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  • Will The US Congress Criminalize Jailbreaking?

    It sounds like a far fetched scenario, but this weekend on NPR, a panel of guests discussed the growing presence of lobbyists from emerging industries in Washington DC. Among the powerhouse movers and shakers seen to be multiplying at a rapid pace are representatives of the mobile technology and communications industries.

    With the arrival of the iPad and a veritable plethora of tablets to the consumer electronics market in the coming months, an equally large number of potential networking partners who would provide video and publishing content to those devices are increasingly concerned with the prevalence of iPhone (and soon-to-be iPad) jailbreaking. As a result, some are speculating that the mobile industry's lobby will be so substantial by the end of 2010 that congressional support could be gathered to "criminalize jailbreaking."

    While the idea of being punished by a court of law for jailbreaking an iPhone, iPod, or iPad sounds borderline insane, could it actually happen? In the big picture, it would seem highly unlikely that Apple would back such a lobby, given that Apple already maintains that jailbreaking is an "illegal" act. Apple, after all, tells the Copyright Office that jailbreaking represents a violation of copyright laws. "Current jailbreak techniques now in widespread use [utilizes] unauthorized modification to the copyrighted bootloader and OS, resulting in infringement of the copyright in those programs," is Apple's official position.

    The prospect of criminalizing jailbreaking, indeed, seems like a long shot. On the other hand, a new gusto behind the enforcement of current copyright laws could seriously impact the way pirates, hackers, and jailbreakers are potentially "punished." The on-air radio panelists noted that someone [a hacker, jailbreaker, etc.] will need to be "made an example of" to prove that the tech world means business when it comes to laying the smack down on jailbreakers.

    Sabre rattling? Sounds like nothing more to me.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Will The US Congress Criminalize Jailbreaking? started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 105 Comments
    1. CONVBMW's Avatar
      CONVBMW -
      Quote Originally Posted by nerddownthestreet View Post
      How will they find out if you jailbreak or not? :
      If you think that Apple doesn't know if someones is JB, you are crazy. Disconnect your internet connection, plug in your phone and then open iTunes. It will tell you that there is no internet connection. Trust me, when JB'ers plug in, Apple gets all the specs of a persons phone.

      They know.
    1. Masterz1337's Avatar
      Masterz1337 -
      Quote Originally Posted by nerddownthestreet View Post
      How will they find out if you jailbreak or not? :
      They can tell from your iTunes phone backups and crash reports. Doesn't matter how many times you restore or even if you get a new phone, there's always a trail of breadcrumbs.
    1. CONVBMW's Avatar
      CONVBMW -
      Quote Originally Posted by Masterz1337 View Post
      They can tell from your iTunes phone backups and crash reports. Doesn't matter how many times you restore or even if you get a new phone, there's always a trail of breadcrumbs.
      Exactly. They root right into the phone every time.
    1. mactwisted's Avatar
      mactwisted -
      less governmental control over private property please...
    1. equazian's Avatar
      equazian -
      If this is passed, what are they gonna do? Jail us for jailbreaking? It's highly unlikely. I mean, look at the laws on P2P sharing and torrenting. It's criminal to torrent copyrighted material, but people do it anyways And you usually don't hear about people getting caught for it. If. IF (not a typo, emphasizing) Congress were to make jailbreaking illegal, this really wouldn't change anything. Geohot wouldn't stop, Saurik wouldn't stop, no one would stop. Like illegal P2P sharing, no one will go behind bars for jailbreaking. Apple's really starting to become anal with everything. Am I right?
    1. SnowLeo's Avatar
      SnowLeo -
      just makes me appreciate swap mode even more.
      hey wait a sec kid is that a jailbroken iphone?
      No what are you talking about *quickly turns swapmode on*
      I thought I saw jailbroken stuff on there
      *quickly hides cydia apps w/ poof* nope even look for yourself.
      Oh I must be mistaken

      But seriously its just not gonna happen and if it does people will be able to get away just as easy and probly easier than pirating music (and apps and movies and software)

      oh and deleted the daemon that gives crash reports so now my 3gs is faster and apple doesnt know nothing. oh and to be on the safe side I disabled that apple killswitch **** thru sbsettings
    1. k.nitsua's Avatar
      k.nitsua -
      Oh no, jailbreaking will soon be as illegal as P2P music downloads!

