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Google Bans SMS Text Spying App From Android

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 25 comments

Suspecting your significant other of cheating? There used to be an app for that.

An Android developer has created an application that can secretly forward text messages to another number, opening the door on surveillance of what someone you know is really up to.

In fact, the developer makes it no secret what the target user of Secret SMS Replicator might do with it. Check out the video below.

Google Bans, Removes Text Spying App From Android

“This app is certainly controversial, but can be helpful to people in relationships where this type of monitoring can be useful,” said Zak Tanjeloff, CEO of the app's developer, DLP Mobile. “The app is unique because there is no visible icon or shortcut to access it, so once it’s installed, it will continue to monitor without revealing itself.”

The New York Times asked Tanjeloff there might be a version for the iPhone. Nope: “We can’t build it for the iPhone because it wouldn’t make it past the App Store approval process.”

There's no approval process required for the Android Market, so Secret SMS Replicator made it in – but only for a short time, as Google has now pulled the application for violation of the Android content policy.

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Top Comments
  • 25 Hide
    mrmez , November 1, 2010 7:56 AM
    You are not allowed to spy on people.
    Thats Google's job.
  • 22 Hide
    r0x0r , November 1, 2010 8:01 AM
    Why would you be in a relationship where you don't trust the other person to the point where spying on them becomes a viable option?

  • 14 Hide
    Scott2010au , November 1, 2010 8:27 AM
    This app breaks so many laws it isn't even funny.
Other Comments
    Display all 25 comments.
  • 5 Hide
    TheWhiteRose000 , November 1, 2010 7:52 AM
    ...Where can I find this app...
    I got people I want to spy on.

    XD
  • 25 Hide
    mrmez , November 1, 2010 7:56 AM
    You are not allowed to spy on people.
    Thats Google's job.
  • 22 Hide
    r0x0r , November 1, 2010 8:01 AM
    Why would you be in a relationship where you don't trust the other person to the point where spying on them becomes a viable option?

  • 14 Hide
    Scott2010au , November 1, 2010 8:27 AM
    This app breaks so many laws it isn't even funny.
  • -1 Hide
    alyoshka , November 1, 2010 8:49 AM
    But the comments are certainly funny...... just imagine if something like this could come up, oh I bet there's tons of other stuff, they might have up their sleeves....... something like spycams, eve's audio or etc etc.....
  • 7 Hide
    aaron88_7 , November 1, 2010 9:09 AM
    keanoooYou'll be able to answer that yourself once your balls drop.

    It takes bigger balls to man up and break up with someone you don't trust instead of being a girl and spying on them. Seriously, if you have to spy on a girl that's cheating on you you are pathetic!
  • 4 Hide
    rebus_forever , November 1, 2010 9:09 AM
    pulled the app or saved it for themselves? shame its gone i couldve had some lols with it: (
  • -2 Hide
    Travis Beane , November 1, 2010 9:57 AM
    I'm glad this is gone. I hope something doesn't replace it. If someone put that on my phone, they'd have a SWAT team at their door (oops, sorry, meant to say he only spied on me, I don't recall saying that he was extremely dangerous).
  • -8 Hide
    alidan , November 1, 2010 10:22 AM
    i will get negitive for this, but it must be said.

    do text messages ever have something of importance attached to them? i don't txt because its hostly the most retarded thing to ever happen to phones, o you have a phone, you can now talk cross country instantly, o you now have wireless talk instantly, now go anywhere instant talking, now you can send a message to them instead of talk and it costs you 20X what it would to just talk.

    to text messages ever have anything of significants, or are they all "i
  • 8 Hide
    Djhg2000 , November 1, 2010 11:09 AM
    Scott2010auThis app breaks so many laws it isn't even funny.

    Actually the tool isn't illegal if you use it yourself on your own phone in order to distribute every message from your phone to your other phones.

