Google's legal team has recently blasted out e-mails to registered developers regarding a subpeona issued by the FBI. Apparently this has something to do with an investigation regarding apps showing up in places where developers haven't provided consent. Here's the full e-mail from Google.
Google has received a subpoena seeking information related to Android applications that may have been made available on alternative markets without the consent of the developer. The subpoena seeks information about those Android applications, including contact information for the developers of the applications. Our records show that your Android developer account will be included in the information Google will provide in response to this subpoena.
Google is not in a position to provide you with legal advice or discuss the substance of the process in our possession. For more information about the subpoena, you may wish to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation — Atlanta Field Office at (404) 679-9000, reference #2011R00320/FBI/ORKIN.
Google Legal Investigations Support
Apparently a representative at the Atlanta Field Office said Google jumped the gun on shooting out this e-mail, and that developers will only be contacted if they're the victim of app piracy. It's entirely likely that this whole thing has more to do with the Aliyun/Acer mess, though the specifics of the investigation haven't been made available.
I suppose it's good that Google's giving developers a heads-up that the FBI might be contacting them, but I can't help but think that this e-mail is just going to freak most of them out. Any developers here seriously concerned about their apps showing up in the Aliyun app marketplace without their consent? What about app piracy in general?
- Filed under: