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Motorola Is Listening

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the knows-when-you've-been-bad-or-good-but-doesn't-bring-you-presents dept.

Cellphones 287

New submitter pbritt writes "Ben Lincoln was hooking up to Microsoft ActiveSync at work when he 'made an interesting discovery about the Android phone (a Motorola Droid X2) which [he] was using at the time: it was silently sending a considerable amount of sensitive information to Motorola, and to compound the problem, a great deal of it was over an unencrypted HTTP channel.' He found that photos, passwords, and even data about his home screen config were being sent regularly to Motorola's servers. He has screenshots showing much of the data transmission."

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Don't you know... (5, Funny)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#44167959)

The NSA would like to thank Motorola for their cooperation.

Re:Don't you know... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168121)

The NSA would like to thank Motorola .

Motorola (cell) in now owned by Google. Shouldn't that be "...would like to thank Google"? Pretty much use to Google doing these kind of shenanigans but I can't help feel that on Slashdot we need to be careful about linking Google and Android to bad things. Only Apple does such things (except it doesn't...the GPS tracking frenzy was a lot of gnashing of teeth for nothing). Remember Apple sells me a device, Google sells me.

RTFA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168153)

He bought the phone in 2011, before Google completed their purchase of Motorola Mobility, likely before Google even made the offer. Google had nothing to do with putting the spying code into this particular phone.

Carrier IQ (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about a year ago | (#44168315)

Did he just rediscover Carrier IQ?

On November 12, 2011, Trevor Eckhart published a report indicating that Carrier IQ software was capable of recording user keystrokes.

Droid X2 was a Verizon phone so it shouldn't have Carrier IQ on it.

Re:RTFA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168419)

He bought the phone in 2011, before Google completed their purchase of Motorola Mobility, likely before Google even made the offer. Google had nothing to do with putting the spying code into this particular phone.

True.

It was probably the spying code that was the real reason Google bought Motorola.

Of these three multibillion-dollar corporations, which one has a private jumbo jet for its executives:

1. ExxonMobil
2. Verizon
3. Oracle
4. Google

"Don't be evil"? My ass.

Re:Don't you know... (3, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#44168277)

Remember Apple sells me a device, Google sells me.

Riiiiight. Apple never spied on anybody [gizmodo.com] .

Re:Don't you know... (0)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#44168737)

Yeah, because ad tracking is the same fucking thing as sending all your data to a company.

#1 reason to use Android (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#44168125)

You can RELOAD the device's OS with custom ROMs that don't do this crap. If it was discovered Apple does this (and who's to say they don't) what choice have you? And Windows phone? Don't even start.

Part of the reality of "security" is taking responsibility for your own. Security is not a product you can buy. It's not something that other people can do for you (because that's tyranny). It's a personal responsibility and it takes knowledge and understanding to do. Tough luck to all those people who have neither the inclination nor the ability to learn.

Re:#1 reason to use Android (1)

sir-gold (949031) | about a year ago | (#44168229)

You can't reload with a custom rom if the phone uses a signed bootloader (which motorola is notorious for doing), or in the case of the article's author, you are "banned" from doing so by your employer (his employer bans rooted phones from accessing active sync)

Re:#1 reason to use Android (3, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44168319)

You can have a custom rom that is not rooted.
I do.

Why do people confuse these?

Re:#1 reason to use Android (4, Interesting)

rtkluttz (244325) | about a year ago | (#44168331)

We only use rooted phones running Cyanogenmod 10.1 in our environment. We have a fleet of about 50 smart phones and all of them but about 4 are Google Galaxy Nexus phones. We don't consider anything that we don't control to be secure.

Re:#1 reason to use Android (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168323)

You can RELOAD the device's OS with custom ROMs that don't do this crap. If it was discovered Apple does this (and who's to say they don't) what choice have you? And Windows phone? Don't even start.

Part of the reality of "security" is taking responsibility for your own. Security is not a product you can buy. It's not something that other people can do for you (because that's tyranny). It's a personal responsibility and it takes knowledge and understanding to do. Tough luck to all those people who have neither the inclination nor the ability to learn.

