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Jailbreaking Could Soon Become Illegal Again

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the so-stay-in-that-cage dept.

Electronic Frontier Foundation 239

Diggester writes "Back in July 2010, the United States government approved a few exemptions in a federal law which made jailbreaking/rooting of electronic devices (iPhones and Android devices) legal. The court ruling stated that every three years, the exemptions have to be renewed considering they don't infringe any copyrighted material. The three-year period is due to expire and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is looking to get the exemptions renewed. In order to do so, they have filed a petition which aims at government to declare jailbreaking legal once again. In addition to that, EFF is also asking for a change in the original ruling to include tablet devices." Here's the EFF's own page on the issue.

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Very relevant XKCD (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38833575)

Link [xkcd.com]

Re:Very relevant XKCD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38833599)

No it's not.

Re:Very relevant XKCD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38833601)

not relevant at all.
Time to filter out the new bots that have been spamming ./ in the past while.

Re:Very relevant XKCD (3, Informative)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 2 years ago | (#38834147)

Look, I've told you about this before [slashdot.org] . If you're not going to pick a relevant strip please pick a different one; there's even a search [google.com] box provided.

Who cares (5, Insightful)

mvar (1386987) | about 2 years ago | (#38833613)

Illegal or not i'll do whatever i want with my phone. I may as well take a hammer and test its screen, oh wait, is that illegal too? Patents, IP, copyright, SOPA, PIPA, lawsuits.. fuck them

Re:Who cares (5, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#38833655)

You should care. If you don't, you're just handing the reins over to someone who will fuck you over with force of law.

And if you don't care, you're half the problem.

Re:Who cares (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38833913)

The crazier the intellectual property laws get the less respect people will have for intellectual property laws. I care quite a bit, but at this point it may be easier to just let "big content" hang themselves.

Re:Who cares (5, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#38834021)

The crazier the intellectual property laws get the less respect people will have for intellectual property laws.

I'm not sure how much less respect people can have for "intellectual property laws".

Any possibility for respect was wasted when "95 years from publication or 120 years from creation whichever is shorter" became the length of a copyright. Or when advocates for "intellectual property" sought penalties in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for downloading songs via bittorrent.

There just isn't a compelling reason why anyone should respect copyright laws. Especially considering how little of the financial benefit of those laws actually goes to the creator.

Re:Who cares (4, Insightful)

Dahamma (304068) | about 2 years ago | (#38834169)

Especially considering how little of the financial benefit of those laws actually goes to the creator.

The copyright length is definitely absurd (I'd argue in most cases 2-3 years would allow recovering the investment made into it and the majority of future profits), and removing casual copying of content probably would not result in much of an increase in sales, I agree. But it is still a huge benefit to content creators in one way - it keeps organized, commercial piracy (that is so common in Asian countries) to a minimum in many countries.

Imagine if there were *no* laws against copying someone else's work - say anyone could legally copy a studio's movie print and show it in their own theater, or copy DVDs, CDs, or books and sell them in a retail store along side the "official" copies, etc. Those copiers don't have to make back the time and money put into creating the work, only the trivial cost of duplicating it. I'd call preventing that a definite financial benefit to the creator...

Re:Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38834651)

..., only the trivial cost of duplicating it.

I always imagine an author who received a $20,000 advance payment for a book compared to the cost of creating 100,000 or more copies of the book. Does duplication of printed material really cost that little?

Re:Who cares (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38834309)

There just isn't a compelling reason why anyone should respect copyright laws

How about a large group of guys with guns and the ability to control your bank account and freedom?

Re:Who cares (2)

houghi (78078) | about 2 years ago | (#38834585)

The reason is control. As everybody now is a criminal, they can use it as leverage to let you do stuff you normally never would do.

Re:Who cares (5, Interesting)

Tr3vin (1220548) | about 2 years ago | (#38833995)

I do care, but I speak with my money. I buy phones that the manufacturer allows me to hack / modify. 'fastboot oem unlock' is a glorious thing. I'd rather give money to a company that allows me to do what I want than fight the more controlling companies.

Re:Who cares (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#38834071)

I'd rather give money to a company that allows me to do what I want than fight the more controlling companies.

So would I, but in some cases that I've seen, "the more controlling companies" control virtually all of a market.

Re:Who cares (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | about 2 years ago | (#38834181)

If I buy a carrier independent Android compatible phone then I don't have to jailbreak it.

Re:Who cares (4, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#38834223)

If I buy a carrier independent Android compatible phone

With the mess of protocols (CDMA2000 vs. GSM/UMTS), bands (AWS vs. standard), and plans (no discount for not taking a subsidized phone) that is the U.S. cell phone market, do you have a plan for making this practical in the United States?

Re:Who cares (2)

whoever57 (658626) | about 2 years ago | (#38834321)

If I buy a carrier independent Android compatible phone then I don't have to jailbreak it.

You are confused between sim-unlocking (allws the phone to be used with different carriers) and jailbreaking (allows different firmware to be loaded or features enabled).

