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  • Blog, Telecommunications - Written by on Friday, December 2, 2011 13:14 - 13 Comments

    Aussie telcos not using Carrier IQ

    blog Worried about that nasty Carrier IQ keylogging/tracking software which is causing such a ruckus in the US? You probably shouldn’t be. This morning Delimiter checked with Australia’s three major mobile telcos about whether they had deployed the software into their networks. We got the following responses back.

    Telstra said: “Not installed on our phones. Not used by us.” Optus said: “I can confirm that Optus has not deployed Carrier IQ in our network.” And Vodafone sent through the following statement as a question and answer response:

    Is CarrierIQ used on Vodafone networks? “We do not use this technology on our customer networks in Australia, the UK or elsewhere. The protection of our customers’ privacy is paramount and we have strict guidelines governing the technologies we deploy.”

    Is CarrierIQ present on mobile devices sold by Vodafone? (In other words, is it preloaded onto Vodafone handsets by manufacturers?) “We require all of our suppliers to comply in full with the strict guidelines we have in place governing the protection of privacy on all of our customer networks. We have no evidence from our analysis to date that the CarrierIQ technology is present on any of the Vodafone customer networks.”

    So there you go. Nothing to worry about ;) As you were.

    Image credit: Mateusz Stachowski, royalty free

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    1. PointZeroOne
      Posted 02/12/2011 at 1:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Of course they’d say that

      • Posted 02/12/2011 at 1:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

        They made it fairly clear — no beating around the bush — and I believe them. These companies don’t tend to outright lie; and I know their spokespeople well. They wouldn’t lie. If they can’t disclose something, they won’t, but in that case it’ll be a ‘no comment’ or something similar.

        • Glenn
          Posted 02/12/2011 at 7:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

          I find it hard to trust anything anyone says about “intelligence” gathering.

          The company spokesman may well be telling what they believe to be the truth, but maybe they dont know, there are laws in Australia that restrict what can and cant be disclosed about certain issues.

          Remember that AT&T case in the US a few years ago, the NSA had an equipment room amongst all of AT&T’s stuff that they used for wiretaps. Im sure AT&T didnt put out a company wide announcement about it, so their AT&T’s PR guys could deny it without lying.

          Not that i think Australian government does much electronic evesdropping, if we did it would be more likely contracted out to the US.

      • R
        Posted 02/12/2011 at 4:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Well, it is consistent with what the researchers that originally discovered it have found – it’s only deployed on certain networks in the US.

    2. Clinton
      Posted 02/12/2011 at 1:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

      i find vodafone’s second answer interesting.
      makes you wonder about what’s pre-loaded on all of those grey import phones from places such as mobicity.

    3. Clinton
      Posted 02/12/2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

      in case any android users are curious about the actual status of their phone.


      requires root access.

      i ran it on my Desire S (telstra branded) and as expected, it came up clean.

    4. Clinton
      Posted 02/12/2011 at 7:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

      i just found this interesting piece…

      particularly this bit “Over in the UK, things are a little more nuanced. After being accused of using Carrier IQ’s software, both Vodafone and O2 have issued partial denials, saying that they do not collect user information. Carrier IQ has been spotted on devices for both providers. ”

      so VF australia says it is not installed on any of their phones in australia or the UK.
      VF UK says they don’t collect any user info (which implies that CIQ is installed).
      CIQ has been spotted on VF UK phones, but the article doesn’t say who it was spotted by or if VF UK confirms that it is installed.

    5. PeterA
      Posted 05/12/2011 at 7:30 am | Permalink | Reply

      Has it been mentioned if he iPhone has it? If so is anyone aware of customisations of the iPhone software bundle between the US and Australia?
      If it is on the iPhone then I can’t see how any carrier in Australia can claim with a straight face it isnt on any of their phones. (obviously all they can say is they aren’t collecting the data)

      • PointZeroOne
        Posted 05/12/2011 at 9:13 am | Permalink | Reply

        Thought telcos were not allowed to modify the iPhone firmware

        • PeterA
          Posted 05/12/2011 at 11:27 am | Permalink | Reply

          That’s what I thought, this means it is installed on all iPhones around the world (including Australian ones) sold by Australian carriers.

          Just because they aren’t using it doesn’t mean it isn’t installed.

          Someone should make sure their spokespeople use language with a little more wiggle room than “We dont” and “we have never” in future.

      • dw
        Posted 05/12/2011 at 10:27 am | Permalink | Reply

        Yep, it’s on IOS. See here – http://blog.chpwn.com/post/13572216737

    6. Posted 05/12/2011 at 7:27 pm | Permalink | Reply


      That sound was the detonation of my nifty BS detector exploding. Just because they don’t themselves deploy Carrier IQ on their networks does not mean that cIQ is not embedded within the manufacturers O/S of phones they market and sell.

      In fact as ‘dw” posted above Apple have it in their O/S, Android mostly have it in theirs, so whether the Aust carriers deploy it or not is irrelevant since it is already there in breach of a few commonwealth (and state) statutes, and is either active or waiting to be activated, and can be used for both nefarious and non-nefarious purposes.

    7. Sam
      Posted 06/12/2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

      So it’s not Carrier IQ. Any other spyware then?

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