November 23, 2011 | By Marcia Hofmann

Carrier IQ Drops Empty Legal Threat, Apologizes to Security Researcher

Today mobile software company Carrier IQ withdrew (pdf) a bogus legal threat to a security researcher who published an analysis of the company's software, as well as training materials on which he based his research.

Last week, Trevor Eckhart published a detailed article pointing out that Carrier IQ's software logs a great deal of information about users' activities without their knowledge. Attempting to suppress his research, Carrier IQ fired off a baseless cease-and-desist demand (pdf) claiming that Eckhart infringed the company's copyrights and made "false allegations" about their software.

Eckhart reached out to EFF for help, and we helped him push back against the unfounded threat. As EFF explained in a letter (pdf) to Carrier IQ on Monday, Eckhart's research and commentary is protected by fair use and the First Amendment right to free expression.

We're pleased that Eckhart gave us an opportunity to help him fend off this attempt to censor his findings and shut down public discussion about important privacy concerns. We also hope this incident will serve as an example to others who would misuse the law to squelch legitimate research and criticism.

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