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Franken demands ‘Carrier IQ’ explain smartphone tracking

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Sen Al Franken (D-MN) on Thursday demanded the developer of hidden software included on virtually all new Android smartphones explain why the application logs and may transmit personal information.

Called “Carrier IQ,” the software is supposedly meant to help mobile carriers monitor and diagnose problems with their devices. The company that makes the software insists it does not log keystrokes, but 25-year-old Trevor Eckhart seems to have proved that claim quite wrong.

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Not only did he demonstrate the software capturing his keystrokes from a text message, it was being recorded even before the message he typed was displayed. Eckhart also demonstrated how the software can read Internet searches over secure connections, meaning that not even encrypted communications are completely private on Android phones. The software also tracks the location of the customer using the smartphone.

“I am very concerned by recent reports that your company’s software—pre-installed on smartphones used by millions of Americans—is logging and may be transmitting extraordinarily sensitive information from consumers’ phones,” Franken said in a letter to Carrier IQ President and CEO Larry Lenhart.

“I understand the need to provide usage and diagnostic information to carriers,” he continued. “I also understand that carriers can modify Carrier IQ’s software. But it appears that Carrier IQ’s software captures a broad swath of extremely sensitive information from users that would appear to have nothing to do with diagnostics—including who they are calling, the contents of the texts they are receiving, the contents of their searches, and the websites they visit.”

“These actions may violate federal privacy laws, including the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act,” Franken warned. “This is potentially a very serious matter.”

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He asked Lenhart to explain what data the Carrier IQ software logs, whether the data is transmitted to any other third parties, whether the data is subsequently shared with other third parties, and if the data is disclosed to law enforcement agencies, among other things.

Photo credit: Joe Kekeris

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Ex-cult member imagines terrifying end game to Trump’s presidency: ‘He might take everyone with him — like Jim Jones’

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President Donald Trump exhibits many signs of "malignant narcissism," according to some psychologists, and his personality profile fits with other notorious cult leaders.

Steven Hassan, a mental health counselor and an expert on mind control, described the alarming similarities he sees between the president and cult leaders like the one whose control he fell under himself as a young man, in a new column for The Daily Beast.

"I have seen that profile up close," Hassan wrote. "Over 40 years ago, while a junior in college, I was recruited into a destructive mind control cult, the Unification Church, popularly known as the Moonies after its leader, Sun Myung Moon."

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‘Crazy as a bag of hammers’ Lindsey Graham mocked for calling Trump’s too-late sanctions on Turkey a ‘game changer’

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As Kurd civilians are slaughtered in Syria after Donald Trump opened the door for Turkey to invade, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) came under withering ridicule for happily announcing the president's agreement to levy economic sanctions of Turkey as a "game changer."

The South Carolina conservative has been harshly critical of the president's decision to move U.S. military personnel out of Syria where they have served as a bulwark againts a Turkish invasion, and now that the slaughter has begun, Graham has been seeking a way to lessen the damage as people are slaughtered.

Late Sunday, Graham tweeted, "Just spoke with President @realdonaldTrump. I applaud his decision to work with Congress to stop Turkeys aggression in Syria through crippling economic sanctions. This decision by President Trump will be a game changer -- in all the wrong ways -- for Turkey."

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Kurdish forces warned they’d go to Putin and Assad if US withdrew: Former Trump envoy

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Now that President Donald Trump has made it clear that he will abandon Kurdish resistance fighters to be persecuted and killed by Turkish forces, the erstwhile U.S. allies are moving to cut a deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad to ensure their protection — all but wiping out U.S. support in the region.

Not only was this broadly predicted by experts, but according to The Daily Beast, former anti-ISIS special envoy Brett McGurk was warned explicitly by Kurdish officials last year that this would happen if America did not secure a deal to contain Turkey and ensure the Kurds' continuing security.

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