Android fanboy detected

Re:#1 reason to use Android (1)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | about a year ago | (#44168465)

Security is not a product you can buy.
But its something you can't buy - by not buying a smartphone or any of thees spy devices..

Re:#1 reason to use Android (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168347)

Motorola signs/encrypts the kernel. This massively hampers any attempt to load a new ROM, because the kernel remains constant thereafter. Any low level API changes etc are impossible to support except in software at a much higher layer in the stack

Numbers say they don't (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#44168379)

If it was discovered Apple does this (and who's to say they don't)

We know they don't because there are many hundreds of millions of people using Apple devices now, and lots of developers using network proxy monitoring tools in development that see all network traffic from the devices to boot.

Basically if Apple were doing this we would have known long ago, and there would be no shortage of people to shout about it continuously on Slashdot and elsewhere.

Re:Numbers say they don't (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44168421)

Or it sends it to the store when you browse. Assuming that is all encrypted you would never know.

Re: #1 reason to use Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168655)

Tough luck with all those people who have neither the inclination nor the ability to learn.

FTFY.

Re:Don't you know... (5, Informative)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#44168227)

I think it might be this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motoblur [wikipedia.org]

Lots of phones/providers sync your personal data for you in case you lose your phone.

(And I'm sure there's an option somewhere to turn it off, although you never know with big corporations...)

Re:Don't you know... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44168463)

Yup. This is just that POS.

Why anyone would want a phone like this I will never know.

Re:Don't you know... (5, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year ago | (#44168505)

Sigh.... they makes me more disappointed than mad, and reminds me of the phrase "The road to hell is paved with good intentions".

They want easy sync, they want it so they can restore user data and save people's bacon whose phone gets destroyed or lost. Awesome, great intention. However, http? No SSL? Come on guys! At LEAST encrypt the data in flight!

In reality, they should encrypt it at rest too, and have the user at least submit some sort of password or something so its not just.... gobs of juicy data waiting to be sniffed or scooped. Realistically this means everyone who had one of these phones, with few exceptions, have their data, out of their control, just waiting to be abused.

Well done, Motorola (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44167993)

"A company that listens to its users"

Improved Customer Experience (5, Funny)

evil_aaronm (671521) | about a year ago | (#44167999)

It's all for "improved customer experience." If they know to whom you're talking, or what pictures you're taking, or what documents you're reading or writing, or where you are at any given moment, they can better tailor their services to fit your needs. I'm surprised this isn't patently obvious. /snark

Re:Improved Customer Experience (4, Funny)

NEDHead (1651195) | about a year ago | (#44168247)

Patent? Did someone say Patent? What a great idea!

Re:Improved Customer Experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168281)

it's so obvious that it is patented!

Re:Improved Customer Experience (1)

FutureDomain (1073116) | about a year ago | (#44168671)

If they know to whom you're talking, or what pictures you're taking, or what documents you're reading or writing, or where you are at any given moment

Well, I'll be sure to give them something to look at. Since this is plain HTTP, technically I can send them anything if I know the right URLs. So they'll see me talking to the presidents of various countries (some friendly, some not), taking pictures of goatse, reading leaked classified documents, visiting motorolasucks.com, and visiting various locations around the north and south poles, North Korea, and Motorola HQ.

Mix in enough chaff and it's harder to separate the real data. Too bad the article doesn't list the URLs, since I'm never in hell going to buy a Motorola phone.

Sad, but also not surprising (5, Insightful)

tomkost (944194) | about a year ago | (#44168007)

It seems every device, every internet service, basically every communication node that we use has been turned into something that is beyond George Orwell's worst nightmare. As long as there is continued complacency on the part of people using this technology, the invasion of privacy will continue to grow. This of course assumes that it could get much worse. The only options at this point are to stop or drastically reduce using these networks while we attempt to build our own.

Re:Sad, but also not surprising (2, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#44168099)

"It seems every device, every internet service, basically every communication node that we use has been turned into something that is beyond George Orwell's worst nightmare."

