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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. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      Quote Originally Posted by uncle_don View Post
      Next you'll be telling me Congress is going to make everybody buy health insurance!
      lol

      funny but ultimately depressing
    1. CMOSlabs's Avatar
      CMOSlabs -
      When they outlaw jailbreakers, only outlaws will have jailbreaks!
      They have been doing this with guns, drugs, music, movies, books, and pictures. What's next ? The thought police ?
    1. maddog2020's Avatar
      maddog2020 -
      The USA is One F****D Up Country with Morons running the circus show!!!

      If they ever do it, it's cause they're on the take from all these pletora of companies offering network solutions and all.

      And we have the US govt trying to pressue all other countries to clean up but their own backyard is so god damn filthy....Get a grip on your own country before peeking into other people's backyard...
    1. reanimationxp's Avatar
      reanimationxp -
      Quote Originally Posted by hackint0uch View Post
      Can't be too hard, they can program the firmware, they could make it detect if the root system is writeable.
      which we would in turn patch out.. duh.
    1. iMack007's Avatar
      iMack007 -
      ^ lmao :d
    1. mytran80's Avatar
      mytran80 -
      i heard big companies throws money at congresses to have their way like deregulating ,supporting , or changing something in the best interest for the companies , can this be the same case?
    1. istinkles's Avatar
      istinkles -
      Amen!
    1. victis's Avatar
      victis -
      the above is BS if it happens then everyone will go to android and hahahahaha apple will die!
    1. nerddownthestreet's Avatar
      nerddownthestreet -
      Quote Originally Posted by damod84 View Post
      we bought it we own it, the end
      Whatever happened to not being able to INVADE PRIVATE PROPERTY WITHOUT A SPECIFIC SEARCH WARRENT! It's in the bill or rights.

      Quote Originally Posted by PSYC0TIC ONE View Post
      if this happens, i'm moving to germany!!!
      I'm taking German...

      Quote Originally Posted by hackint0uch View Post
      Can't be too hard, they can program the firmware, they could make it detect if the root system is writeable.
      The root system is writable without jailbreak (iFunBox)

      Check out these wallpapers I made for the iPhone. I was bored in class.
    1. Endwaro7's Avatar
      Endwaro7 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ~pay~back~ View Post
      ok i agree borderline insane! Wtf so what are they gonna do, hunt all of us down and check our iphones/ipods one by one?? First and foremost, i bought it which makes it mine! We could quote the agreement of first apple, then the law, but don't have time for all that.

      Second what i do to my personal property is my business, not that of the government! Next they will bann masturbation, calling it a a lude act of gross indecency. And it will be punishable by up to 30 days in prison! Ok, well what does that mean, camera monitoring everywhere including your personal space. That's what it would take! Because how do you monitor it then?

      Simple you don't, you can't! It's a violation of my civil rights! I was in the military for many years, and while big brother does watch, they can't watch that closely yet! So a big fuk off goes to the people who write things like this and get my blood boiling! Not that it wasn't meant to inform , don't take me wrong but, if something like that happens.

      I'm either moving to canada, or were gonna have another civil war on our hands! And big brother trained me! Bring it on
      amen brother!!!!!!!!!!!
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      I can see where apple would want to stop piracy, but why would they shoot themselves in the foot by stopping jailbreakers? Most of their functionality came from us. We are the only option they have to keep up with the open source OS's.
    1. screamforme02's Avatar
      screamforme02 -
      Bring it on, it wouldnt be the first time i broke the law. i think im going to go break it right now
    1. robotphood's Avatar
      robotphood -
      Quote Originally Posted by KartRacer View Post
      Which is why I said that Cydia should ban repos that host stolen applications. That would solve every problem that is associated with jailbreaking, ie stealing/piracy. It's the simplest and most effective solution but it's not done. Why?
      Because you don't need Cydia and repos to install pirated apps. There are 2 other ways (as far as I know) that are just as easy if not easier. You can limit piracy but you can't stop it.
    1. romeo_herman's Avatar
      romeo_herman -
      Ha...ha...ha...,It's won't happen, because congress people like JB iPhone also....
    1. matthew1111's Avatar
      matthew1111 -
      Quote Originally Posted by nerddownthestreet View Post
      How will they find out if you jailbreak or not? :
      I don't know, but they obviously can since some people who don't use cracked apps, like my friend, also get banned from iTunes "for security reasons"...
    1. 99 Problems's Avatar
      99 Problems -
      This would make for a good movie... Geohot working in a room surrounded by computer monitors and various gadgets, while a SWAT team busts in behind him and kills his guards, and takes him down.. They sentence him to life in a futuristic prison specially made for jailbreakers.. But he pulls a Prison Break and somehow escapes, spending the rest of his life on the run, hiding in the houses of sympathetic modmyi members, never staying too long, all while jailbreaking the newest firmwares from his laptop...Becoming a hero of the people while remaining the greatest enemy to Apple..

      I'm gonna go write the script right now..
    1. n00neimp0rtant's Avatar
      n00neimp0rtant -
      Quote Originally Posted by 99 Problems View Post
      But he pulls a Prison Break
      Don't you mean "jailbreak?" He's good at that enough already =]
    1. battlecrushr's Avatar
      battlecrushr -
      Laughingmy fuking azz off
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Almost every person responding has missed the point here. Is it already a federal crime to pirate movies, music, etc? You bet. Is the government knocking on everyone's doors to see if you own and pirated media? Of course not. The same would be the case with making jailbreaking illegal. I highly doubt it would happen, but if it did they aren't going to actively keep you, as the individual, from jailbreaking your device. They will go after distributors of the jailbreak, who will then move to countries that still allow it. This has been the trend with pirates for years and it will be a never ending charade.
    1. n00neimp0rtant's Avatar
      n00neimp0rtant -
      What confuses me about this whole copyright deal is that ok yeah, I understand that it's illegal to go distributing modified pieces of Apple's code, which is precisely why PwnageTool and redsn0w don't contain any; you have to download the .IPSW or bootloaders yourself. HOWEVER, is it illegal to modify the files yourself? If you buy a copyrighted song from iTunes, open it in Sony ACID, and remix it, but you don't sell it or even release it to the public, is THAT illegal?

      Speaking of remixing songs and releasing them to the public, shameless plug time