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Google bans Android SMS snooping app

Google has banned an application that can be used to eavesdrop on an Android phone user’s text messages, after earlier approving it for sale.

Secret SMS Replicator from DLP Mobile duplicates incoming text messages and sends them on to a specified number.

Once installed, the ‘Secret’ version of the app – designed to help catch cheating partners - is invisible to the Android phone's user, who will be unaware that their texts are being read by someone else.

Google initially approved the app for sale on its Android marketplace, but pulled it again after just 18 hours, saying that it violated the store’s rules for inclusion.

The non-secret version of the app is still available for sale, designed for use as a backup tool.

Google’s ban won’t necessarily be the end for the app, though.

Unlike Apple’s iPhone App store – which rejected DLP’s application to sell an iPhone version of the app – Google doesn’t require all Android software to be approved and sold through its app store.

DLP has so far announced no plans to sell the software directly to the public.