Yes, if you use commercial easy to use toasters like a phone with stock android, iOS, Windows, OSX, etc on it... You are correct.

If you want privacy and control. Run linix or one of the hacked and cleaned Android releases.

Re:Sad, but also not surprising (1)

tomkost (944194) | about a year ago | (#44168137)

OK, I'm down with that. I have iphone now, but I would consider switching to Android. Can you provide some examples or links of releases that you mentioned? I don't want to continue to be part of the problem.

Re:Sad, but also not surprising (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168235)

You might want to start here: http://www.cyanogenmod.org/

Re:Sad, but also not surprising (1)

rwise2112 (648849) | about a year ago | (#44168363)

Look up any device you might be instered in here [xda-developers.com] .

Re:Sad, but also not surprising (0)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | about a year ago | (#44168375)

I have a 2G cell phone with 0 features. I love it. It's all I need.

Re:Sad, but also not surprising (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44168693)

The "making phone calls" part of my phone is the least interesting aspect.

Re:Sad, but also not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168435)

It seems every device, every internet service, basically every communication node that we use has been turned into something that is beyond George Orwell's worst nightmare. As long as there is continued complacency on the part of people using this technology, the invasion of privacy will continue to grow. This of course assumes that it could get much worse. The only options at this point are to stop or drastically reduce using these networks while we attempt to build our own.

Complacency? You seem to forget these networks and services were built and ride on the ignorance of teenagers who could give a flying fuck about privacy or what implications it could have for them in the future. It's all about the narcissism and popularity contests online. Nothing else matters.

Those who do care about privacy have abandoned such bullshit long ago, installed custom ROMs or otherwise rooted their devices, and have done what they can to avoid the big brother spying. This doesn't mean the impact is large enough to change a damn thing. It's not. Blame the ignorance of our youth that is their very target audience driving this shit.

Re:Sad, but also not surprising (1)

Maritz (1829006) | about a year ago | (#44168641)

who could give a flying fuck about privacy or what implications it could have for them in the future.

OK so they give a flying fuck but what are they doing about it? ;)

Re:Sad, but also not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168521)

The people who care about this sort of thing, or even can understand it, are vastly outnumbered by people who don't care and/or can't understand.

Unfortunately, however, the apathetic and the ignorant still vote, and still spend. They leave us outvoted and outspent.

Sharing is caring (1)

d.the.duck (2100600) | about a year ago | (#44168011)

Technically, the Government isn't listening to your phone calls. Google is, then they share with the NSA. Sharing is caring.

Re:Sharing is caring (1)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | about a year ago | (#44168389)

Wait a minute! I thought sharing was illegal? I'm so confused!

Re:Sharing is caring (1)

d.the.duck (2100600) | about a year ago | (#44168549)

It's always illegal except when it's not. Which is when the government does it. Just ask Snowden.

Re:Sharing is caring (1)

Maritz (1829006) | about a year ago | (#44168659)

As a pleb/citizen/consumer/voter or whatever, it is. Know your place!

Theft? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168019)

If true, Moto are stealing bandwidth or data allowance. Doing so as an individual will get you jail time, so will the CEO of Google be behind bars?

It is owned by Google (2, Insightful)

jader3rd (2222716) | about a year ago | (#44168023)

This is just Google collecting all of the worlds data, just like they said they were doing to do.

Re:It is owned by Google (5, Informative)

swillden (191260) | about a year ago | (#44168221)

This is just Google collecting all of the worlds data, just like they said they were doing to do.

The Droid X2 was released on May 11, 2011. Google announced their intention to acquire Motorola Mobility on August 15, 2011, and completed the acquisition on May 22, 2012.

Re: It is owned by Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168407)

So is it scarier that Google gives your data to the NSA, or that Google sells your data to advertisers?

Re: It is owned by Google (2)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year ago | (#44168591)

The former most definitely. I *know* google does that and I can opt-out of Google if I choose to do so. How do I opt-out of the NSA recording EVERYTHING?

