SECURITY RESEARCHER Trevor Eckhart has received a cease and desist letter from Carrier IQ following his investigation into firm's mobile phone analytics software.
Last week Eckhart published his findings on Carrier IQ's software that is shipped with many mobile phone operating systems including Google's Android. Eckhart's research showed alarming levels of data collection, though the firm quickly issued a statement categorically denying that it records keystrokes.
As part of Eckhart's investigation, he read publicly available training documents on Carrier IQ's website. Carrier IQ has since taken those training documents offline, however Eckhart, who mirrored the training documents allowing for independent verification, has now been served with a cease and desist letter by Carrier IQ.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which represents Eckhart, published a letter it sent to Carrier IQ's lawyers arguing that the publication of training documents is "classic fair use and, therefore, non-infringing". The EFF continued by saying that the dissemination of information was in the public interest.
"Mr. Eckhart published his analysis of Carrier IQ and the underlying training materials to educate the public about privacy concerns raised by your software, which is installed by default on many mobile devices, unbeknownst to most consumers. Dissemination of this information unquestionably serves the public interest."
On the EFF's website the group said, "Given the weakness of its legal position, we have to conclude that Carrier IQ's real goal is to suppress Eckhart's research and prevent others from verifying his findings."
The EFF and Eckhart will be standing behind the Copyright Act as part of his defence. Carrier IQ on the other hand has seemingly done a good job of bringing even more attention to the murky world of mobile phone analytics. µ
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