Apple asks feds to crack down on iPhone jailbreaking

InvisibleSHIELD.  Scratch Proof your iPhone 4!“Apple is asking the federal government to help crack down on hackers ‘jailbreaking’ the iPhone,” NBC reports. “Jailbreaking is the hacker term for cracking software restrictions so the iPhone will work on other wireless carriers and allow any apps to be installed, not just those approved by Apple.”

MacDailyNews Take: Technically, “jailbreaking” refers to the latter and “unlocking” refers to the former.

NCB continues, “‘Current jailbreak technologies now in widespread use utilize unauthorized modifications to the copyrighted bootloader and operating system, resulting in the infringement of the copyrights in those programs,’ Apple told the U.S. Copyright Office.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Not much meat in the NBC article, so it’s unclear what Apple’s asking for, if anything. Under the DMCA of 2010, both jailbreaking and unlocking are legal in the United States of America. More info: U.S. government makes iPhone jailbreaking, unlocking legal – July 26, 2010

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn W.” for the heads up.]

60 Comments

  1. Of course, Apple is entitled to impose whatever terms it wants on the products it sells. I just think it’s most unfortunate that it does this to an extent that makes its loyal supporters unhappy.

    In the country where I live and in most other countries too, you are free to buy a mobile phone from whomever you like, and later buy a SIM card from whichever carrier you like. Phone then works with that carrier. End of story.

    Far as I know, some countries even make it illegal to deny a buyer that opportunity.

    No one is a bigger Apple supporter than I and no one wants an iPhone more than I do. But I will never buy one until I’m free to use it with whichever carrier I want. I think it is totally against Apple’s philosophy-of-life for them to arrange things otherwise.

    What’s more, I can’t see what benefit they gain for themselves from the current American structure. Why not offer the phone without ties to any carrier?

  2. @grh
    I think I know why you want what you want (unlocked phone up front).

    I’ll explain why I think Apple doesn’t want to allow that with their products;

    “…Apple is entitled to impose whatever terms it wants on the products it sells. I just think it’s most unfortunate that it does this to an extent that makes its loyal supporters unhappy.”
    I wonder if you were to use the iPhone on any carrier, with the limitations of some carriers, if you would actually have been more happy if Apple had controlled the carrier.
    I don’t know that Apple’s control of their products and carriers, “makes its loyal supporters unhappy”.
    Obviously, it makes you unhappy.

    “In the country where I live … you are free to buy a mobile phone from whomever you like, and later buy a SIM card from whichever carrier you like. Phone then works with that carrier.”
    – Well, the phone works as well as the weakest part of each carrier will allow.
    Again, if a phone is made with lots of amazing features, but requires advanced technical infrastructure in the carrier for all the phone’s features to work, wouldn’t you, as manufacturer and seller of your phone, want to make sure that the carrier can handle all of your phone’s features, so that your customers rare happy with your phone?

    “… I will never buy one (Apple iPhone) until I’m free to use it with whichever carrier I want. I think it is totally against Apple’s philosophy-of-life for them to arrange things otherwise.
    Actually, I think if we consider it, we will see that this is exactly Apple’s modus operandi;
    Make sure the hardware and software work as intended, to make the users’ experience as great as possible.
    Apple binds Apple software with Apple hardware = wonderful experience.
    Apple binds Apple phone with specific carriers who can handle Apple’s phones’ features = best user experience.
    Doesn’t that sound like the Apple way?

    “What’s more, I can’t see what benefit they gain for themselves from the current American structure. Why not offer the phone without ties to any carrier?”
    – Please see above.

  3. @grh

    Remember a long, long, long time ago, before the iPhone, when carriers were the sole (meaning-ONLY) ones determining who, what, when, and where we were going to do with our cell phones. They put out crap software along with totally incompetent web browsers, and made any semblance of ease of use NOT a feature.

    Not until Apple, with its iPhone contract with ATT, did the carriers relinquish any control to anyone. I think they thought that the iPhone would be a marginal player (ie. see Balmer’s quotes, and “I can’t remember his name at Motorola”‘s quotes). Probably to do this, they had to compromise some with ATT on its length and terms of the initial contract.

    What Apple has done is turn the tables completely around in the phone industry (ie. the iPod story again).

    So, don’t so easily forget the past and what we had to deal with before the iPhone. Now, everybody just waits for Apple to come out with a product and then try to copy it (see iPod, iPhone, iPad, next groundbreaking idea, etc).

    (PS. Go get the last phone you had before the iPhone came out and compare the two.)

  4. In Australia, you can legally have your iPhone unlocked and use it with any carrier that supports the iPhone. All of the telcos here do not offer all of the features that the iPhone in the States offers. Such as: visual voicemail. That being said, I do like it that my iPhone is unlocked because when I travel to the US, I can buy a sim card that works with it in the States and I do not have to pay the exorbitant roaming charges. My first iPhone here was a black market jailbroken iPhone and it still is. None of my other iPhones are jailbroken. Don’t need it. Have all the apps I want or could ever need.

    I understand the kerfuffle about jailbreaking but I feel that I should be able to have my iPhone legally unlocked and then use a sim card with a carrier that supports the technology. Here in Oz, it is the law. The buyer of the iPhone is the owner, therefore can have their iPone unlocked by the original carrier.

    I think we may see unlocking happen in the US once more than 2 carrier (with two completely different “broadcast” systems) are allowed – er,cough – given the opportunity to carry the iPhone.

    Cheers.

  5. This is another shyster planted story. Create a fib. Then create another fib saying government rejects apple request. None really happened but SHYSTERS pull down apple stock by 20 points using unfalsifiable story as basis.

  6. It is possible that either:

    1) There is a nuance in Apple’s request that does not fit the jailbreaking/unlocking court decision

    OR

    2) This is Apple’s first attempt to test the decision via another approach with the courts. This one sounds strange to me as I am not lawyer. Therefore, consider it an ignorant thought.

  7. “…it’s unclear what Apple’s asking for…”

    Wow, if you close your eyes real tight you can coat anything in denial! What Apple wants is complete control of their precious iOS media and devices, and nothing less. Their attempts at physical DRM have failed and now they want government to change the law in order to incarcerate folk for doing something they don’t like. Apple today is a partner with every media cartel. They intentionally designed iOS to limit your abilities to add or remove software and they don’t want you doing it. They want profit, and as much of it as they can get by any means, freedom be damned.

    Oh, I forgot! YAY! Go Apple! iOS Rules!

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