Android security tends to be a popular subject of discussion when looking for an area to criticise Android. Whether it be the much maligned Face Unlock or long-standing Pattern Lock, many tech sites enjoy nitpicking at every available opportunity. There is however one major organisation who might just disagree with the naysayers, the FBI.
Dante Dears, a San Diego based pimp was recently released from prison after serving time for trafficking prostitutes. Dears immediately violated the term of his parole by owning a cell phone which informants claim he was using to continue his pimping remotely. Naturally the FBI seized the phone and it was then that the problems began.
Dears refused to unlock the phone so the FBI promptly sent it off to the Computer Forensics Lab. Technicians at the lab succeeded only in locking the phone after too many unsuccessful unlock attempts. The phone then prompted the technicians for Dears’ Google login details which , of course, he refused to hand over. At this point the FBI had little option but to head cap-in-hand to Google to request the information. A warrant was served that asked Google for the following information :
- The subscriber’s name, address, Social Security number, account login and password
- “All e-mail and personal contact list information on file for cellular telephone”
- The times and duration of every webpage visited
- All text messages sent and received from the phone, including photo and video messages
- Any e-mail addresses or instant messenger accounts used on the phone
- “Verbal and/or written instructions for overriding the ‘pattern lock’ installed on the” phone
- All search terms, Internet history, and GPS data that Google has stored for the phone
Google responded with the following statement : “Like all law-abiding companies, we comply with valid legal process. Whenever we receive a request we make sure it meets both the letter and spirit of the law before complying. If we believe a request is overly broad, we will seek to narrow it.”
How is it the phrase goes? “Pimpin’ ain’t easy”, well it seems that advances in mobile technology inadvertently made it a little easier. It goes without saying that TalkAndroid absolutely does not condone the behaviour of Dears although it is reassuring to know that the average Android owner is well protected. Perhaps the FBI will be hoping that the adoption of Ice Cream Sandwich brings an increase in Face Unlock usage, at least then they might be able to get into the phone with mugshot photos.
source : ars technica