News Analysis: After repeatedly claiming that RIM does not authorize carriers to install Carrier IQ's tracking software on its BlackBerry devices and then learning that carriers did it anyway, RIM is telling users how to get rid of it.
Carrier IQ's mobile device monitoring software first came to everyone's
attention after a security researcher demonstrated how it logged everything
from text messages to locations on a Sprint Android phone, there was a lot of
consternation over which devices might actually be stealthily loaded with the
IQ has the ability to create software for virtually every mobile platform out
there except Windows Mobile 7. However, there were assurances that the software
on every phone, or even used by every carrier
Wireless, for example, said it does not use Carrier IQ at all. AT&T and
T-Mobile confirmed that they do use the software. T-Mobile released a statement
that it only uses the software for improving call quality.
In Motion said it does not install Carrier IQ on any of its devices, and does
not authorize carriers to install it. The company also told eWEEK
at the time that there have been
circumstances in the past where similar software was installed on its devices
and that it had helped users remove it.
week, however, a
leaked T-Mobile internal document
revealed which phones include Carrier IQ
software. It turns out that T-Mobile installs Carrier IQ on three BlackBerry
devices in spite of RIM's policy that it should not be doing so. Those
BlackBerry devices in the memo are the new touch-screen Bold 9900, the Curve
9360 and the new full touch-screen Torch 9810. The document also shows that the
Carrier IQ software was installed on Android phones from T-Mobile.
Android devices are covered in the description furnished by
Trevor Eckhart in his Android Security Test
. Eckhart also provides software
and instructions for removing Carrier IQ from Android phones, but the problem
is that you must "root" your phone and replace the operating system
to get rid of it.
description of the BlackBerry solution is less likely to cause problems, and
the company has provided instructions on getting rid of Carrier IQ from every
BlackBerry platform capable of supporting it.
senior RIM executive provided to eWEEK
the instructions for
removing the Carrier IQ software
. BlackBerry users should look for an app
called "IQ Agent." Note that this procedure will work with any
third-party application on your BlackBerry device, including Carrier IQ.
means that if you travel someplace where the authorities routinely place
monitoring software on your BlackBerry, you can get that off too. This
procedure is also useful for killing that memory-hungry version of Solitaire
that causes problems when some other memory-intensive app runs and needs more