to keep up.

        1. I love that the roving bug is legal for the government, but recording police brutality with your cellphones video camera is a wire-tapping crime. Yay America!

    2. same here

  2. Can you say BIG BROTHER?  

  3. As I expected…the government has many spying tools…they would be ashamed if they only now learned of this software…because it suits them perfectly……SPY THIS you privacy invading bunch of corrupties!!!

  4. 911 WAS AN INSIDE JOB!!!!!1111!!!!1!!!!!!

    1. Don’t be one of those f*ckin’ people, dude.


        1. i always prefer to go the “nah dude,it was a top secret government project that was so top secret that i saw it in a youtube video!!! but all you other people dont understand it because only i and a select few on the internet are smart enough to get it” route when impersonating those people

    2. Mossad.

  5. Interesting that Google claims to not work with CarrierIQ, but they are 3 miles from the Googleplex.



      1. Google was behind 911 O_o

        Sorry that was a bad joke xD

      2. get off your high horse, your an internet ASS, seriously all you do is argue and bitch at people.

        1. Haha… You notice he has more comments than likes too?

    2. What does their proximity have to do with them working together… there is software that shows carrier IQ isn’t on Nexus phones.

  6. llike DUUUUUDE they faked the moon landing man!! it was like a sound stage maaaaaaaaaaaan duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude. 

  7. hey like duuuuuude they are like logging every keystroke you make!!! and DUUUUUDE dont believe the lies about how they arent because those are their shills they like put out there to lie. So basically everyone that says that like carrier IQ isnt a keylogger is being like paid by the man to lie!!! DUUUUUDE 

  8. If by the FBI doing this can prevent even one death then I would be happy to have carrier IQ on my phone.

    1. then put it on your phone only and not mine.

      If the police can prevent one death by watching you take a shower, watching you take a sh!t and watching you when you make love to your girlfriend, would you still say its OK?

      the FBI like other government agencies can and have spied on LAW ABIDING American Citizens, people who are NOT suspects and people who have NO ill intentions towards their country.

      they HAVE spied on anti-war protestors and people fighting for civil rights.

      last time I checked, we are protected under the Constitution from “Unreasonable search and seizures”

    2. You’re a Duchebag.

      “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”  – Benjamin Franklin

      1. But what about people who give up THEIR essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety for OTHERS?

    3. And what if it causes one death? Will you stick a fork in your forehead for us to stop it?

    4. You are crazy… law enforcement doesn’t do “prevention” they catch criminals after the crime. Anyway just because you are willing to give your data freely, doesn’t mean everyone is. We should have a choice for such data to be installed on our phones.

    5. I see government scare tactics have served you well

  9. One of my first thoughts about CarrierIQ was “I wonder which of the 3 letter agencies is in bed with them.”

  10. I’ve always figured you were fucked in the head, and this proves it.

  11. Duuuuuuuude…Talk about being on crack

  12. It’s a known fact that the government has had access to information that large IT companies, like Google, have “on tap” about users.  Even that some of the companies get so many requests that they have had to design “easy to use interfaces” for the government agencies to use, to gain access to the information.  Supposedly this kind of access requires a subpoena/warrant. Not everyone is so sure the requirement for a warrant is actually being enforced in all cases. It was clear in the past under the Bush administration that warrants via the FISA court were not being obtained in every circumstance.

    Why is it so surprising to you that the government would be working with Carrier IQ to gain information on individuals it is investigating?  I am sure in many cases the process would be completely lawful.  

    Although, I am not certain that what Carrier IQ has been doing is lawful at all.

    I don’t wish to attack you personally, but your responses make you sound an awful lot like a sheep, at the very least uninformed.

    1. When you say it is a known fact, can you provide a link?

      1. Because if there’s an internet link it must be true? hmm.

        1. I know it doesn’t necessarily true, but I’m just challenging him to back up his claims with credible proof. To state something as fact easy… I can say I know for a fact the sky is green… does that make it true?

          1. Ken – you make a fair point. In my defense, Google announced publicly, the interface they created.  It was covered so broadly, by so many organizations, I was sure most on Phandroid were aware.  Here is a link to an article on CNN. I hope most consider them reliable. However, there are many sources including Google them selves if you perform a cursory search.


  13. im just glad my phone doesnt have it

  14. If you are foolish enough to believe that FBI wouldnt do that I have nothing to say to you. Carrier IQ or not everything you type on a cell phone, computer Email Facebook, twitter, blog, fax etc… is all logged in a data warehousing system. Keywords are picked up real time and analyized and cross referrenced and discarded if not credible or acted upon if credible. They even hire thousands of people to translate and archive each and every news papers and political publication from every single country in the world, statements of politician and what they said etc.. You want to live under a ROCK and pretend its not true be my guest…

  15. Most people have nothing to hide anyways but that does not mean it does not exist.

  16. I’m saying this anonymously. There watching every move. Your camera, front camera. You don’t know it, or maybe you do. They can find out any of your Google searches , phone calls, even when you cheated on your spouse! Be careful out there folks some of neighbors are apart of the secret societies or uninformed people that are clueless and are almost like sheep and will go along with anything the government says and say ok. Soon we will have qr codes with micro nfc chips attached to our skin And we will eventually be forced! They will punish us if we disagree and even kill us! It might be a bible prophecy happening or evil big brother! But either way SOMEBODY’S WATCHING YOU!

  17. Who pay attention to ATL_Guy ??his not getting that from me thats for sure. His a fucking idiot . Just saying

  18. I really don’t care about this whole Carrier IQ thing. If it helps the companies to make better phone, go for it.  Beside, I really have nothing to hide.  Like I really care about what people I will probably never met in my life to see what I am texting.  


  19. I doubt most people care if the FBI or a trusted company is using the info in some positive way.

    But the current situation is like if I were to write down all my information on a piece of paper in my house and my brother is to take all this information to my parent’s house. I don’t mind if my parents know my information. But it is the fact that this piece of paper with my information exists and could be leaked is what is scary.

  20. “As we know, our government is currently “fighting terrorism” so that could be the investigative part.”

    Could be the funniest thing I’ve read today. When are they not fighting terrorisy?

    1. Terrorism is such a broad term

  21. fbi, cia, mossad. etc 

    because what?, because USA want for world dominatian.

  22. Now can we put on our tin foil hat?

  23. Having rights isn’t a spectator sport, you have to defend them in order for them to mean anything. It’s guaranteed that if you ask government to do it for you, they will take them away in order to “protect them”.

    We have spent years researching this whole problem and it’s not just because of the type of phone you have, the software installed on it, or who’s operating system controls your phone, the core of the problem is in the way the cellular networks function. All cell phones are tracked real time, and all of them can be compromised allowing your devices microphone, camera, or GPS to be used by unauthorized persons without your knowledge. In addition the contents of your entire phone including the text messages, emails, phone book, confidential log in information etc can be accessed with or without the phone being connected to any network.  
    After realizing the extent of the problem we set out to create a device which would allow the owners of these devices to control when, where and by whom the device is accessed as of this month we are making this device available to you, me and everyone else concerned about their privacy. See us at for more information.

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