The Carrier IQ privacy controversy shows little signs of letting up, as three lawmakers today called for a Congressional hearing on the implications raised by the use of the company's software by wireless carriers.
Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA), G.K Butterfield (D-NC) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) sent an open letter (download PDF) to Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, asking for an investigation of the data collection and transmission capabilities of Carrier IQ's software and similar products.
The letter, sent to Upton and two other subcommittee chairs, also asked Congress to find out whether Android phones were sold with security problems that would have exacerbated the problems caused by Carrier IQ's software.
"Data collection and transmission by Carrier IQ and similar software is widespread, and consumers appear to have little knowledge and even less control over the practice," the three lawmakers wrote. "There continue to be many unanswered questions about the handling of this data and the extent to which its collection, analysis, and transmission pose legitimate privacy concerns for the American public."
The Carrier IQ controversy erupted in late November, after independent security researcher Trevor Eckhart published a report showing how Carrier IQ's software could be used by wireless carriers to capture detailed information from Android-powered mobile devices, iPhones and other smartphones. Read more...
LightSquared said late Sunday that it planned to run the next day in major newspapers in the U.S. an open letter explaining its position over the controversy surrounding its LTE (long-term evolution) network, particularly concerns about its interference with GPS (global positioning system).
Demand for broadband wireless will outstrip the current total spectrum available in the U.S. within the next 24 months, "jeopardizing everything from the smartphones and tablets we love to the emergency responder services we rely upon to keep us safe", LightSquared's CEO Sanjiv Ahuja said in the open letter. "The current nationwide wireless providers have failed to innovate and in the process have failed to keep pace with consumer and technological demands."
Tests have shown LightSquared's proposed LTE network, which would operate in a spectrum band now devoted to satellite services, would run into interference with most GPS products in the upper part of its band and with some high-precision units in the lower part of its band. Read more...