      What are we to do?!

    1. adrian1480's Avatar
      adrian1480 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mprziv View Post
      Slow news day I guess. Could you be any more sensational?

      end of thread.
    1. waheedtarin's Avatar
      waheedtarin -
      Wow ppl going to move out of the states if the they make jailbreaking illegal wow well I know for sure that it won't be illiegal cause most of the congress and there children been all jailbreaking without jailbreak the iPhone would suck that's why I need my jailbreak but to bad I had to replace my iPhone with new one it just sucks now I got to wait for at least 2 months
    1. extremzocker's Avatar
      extremzocker -
      Quote Originally Posted by PSYC0TIC ONE View Post
      if this happens, i'm moving to germany!!!
      how come/why??
    1. Raptors's Avatar
      Raptors -
      Lol this will never happen. No worries
    1. extremzocker's Avatar
      extremzocker -
      get the **** outta here. this with some console once and they lost, on the basis "they bought it, they can do what they want." this will go the same.
      crackdown on piracy, not on jailbreaking.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by 'iPhone3G[S View Post
      So I can't pirate on my iPad, crap, guess I will just pirate on my computer and transfer it to my iPad...

      What has pirating got to do with JailBreaking?
      Pirating IS illegal. anyone who does it is a thief.
      JailBreaking is NOT illegal and hopefully will remain so.
    1. rickybobby's Avatar
      rickybobby -
      Things like this will never happen its a scare tactic like terror alert elevated on a cnn ticker its next to impossible banning and making everyday people into criminals for this not only will doom the company and will create a major backlash apple does not care about jailbreaking hell they sit back and watch the devs work so they dont have to I would not be to worried about this at all
    1. SnowLeo's Avatar
      SnowLeo -
      of course there will be pirating on the ipad. People are already pirating kindle ebooks and greepoi0n is making a jailbreak for the ipad and of course ********** and the such will come along and people will start pirating apples ebooks and music and movies and probably even ipad specific apps. And yet theres nothing you can do about it. If you ban jailbreaking it will just piss everyone els off and make apple lose huge buiseness that their already gonna lose on that piece of **** ipad.
      Besides if you make JBing illegal then that only means the people that do legal and normal things with jailbreaking will be at a loss.
      Pirates already do illegal stuff and wouldnt give a **** if there was more "illegality" to what their doing because they know they could get away with it.

      Just goes to show when you try to sink a ship full of sailors that did nothing wrong just because they have one pirate on board its the sailors that will all die innocently when the pirates get away with all the booty.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      There is plenty Apple can do to stop pirating - and I wish they would, without stopping JailBreaking.
      Why don't Apple try and stop the thieves and leave the rest of us alone?
    1. hxclos's Avatar
      hxclos -
      If what Apple thinks is true then we wouldn't be able to customize our cars as well. A modification should only affect it's warranty. Ask me which Id rather have, jailbreak or warranty? Warranty, you are the weakest link... Goodbye!
    1. billmilo's Avatar
      billmilo -
      If anything like this happens, it will come in waves. The first wave may come from Apple, which it will be a small response to the JB community, then the severity of waves will increase.

      I think the scenario is not going to happen, but I don't understand the people who say it can't happen. Powerful lobbies pass all the laws they want, and the majority of the people don't notice. We could have very cheap drugs in the US, but the pharmaceutical companies lobby their asses off against it. It could happen.

      If it does happen, I will take my iPhone and break it into 100 pieces.
    1. blkcadi's Avatar
      blkcadi -

    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      This is going to happen sooner than you think, they're going to crackdown on all of us! If you think you're safe, think again, they'll find you and when they do they'll smash your iPhone with a hammer while you're watching!....JK, I just wanted to say something different than what everyone else was