Re: It is owned by Google (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168699)

Yes.

Oops... (1)

dstyle5 (702493) | about a year ago | (#44168029)

Motorola's future press release will contain something along the line of "It was mistake!?"

Re:Oops... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168211)

They'll just follow Apple.

Re:Oops... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168483)

They'll claim it was a mistake. Apple will then sue Motorola for patent infringement.

FTFY. Apple hasn't "created" anything in recent memory. All they do is create well polished copies. THEN they sue anyone who creates copies of their copies.

Really enjoying my... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168031)

...ancient black-and-white Nokia right now.

Nonono, beware the evil chinese (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168033)

These are not the droids you are looking for... Look at the Chinese! Look at the evil Chinese! They're spying on us!

Re:Nonono, beware the evil chinese (5, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | about a year ago | (#44168673)

These are not the droids you are looking for... Look at the Chinese! Look at the evil Chinese! They're spying on us!

Well, of course they are. But look at it this way:

When the Chinese spy on you, what can they do to you based on the data it gathers?
When the your own government spies on you, what can it do to you based on the data it gathers?

Somehow, I feel safer sending my data to the Chinese...

Shill!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168039)

But open source prevents this from happening because the source is constantly being looked at! This is clearly FUD being spread by a Microsoft shill. Ignore this fucker and the lies he spreads about FOSS and Google's Android.

Frigging moron goes all hysterical. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168175)

News at 11.

I blame the government (4, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#44168047)

I know, that sounds like the lead-in to a joke - but not this time.

In the US, anyway, Congress established quite some time ago that companies had more rights to our personal information than most of us would want them to have. So it's not surprising when we find out the NSA (or whoever) has carte blanche to our information - and also that Congress doesn't grok why we get upset about it.

Europeans ostensibly have much stronger protections in this regard; but it seems to me there's a lot of "wink, wink, nudge nudge" going on over there, and those "protections" are mainly in place so their officials can posture indignantly whenever news like this comes out. In practice I don't think there's much of a difference on either side of the Atlantic.

So what's the big deal about yet another large entity slurping our personal information? Whether they're public or private - according to the folks elected to represent us, we shouldn't be upset about it...

Re:I blame the government (2)

rsborg (111459) | about a year ago | (#44168241)

Perhaps the government is to blame, but if I had a Moto phone, I could be liable for the security breach if I worked at a secure company location. If I were a responsible IT manager at one of those companies, I'd be pretty pissed about this.

You can't sue the government for Motorola's ineptitude, but you can sue Motorola. I hope someone does just that, and slaps down this culture of snooping and ineptitude that could ruin careers and lives.

Re:I blame the government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168267)

Out of curiosity, which Act of Congress are you referring to when you say they established that the companies have rights to our personal information? To establish something is a positive act, and I can't think of anything other than failing to enact useful privacy legislation.

(Not trolling, if they did actually establish some right like that, it wouldn't shock me, but I don't recall them doing so. The closest thing I can think of are provisions of the UCC, which are a set of nearly identical state laws on commerce.)

Re:I blame the government (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#44168329)

and also that Congress doesn't grok why we get upset about it.

Oh, Congress knows we're upset about it, and understands why we're upset, but about 3/4 of them don't care. There are a few major reasons for this:
(1) The only major campaign donors who care about it support the surveillance. That means that doing the will of the people will incur a financial penalty and no financial gain.

(2) Because both major parties basically agree that this kind of thing is at the very least not a problem, there's no threat of the other party fielding an effective candidate that will campaign against them on the issue of privacy.

(3) The NSA may have dirt (or may be able to create dirt) on them that would make the flak they take for ignoring this problem insignificant by comparison. An example of someone possibly falling victim to this is Anthony Weiner.

(4) A significant number of Americans actually support the surveillance, providing political cover for any politicians who fail to act.

Another reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168051)

not to use Moto. With a Moto phone I got no bars in my home. With an LG I now get 5 bars.

