The CEO of the app StealthGenie has been arrested under charges of selling spyware. The app allows users to monitor another user’s smartphone without their knowledge, providing information on things like text messages and emails. Maker Hammad Akbar was arrested in Los Angeles.
The app was hailed as a way to keep kids safe, but also for monitoring a spouse unbeknownst to them to catch them in the act of cheating, among other things. He is accused of both selling and marketing a surreptitious interception device able to monitor victims without any detection.
The app has been available for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry, and according to the Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, it and others like it are ” expressly designed for use by stalkers and domestic abusers who want to know every detail of a victim’s personal life—all without the victim’s knowledge.”
This is said to be the first arrest of its kind, pertaining specifically to the marketing and subsequent sale of a spyware app being targeted at monitoring other adults (as opposed to parents monitoring a child’s phone). The complaint was filed in the Eastern District of Virginia.
SOURCE: Ars Technica