If you're an Android developer, you may have received a little email from Google that went something like this…
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
Several Android developers notified the staff of Phandroid of the messages from Google, and the Atlanta FBI later confirmed that the messages were legit. The representative from the FBI went on to say that Google should not have sent the message to its developers. She urged the developers to ignore the message and offered reassurance that the FBI would contact any developers deemed as victims.
Phandroid went on to speculate that the letters may have been related to the Aliyun mobile OS offering its users a large number of pirated Google Play apps.
Google has yet to comment on the matter, so we cannot be certain as to exactly what happened. The tech giant may have felt it necessary to keep Android developers informed on every informed every step of the way regarding such important legal matters, or there may have been a simple misunderstanding between Google and the FBI.
You can be sure that Google and the FBI had a chance to clarify matters after the FBI received a call from an Android news website.