FBI Begs Google For Help Unlocking Alleged Pimp's Android Phone

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has a few tricks up its sleeve when it comes to figuring out crime stuff. But in one case, either the FBI is unwilling or unable to unlock an Android phone belonging to an alleged pimp they’re investigating, prompting them to ask Google for help.

A warrant request was filed last week to authorize Google to “provide law enforcement with any and all means of gaining access, including login and password information, password reset, and/or manufacturer default code” to the contents and memory of an alleged pimp’s Android phone, says PC World.

The FBI is involved in a case against a man who’s been in jail before, and they’re now checking him out for alleged human trafficking activities. Thing is, they have his phone after he relinquished it to his parole officer, but he refused to allow the officer access to it, which is a violation of his parole. He had originally signed a form saying he wouldn’t use anything, including passwords, to hide what was on his phone.

And now, “despite multiple attempts by… technicians,” the FBI is asking Google to pitch in and help them crack the code.

According to the warrant request:

“Failure to gain access to the cellular telephone’s memory was caused by an electronic ‘pattern lock’ programmed into the cellular telephone.”

Google’s statement on whether or not they’ll help the FBI? “Like all law-abiding companies, we comply with valid legal process. Whenever we receive a request we make sure it meets both the letter and spirit of the law before complying. If we believe a request is overly broad, we will seek to narrow it.”

Methinks I detect the faint aroma of eau de smug, no?

*Thanks for the tip, Harper!

Android Pattern Lock Stumps FBI [PCWorld]