It's motoblur... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168061)

It's a server side social service from motorola,see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motoblur

Re:It's motoblur... (1)

Tr3vin (1220548) | about a year ago | (#44168147)

It sure is. He says that it supposedly isn't and is basically stock Android, but after quickly looking at a review of the device it is running some form of Motoblur. It might not be as bad as other Motorola devices were but it is definitely not stock.

Re:It's motoblur... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44168155)

It's a server side social service from motorola,see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motoblur [wikipedia.org]

Did you see the part of TFA where the user was given no indication that 'motoblur' was active, and the phone was using randomly generated 'motoblur' credentials because it had never even prompted him to create any?

Re:It's motoblur... (1)

vux984 (928602) | about a year ago | (#44168243)

Its a "feature"

From wikipedia:

First generation Motoblur-based phones require a new user to create a Motoblur account, denying access to the main screen until the account is established. User account information is stored on Motorola's servers for access from web browsers and future phones. Newer devices allowed users to defer Blur services until a later registration

Presumably, once you got around to making a motoblur account it would like to the "temporary one".

Apparently it didn't occur to motorola that some poeple were opting out of registering because they didn't want the service at all, as opposed to merely not wanting to register.

Idiotic for sure, but probably not full on malicious.

Re:It's motoblur... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44168401)

If that's idiocy, it's well up into 'indistinguishable from malice' territory.

How is this even legal? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44168089)

I'm sure they feel they can write anything they want in an EULA, but I can't see how this is legal.

This is actively taking your data for their own purposes, and should be something with criminal penalties.

And Google recently added terms to the permission for the Android keyboard update which wants more access to your personal information -- forcing me to conclude that any device you buy these days is actively working against you, and is best kept in airplane mode as much as possible.

You don't own and control it -- the assholes in marketing do.

Re:How is this even legal? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about a year ago | (#44168127)

It's legal because there is no law against it. What specific law do you think it is violating?

Re:How is this even legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168251)

It's legal because there is no law against it. What specific law do you think it is violating?

Copyright law?

Re:How is this even legal? (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year ago | (#44168649)

See EULA, you've granted them full license to use your stuff.

Re:How is this even legal? (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44168291)

How about this [cornell.edu] ?

They've gone way beyond authorized access, and are collecting information they have no business accessing.

But somehow those EULAs magically give them the legal right to do anything they want to.

Re:How is this even legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168231)

And Google recently added terms to the permission for the Android keyboard update which wants more access to your personal information -- forcing me to conclude that any device you buy these days is actively working against you, and is best kept in airplane mode as much as possible.

I noticed that change to the permissions too, and it threw me for a bit of a loop myself - until I remembered that the keyboard does auto-complete, and that names and addresses of my friends may well not be in a typical dictionary. I'm guessing that the keyboard needs those permissions to look that stuff up in your contacts. Would be nice if they actually required justification for permissions rather than just "we want access to X" so we didn't have to guess though.

What do you expect from Syncing Software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168101)

What do you expect from Syncing software? That is what it does. It transfers data from one device to another for back up and storage. Duh!!!!

Re:What do you expect from Syncing Software? (1)

Rob Y. (110975) | about a year ago | (#44168387)

Even if this is true, they certainly ought to encrypt it. Don't dropbox, google drive, and skydrive encrypt their transfers?

So run stock android (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44168139)

This is why you run stock android, or one you built yourself not some blur BS.

Re:So run stock android (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44168491)

This is why you run stock android, or one you built yourself not some blur BS.

Yeah, and then the only company you need to worry about not trusting is Google.

Unfortunately, even on a stock Nexus tablet, Google pushes very hard to force you to use their stuff, and actually signed me up for a You Tube account when I launched the app, even though I don't want a You Tube account and never got asked.

I'm pretty sure we're screwed no matter what we run these days.

Re:So run stock android (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44168499)

Or flash your own rom.

Custom ROMs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168151)

Does this affect users who are running a custom ROM (Eclipse, Cyanogen)?

