If you are a cheating snake, you better watch your back.... AND what you communicate through your cell phone. This News.com story explains: "Spy program snoops on cell phones."
I wrote about this in today's IT News Digest (if you don't get this newsletter, you should... click here to automatically subscribe). Here's my summary about this particular article: "A new software program, called Flexispy, hides on cell phones and captures call logs, text messages, and Internet activity. This application is being sold as a tool to monitor kids and spouses, but security company F-Secure has labeled the software a Trojan—or a malicious program that disguises itself as something innocuous."
In the discussion thread, Dr Dij brought up legal and ethical concerns. "Any uses on phones you don't own should be illegal and is immoral." According to this TechRepublic member, "If you install this on phone you own, such as for your kids then is OK... To put it on your wife's phone would be creepy."
This kind of software reminds me of private investigators, software-style. Forget for a second about the cheating snakes. Here's a different scenario: What if your husband, wife, or domestic partner has a stalker who keeps calling and harassing him or her, but you aren't told about these incidents in order to save you from frustration and/or worry? Would you install this software so that you could locate and lob off the harassing culprit's digits? I think that there's a lot of people who would emphatically shake their heads NO - that is, until they were actually in a situation like this.
Personally, I think the people who invest in this type of software should use their money on counseling instead.
Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.