Dec 12th, 2011

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.