Achievement Unlocked (5, Informative)

blincoln (592401) | about a year ago | (#44168163)

"An article you wrote for your personal website has appeared on the main page of both Slashdot and Hacker News, and you were not the submitter in either case."

I haven't logged onto this account in ages, but if anyone has any questions, I'd be happy to try to answer them.

Re:Achievement Unlocked (1, Troll)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#44168263)

Why don't pretty girls like me?

Re:Achievement Unlocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168423)

you read slashdot

Re:Achievement Unlocked (1)

blincoln (592401) | about a year ago | (#44168429)

Of course, I have no need to worry about such things now! :)

Re:Achievement Unlocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168285)

Is there any reason to suspect an alternative attack route? I've used K9 since the beginning, and never even had a social media account. However, several private gpg keys are used on it with APG. That certainly worries me, even though I now have cm7 running on it for the last year. Access to my passphrases defeats the entire point of signing emails

Re:Achievement Unlocked (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year ago | (#44168441)

What is the most straightforward way to monitor, analyze, and sandbox attempted network activity on a per-device basis on all three major OSes?

Carrier IQ? Skype links? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168165)

Did he criticize the NSA? Maybe he's targetted.

Doesn't this remind you of Carrier IQ, the software required to be installed on every US phone by the telcos? The same telcos in bed with the NSA? It was spotted recording keystrokes etc into a file. Later on we learned they can send a profile down to the phone which tells the phone to log all kinds of stuff and it is 'for your benefit'?
http://slashdot.org/story/11/11/30/0423256/android-dev-demonstrates-carrieriq-phone-logging-software-on-video

Microsoft reads your Skype chat messages and accesses any links (*cough* PRISM), to check for malware... for your benefit.
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/13/05/14/1516247/microsoft-reads-your-skype-chat-messages

See why the NSA can't cover this up? Because it's right there on the Internet waiting to be remembered, and re-examined in the light of the NSA surveillance-of-everyone-in-the-USA scandal.

I'd recommend a talk by Jacob Appelbaum, it puts this in perspective:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0I7wi3ZLG8

Carrier IQ, Skype links (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168373)

(I see this was modded down, so I repost it. Censorship of this subject isn't a winning strategy):

Did he criticize the NSA? Maybe he's targetted.

Doesn't this remind you of Carrier IQ, the software required to be installed on every US phone by the telcos? The same telcos in bed with the NSA? It was spotted recording keystrokes etc into a file. Later on we learned they can send a profile down to the phone which tells the phone to log all kinds of stuff and it is 'for your benefit'?
http://slashdot.org/story/11/11/30/0423256/android-dev-demonstrates-carrieriq-phone-logging-software-on-video

Microsoft reads your Skype chat messages and accesses any links (*cough* PRISM), to check for malware... for your benefit.
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/13/05/14/1516247/microsoft-reads-your-skype-chat-messages

See why the NSA can't cover this up? Because it's right there on the Internet waiting to be remembered, and re-examined in the light of the NSA surveillance-of-everyone-in-the-USA scandal.

I'd recommend a talk by Jacob Appelbaum, it puts this in perspective:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0I7wi3ZLG8

Apathy (1)

SuilAmhain (2819677) | about a year ago | (#44168167)

By any chance is anybody else beginning to, against their own better judgement, stop caring about this type of thing because there seems to be nothing we can do about it?

There is no justifiable excuse for this or prism etc.. etc.. but we are clearly powerless to do anything and I think my mind needs a defence mechanism.

Re:Apathy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168539)

Opt out or don't care.

Re:Apathy (1)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | about a year ago | (#44168643)

No. I refuse to give in. I'll go backwards if I have to. Throw out ALLLLLL this tech. It's tainted. It's made to work against you. And you can't trust anyone these days. (as if you could ever trust a corp.) THROW IT ALL AWAY!

It's soup cans and string for me from here on out...

Re:Apathy (1)

idontgno (624372) | about a year ago | (#44168755)

Aaaaand on behalf of the entire Slashdot community (particularly the part of it that doesn't want me speaking on their behalf, because I love pissing off those douchewads)... I'd like to welcome you to our community, Mr. Kaczynsky.