Re:Who cares (4, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#38834199)

So do I, which is why I still use my N900.

I'd rather give money to a company that allows me to do what I want than fight the more controlling companies.

You have no choice. Look at the primary opponent of this: Apple. Look at their results. You cannot simply avoid them, their influence on the market is so stupidly huge that even if you don't buy their product, they can still directly impact your ability to choose other options in the future.

Re:Who cares (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 2 years ago | (#38834305)

I do care, but I speak with my money. I buy phones that the manufacturer allows me to hack / modify.

And when no manufacturer sells such a phone/tablet/whatever? What will you do then?

We need a critical mass of people who can think. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38834609)

I do care, but I speak with my money. I buy phones that the manufacturer allows me to hack / modify. 'fastboot oem unlock' is a glorious thing. I'd rather give money to a company that allows me to do what I want than fight the more controlling companies.

If enough other people did that too, we'd have a functional market economy.

Re:Who cares (1)

mvar (1386987) | about 2 years ago | (#38834119)

Agreed. Although with "who cares" I meant that we just shouldn't obey all these irrational laws they vote since most of them are written to either fuck us (the people) or serve some specific financial lobby, or both.

Re:Who cares (5, Insightful)

fish_in_the_c (577259) | about 2 years ago | (#38834287)

Are they immoral? If so disobey them.. if not obey them and work to change them.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_disobedience [wikipedia.org]

The question is are your action out of Love or Selfishness.
Out of concern for the common good , or just being a tool.

If you are actually looking to create a better world around you people will have more respect for your position ,even if they don't agree with it, they are still likely to jail, crucify or otherwise attack you, but your actions will have slow effect towards justice and you might have a chance at changing things because, often times people know when they are wrong even if they don't admit it.

If your motivations are selfish than it will show too and no-body will listen to you because you aren't just being a cry baby when you put in jail for doing what you knew was illegal.

That's the real problem with the occupy movement, they don't offer solutions , only complaints, they aren't making any useful demands on what would actually make things better, based on concern for the public good, they are simply saying they don't like the way things are.

News flash, nobody likes the way things are, the world will never be perfect this side of the grave.

The only question is , what are you going to do about it!

Re:Who cares (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 2 years ago | (#38834349)

Agreed. Although with "who cares" I meant that we just shouldn't obey all these irrational laws they vote since most of them are written to either fuck us (the people) or serve some specific financial lobby, or both.

The copyright lobby has not dropped SOPA/PIPA. Even a watered-down version of these could make it very difficult for communities to develop around rooting/jailbreaking phones so that, unless you can figure out your own jailbreak, you may not be able to download the information and binaries required to jailbreak.

Re:Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38834175)

Jury Nullification, it's time to take those laws back from corruption.

Re:Who cares (2)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 2 years ago | (#38833661)

Breaking your phone's screen is about the only thing that's legal. It forces you to buy another phone.

Re:Who cares (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 2 years ago | (#38833677)

You care. Because not only is it illegal for you to jailbreak, it is illegal for someone else to help you. As in to provide the tools to do the jailbreaking. So unless you are an uberhacker, you won't be doing much jailbreaking.

Re:Who cares (5, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#38833827)

And you're under prior-restraint to keep silent about such methods!

Don't you love how the DMCA violates the First Amendment for the sake of corporate interests?

Re:Who cares (2)

poetmatt (793785) | about 2 years ago | (#38834061)

They've just never had a chance to challenge the issue directly. The courts have sidestepped this as much as possible to narrowly rule on technicalities. The truth is, prior restraint isn't suddenly invalid as a defense because of the DMCA but courts are always very hesitant to fight against laws created by congress. Isn't it great? Even in the supreme court. This is how broken our system of branches of gov't is as it exists.

It becomes: Legislative branch -> judicial branch (Judicial rolls over 99% of the time)
Legislative branch = executive branch.

Nice balanced political system huh.

Re:Who cares (2)

theillien (984847) | about 2 years ago | (#38833981)

Somehow, I don't think illegality will stop people from creating the tools or finding ways to disseminate them. Call me crazy since we already know how locked down things are on the Internet and nothing illegal ever happens.

Re:Who cares (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#38833681)

Just because the laws are bad doesn't mean we shouldn't try to fix them. You might think that it won't have any effect, just wait until people get convicted for posting jailbreaking methods or linking to those posts.

Re:Who cares (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38833703)

[i]Illegal or not i'll do whatever i want with my phone[/i]

YOU do something that no one will know about is not the problem.

The problem are the people who are creating the tools. If creation, or possession of the tools becomes illegal, or advocation and instruction on how to use them becomes illegal... then all those websites you can easily "google" today to learn how to do it will VANISH.

You're welcome to reinvent the wheel in your basement, but more than likely you'll simply saying "fuckit" and move on... which is exactly what the proponents of laws like this want.

