FBI Asked Google To Unlock Android Phone

0 Shares
google0316_image

WASHINGTON (UPI) — The FBI applied for a search warrant ordering Google to crack open a screen-locked Android phone seized in an investigation, a security researcher says.

The affidavit applying for a search warrant asks Google to “provide law enforcement with any and all means of gaining access, including log-in and password information, password reset, and/or manufacturer default code (“PUK”), in order to obtain the complete contents of the memory” of a confiscated phone, researcher Christopher Soghoian said.

The smartphone was apparently seized from Dante Dears, allegedly a founding member of a California street gang who is suspected of violating his parole by running a prostitution ring, TGDaily.com reported.

“We do not know if Google has complied with the request,” Soghoian wrote in a security blog post. “Given that an unlocked smartphone will continue to receive text messages and new e-mails (transmitted after the device was first seized), one could reasonably argue that the government should have to obtain a wiretap order in order to unlock the phone.”

The number of U.S. government requests for data on Google users has increased considerably, Google said.

Various government agencies sent 5,950 criminal investigation requests for data on Google users and services from Jan. 1-June 30, 2011, compared to 4,601 requests from July 1-Dec. 31, 2010, it said.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

Join the Discussion

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.