Please don't blow us up, even if we silently note the hypocrisy of loudly advocating disposing of all the untrustworthy elements of the "industrial-technological system" on a technofetishist on-line computer-based weblog. Well, please don't blow me up, anyway. Kthxbye.

Re:Apathy (1)

cpghost (719344) | about a year ago | (#44168717)

There is no justifiable excuse for this or prism etc.. etc.. but we are clearly powerless to do anything and I think my mind needs a defence mechanism.

How about a little bit of subversive thinking and acting?

Let's turn this whole surveillance mania against them, won't we? Say, the US government won't give a rat's ass of what you want or what you think: write to them as much as you want, they won't even acknowledge you exist. However, try to keep something private, and they'll go out of their way to spy on you, to intrude your privacy etc.. And why? Just so they can hear what you wanted to say them altogether openly from the beginning. You've got their (big NSA) ears and their attention now: use 'em to deliver your message.

Or, said otherwise: forget about writing your elected representatives, write what you want your government to know to your own friends, and Government will eventually get to read it too.

So maybe they *do* have a copy... (1)

msobkow (48369) | about a year ago | (#44168195)

So maybe Apple or Motorola or someone do have a copy of the infamous Rob Ford Smoking Crack video in their archives.

Why the defeatist mood? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168233)

Things like this are plainly illegal in the EU and in the US should be as well. There IS a way to battle those fucktards. Justice.

Re:Why the defeatist mood? (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year ago | (#44168557)

This. Fight back!

Sue their asses to kingdom come (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168239)

If this is true that Motorola is spying on everything you do, stealing your goddamn IMAP and facebook passwords then sue their asses and press criminal "wiretapping" charges.

Re:Sue their asses to kingdom come (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44168565)

If this is true that Motorola is spying on everything you do, stealing your goddamn IMAP and facebook passwords then sue their asses and press criminal "wiretapping" charges.

Silly consumer, the CFAA only makes more or less anything you do with or to a computer a felony if you aren't a corporation...

Pretty sure there was another android company... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168403)

Doing the exact same kind of thing not too long ago if I'm not mistaken and they claimed it was for "Web acceleration" or some BS. I did some quick googling but couldn't find the article. Does anyone remember what I'm talking about?

Why do they keep trying to "social " us? (5, Insightful)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year ago | (#44168409)

What is this crap, and why do they always get it wrong?

Yes, I do want to seamlessly sync my mail, sms and contacts across my devices.
Except none of the solutions proposed really do that well...
(Or maybe I'm not typical, having multiple PCs and mobile devices, including iOS and Android?)

Photos too? Hell, why not. Picasa from Google used to be OK...

But now, after the "success" of FB, it seems that you can't have simple sync solution anymore; everybody is pushing unwanted, privacy-leaking, "social" features down our throats.

Just please fucking stop!

Here's one for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168475)

Is this data stream using metered bandwidth from the cell provider? If not, then the cell provider is working with them. If it is does, then they are consuming your data, i.e. your money. Would you have gone over limit and incurred a fee had they not been doing this? Could be a potential for class action to recover fees and lost bandwidth that they are taking from you.

the natural answer (1)

nimbius (983462) | about a year ago | (#44168543)

https://whispersystems.org/ [whispersystems.org]
Moxie Marlinspike sends his regards.

Bug2Go app... definitely not cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168689)

I myself came across random screenshots of my behaviors and homescreens, passwords, etc as well stored away in my sd card. I did some research and (at least part of) the problem is a shell script called Bug2Go. It supposedly takes a screenshot when something goes wrong and sends it along with a background bug report to Motorola.

The good news is that you can remove at least this particular spying script by rooting your phone, going to a root explorer app, and deleting Bug2Go.sh out of your system/bin directory. :) Hopefully that's the brunt of the spying software, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were backup ways of spying on our phones...

#irc.trollTalk.com (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168751)

hapl3es *BSD
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