When a cell phones tracking app was discovered to be spying on you, you probably took to the streets in droves to protest the app’s illegal and intrusive features.
This week, however, that same app is being investigated by the US Department of Justice for its use of technology that could make it easier for law enforcement to track cell phone users.
According to a letter sent by Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Tuesday to the US House Judiciary Committee, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the “inherent security” of a “cell phone tracking app” that the DOJ has dubbed “Hacking Tools” because it tracks users’ mobile phones remotely.
“Hacking tools” are apps that enable law enforcement agents to access the phones of anyone in the US without their knowledge or consent, according to the letter.
The app is specifically designed to allow law enforcement agencies to “pursue and investigate” a criminal suspect, “with a remote court order,” without a warrant.
“It is unclear to us if there is a need for the DOJ to investigate whether the Hacking Tools app, or other similar devices, have been used in connection with crimes, or whether any criminal activities may have been uncovered,” the letter reads.
According the DOJ, the Hacks can be used to obtain information about the location, the time, and the type of device used by a person or device.
“In addition, a device may be used as a means of locating a suspect, by allowing law enforcement officers to enter a suspect’s mobile device and access their device remotely.”
In response to the DOJ letter, the developer of the Huts, named Asher Katz, told The Lad bible that the app does not store or store data about users.
“There are no third party identifiers, and no other user information, and it does not contain any data about the device itself,” Katz told The Bible.
Katz said that the Holes app uses a unique identifier called “HackerID” that is only unique to a particular user.
The app’s developer has not responded to The Lad’s requests for comment.
The Hacks developers said they do not know why the DOJ is investigating their app.
The FBI’s request for information comes amid the ongoing debate over cell phone surveillance and privacy laws.
In December, a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Sens.
Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Ron Wittenberg, R-N.Y., introduced the Surveillance Tools Act, a bill that would allow the government to use technology like the Hacked Tools app to obtain user information from cell phones without a court order.
The bill is expected to come up for a vote in the Senate in the coming days.
According, the FBI letter, which also outlines the Hanks privacy and security policy, Katz said the app has been used by law enforcement “in the past, and in some cases in some circumstances, including to pursue criminal activity.
But it has never been used for the purposes we are investigating.””
The Hacks app uses the HackersID to track the location and time of a user’s mobile phone remotely.
In doing so, it can determine whether the user has engaged in criminal activity, such as obtaining stolen property,” Katz said in a statement to The Ledger.
“The Hacking tools app has never used the HackerID to access data about a user, nor to collect any personally identifiable information from a user.”
Katz also told The Ledge that the “Hacks app has no relationship with any law enforcement agency.”
“We have never sold the Hogs app to anyone.
This is an innocent, legal application.
It’s a tool that we developed for the use of law enforcement.
It has never collected or used any personally identifying information from any users,” Katz wrote.
“Hacks is a simple, safe and effective way for law-abiding Americans to securely control their phones.
It does not track or collect any personal data about you,” Katz added.
In March, Katz told the Associated Press that his app would not be able to track someone without their permission.
“We are a privacy-focused, open source application,” Katz explained.
“But the Hives app doesn’t track a person’s location, and neither does the Haves.
And neither does our partner app, which has been around for years.”
Katz also said that he has no plans to update the app.