Carrier IQ Gets Hit With Senate InvestigationS

Carrier IQ, the software that secretly records actions on many smartphones, is creepy and scary, and there's nothing you can do about it. But the U.S. Senate can, and Senator Al Franken just sent the company a nastygram.

Earlier today Franken fired off a letter to Carrier IQ CEO Larry Lenhart raising questions about the company's practices and demanding answers by December 14.

Senator Franken nods to the need for diagnostics, but then lays the hammer down, noting that the company may be violating the law:

[I]t appears the software captures a broad swath of extremely sensitive information from users that would appear to have nothing to do with diagnostics—including who they are calling, the contents of the texts they are receiving, the contents of their searches and the websites they visit.

These actions may violate federal privacy laws, including the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. This is potentially a very serious matter.

Potentially serious? I'll say! Franken goes on to ask a series of questions of Carrier IQ, that when answered should get to the bottom of some of our biggest mysteries about exactly what it's doing with all that data it is capturing. Hopefully, this is going to help put a stop to what seems to be nothing short of a very scummy practice.

You can read the complete letter below, or on Franken's website.