    It's the user breaking the law, not the app.
  • 2 Hide
    HalJordan , November 1, 2010 11:31 AM
    r0x0rWhy would you be in a relationship where you don't trust the other person to the point where spying on them becomes a viable option?


    Devils Advocate: Evidence to prove infidelity in divorce court.

    Although, I agree with you. When a person is considering spying then there is enough doubt there to have a serious talk with your partner, or get ready to break up. Ultimately, I don't see the need in spying.
  • 3 Hide
    blackened144 , November 1, 2010 11:45 AM
    Why does everyone assume you have to be installing it on your significant others phone? I could see this as being a decent tool for parents to use if they thought their kid was doing something they disapprove of.. Although, why a kid you dont trust has a phone to begin with, I dont know..
  • 2 Hide
    Camikazi , November 1, 2010 1:09 PM
    WhySoBluePandaBearAt the same time, what do you have to hide at any rate? Yes, spying on someone is sorta wrong, but if you're 100% innocent and aren't doing anything wrong, then you should have nothing to hide and it shouldn't bother you.


    However, if you get mad and get caught with your hand in the cookie jar a few times...then I can see why you'd react to the fact that your significant other spied on you. They basically caught you doing stuff you weren't/aren't supposed to be doing.


    If people weren't such scandalous, cheating, back-stabbing dogs like they are today, we wouldn't have these problems.


    I don't have anything to hide but I would get upset and the relationship would be over if the person I am with decides to spy on me. Having something to hide has nothing to do with not wanting someone to check your private things, it's about trust, if you don't trust me enough and are paranoid enough to think of spying then just leave cause you're not worth the time.

    If you feel something is wrong, confront them or leave them but don't break laws (invasion of privacy is illegal BTW) just to find something out. That much paranoia will destroy the relationship whether it is true or not anyway, so why stay? Just leave and move on.
  • 3 Hide
    igot1forya , November 1, 2010 4:50 PM
    It would be funny if both partners suspected each other of spying and when installed the app on both phones... I wonder how bad the text message loop would go until the phone provider cut off the text messaging services to the phone for flooding the network with a closed loop of forwarded messages lol
  • 2 Hide
    eddieroolz , November 1, 2010 6:21 PM
    I'm sure its a useful tool but its ethics are slightly questionable.
  • 2 Hide
    doogansquest , November 1, 2010 6:39 PM
    To the devil's advocate who made the divorce court comment:

    It wouldn't PROVE that someone has been, or is cheating. It only reveals that people have been talking about it. Why? Because CONTEXT can't be proven, only CONTENT. A person (or both persons involved) could simply say it was a fantasy, or an inside joke, and the courts would have to weigh that.

    It absolutely doesn't prove infidelity. I know, because I watched a company incapable of firing two employees engaged in an extramarital affair in the work place (in an office, no less, which is why they were being terminated) because they claimed the email exchanges were simply a joke. No matter how vulgar, descriptive, and real it sounds, people can simply deny context and get away with it.

    Eventually, the employer just had to deem their discussions work-inappropriate to enforce disciplinary action, but they were unable to terminate their employment because of arbitration defense from a union rep. In a court of law (dealing with divorce), a good defense attorney will chew up the "text proves infidelity" case.
  • 1 Hide
    jalek , November 1, 2010 7:28 PM
    I know of a couple of cases where this might've been useful on an employees phone. A company can have records of every email an employee's sent through their email system, why not messages sent from the employer-owned cell phones?
  • 1 Hide
    Marco925 , November 1, 2010 8:09 PM
    keanoooYou'll be able to answer that yourself once your balls drop.

    We have names for people like you, but probably too inappropriate for this site.
  • 1 Hide
    Shadow703793 , November 1, 2010 9:03 PM
    r0x0rWhy would you be in a relationship where you don't trust the other person to the point where spying on them becomes a viable option?

    Lawsuits (ie. divorce cases)? That's the only thing I can think of. However, I'm not sure if this would kind of "evidence" will be admissible in court.
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