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BLOG: How stupid can cell carriers be? Really Stupid.

Mark Gibbs | Dec. 5, 2011
The recent revelation that most of us are carrying around smartphones with embedded rootkits is both surprising and not so surprising. It's surprising because it makes you wonder, "How stupid can the carriers be?" It's not surprising in that we know the answer to that.

What is the legal risk to all of the carriers that have deployed this software? They are guilty of the federal crime of unauthorized wiretapping and violation of privacy!

The enormity of this whole mess is just starting to come clear as the list of devices Carrier IQ can be found embedded on includes products from Samsung, HTC, Nokia and RIM. According to the Carrier IQ web site, something north of 141 million smartphones are running their software! Can you say "class action"?

When there's such minimal real competition in the service provider market and such minimal external oversight on what the carriers can do, this is what happens. Anyone who thinks that the carriers don't need regulation and that the "free market" organically solves these kinds of problems is living in a dream world.

Gibbs has his data collected in Ventura, Calif. Tell him where you are spied upon at backspin@gibbs.com.

 

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