Daily Archives: March 20, 2007

Blackberry Gmail Conspiracy Theory


You heard it here first – Google wants to know who I have been calling on my cell phone! I must be paranoid to think this way, but why is Gmail wanting to collect this information and what are they going to do with it? To make a long story short, I installed the java based mobile Gmail application on my new Blackberry 8800. The Blackberry has a rich set of access control permissions that it enforces on all user installed applications. When I ran the Gmail application for the first time, it asked me for permission to access http connections to Google’s web servers and I granted the application access. The suspicious activity and subsequent prompt to allow access to the phones logs occurs after the phone has set idle for some time. Below you will see the security prompt the phone presents. Now regardless of whether you have black helicopter hovering outside your window or not, this seems highly suspect. What do you think? Leave comments…

The application com_google_gmail_lib is attempting to access phone logs. Would you like to allow access?
Vendor Name:
Google
Application Name:
Gmail
Calling Modules:
net_rim_bbapi_phone
com_google_gmail_lib
net_rim_cldc-4
com_google_gmail_lib
Uncaught exception: net.rim.device.api.system.ControlledAccessException

Update: It appears though this is not nefarious action on Google’s part. They appear to be calling an API that now displays an ominous message on the 8800 (OS 4.2.x).

See the comments on the blog posting at:
http://www.darrenalbers.net/blog/?p=4

GMail is invoking Phone.getActiveCall(), which returns null when there is no call. It’s part of determining when there is likely to be a network connection. (BlackBerrys cannot do voice+data at the same instant)

http://www.blackberry.com/developers/docs/4.2api/net/rim/blackberry/api/phone/Phone.html#getActiveCall()

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