Re:Who cares / Exactly Badly Needed Semantics (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38833713)

Everyone, 'stop calling it jailbreaking', and start calling it a Free Country..

Re:Who cares / Exactly Badly Needed Semantics (5, Insightful)

future assassin (639396) | about 2 years ago | (#38834363)

or call it what it is. Modifying my own property.

Re:Who cares (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38833727)

THANK YOU. THIS.

Re:Who cares (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#38833747)

Inconveniently, you'll attempt to do what you want with your phone.

In the vast majority of cases, unless the owner of the device has considerable spare time and skills far outside the norm, their ability to do what they want with their device depends largely on the public availability of tools for doing so. Those tools are the ones that are most likely to get harder to find should their legal status shift(architecturally, prosecuting individuals who tamper with a GUID-bearing, cellular-modem-connected, user-account-data-correlated, device would actually be comparatively practical, make one mistake in your jailbreak, hit a tripwire or a tilt-bit somewhere, and run the risk that the hardware will phone home and report you; but unlikely to be a good PR move...)

Against a complex system, you are only as good as your tools, which becomes a much greater limitation if those become contraband.

Re:Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38834037)

Illegal or not i'll do whatever i want with my phone.

Like most nerds on Slashdot, you lack any feeling of control in your daily life, so you seek it in computers and smartphones. That's why you're so obsessed with "freedom."

Re:Who cares (1, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | about 2 years ago | (#38834337)

You will care when you cant access any tools to do it if they are all blocked, and perhaps even be logged that you tried to access the tools, or if you get them and succeed in jail breaking your service goes dark and a warrant is automatically issued .( it can be detected by the carriers if its a cell phone ya know.. )

Re:Who cares (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#38834495)

Illegal or not i'll do whatever i want with my phone

So, where do I get all the tools that geohot wrote, so that I can jailbreak my PS3?

The problem with software being illegal is that it makes it harder to get that software, which discourages people who might have done so otherwise. I have no problem finding the PS3 jailbreaking tools, but a lot of other people would. Further, do you really want hackers to be arrested, deported, and so forth just for writing or distributing such tools? Do you really want to have to go on Tor or Freenet to find them?

Hold up wait what? (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about 2 years ago | (#38833619)

Why would something that is legal now suddenly become illegal after three years? Can anyone explain why, something should ever suddenly become legal after being ruled legal for a 'duration of three years'? Is it so the government makes sure they have something to do?

Re:Hold up wait what? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38833659)

The DMCA makes circumventing digital security illegal - and this could include jailbreaking your phone / tablet / computer if it ever comes to that.
It has a provision for making exceptions, but unlike the DMCA the exceptions only last for three years. If they're not renewed they automatically lapse.

Re:Hold up wait what? (5, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#38833679)

Because of this:

- Jailbreaking breaks the security on the iPhone, thus putting the tools in violation of the DMCA
- The LoC granted an exception to the DMCA for jailbreaking tools in the interest of enabling compatibility.

It's part of the DMCA, and its complete and total pro-corporate bias. All you jailbreaking Apple fans should watch as Apple fights the exemption renewal. They hate you and want you back in the box, and to never talk about it.

Re:Hold up wait what? (2)

theexaptation (1948750) | about 2 years ago | (#38833685)

The reason that it expires (just like a lot of tax loopholes) is so that another round of fund raising can begin for both sides of a divisive issue.
Setting it to expire is how they keep the campaign coffers full.
It is the government version of vendor lock in.

Re:Hold up wait what? (2)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#38833721)

Except that this isn't going through Congress. It goes through the Library of Congress.

Re:Hold up wait what? (5, Funny)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#38833805)

Don't confuse the issue. We all know how evil, corrupt, and greedy* those librarians are! This is clearly an attempt to ensure they're not completely obsolete as books become irrelevant.

*Source: firsthand knowledge. My wife is a librarian, and she steals the bedsheets every night.

Re:Hold up wait what? (3, Insightful)

CaptainLard (1902452) | about 2 years ago | (#38833729)

Well you know what they say, "theres nothing more permanent than a temporary government program/law/tax/etc.". Maybe its due for one such law to work out in favor of the tinkerers...

Re:Hold up wait what? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#38833801)

It's a property of the legal system that mandates laws to have a start date and allows for an optional expire date. This is mostly used to limit the duration of an executive order or decree, but it's not limited to just that.

Re:Hold up wait what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38833879)

It says that they have to review exemption and make sure that it isn't allowing copyright infringement. I bet the fact that jail breaking is being used to allow users to install pirated software on their devices will be a big blowback towards the efforts. If that becomes the case, Apple will steamroll the persons making the software that allows one to jailbreak phones.

Re:Hold up wait what? (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#38834233)

Because the open platform and the power to do with it what you want was what convinced you to invest money in the hardware. Now that they've got you, they're tightening the leash.

Haven't you learned anything from how free samples of crack work?

Re:Hold up wait what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38834431)

Say, where do I get these free samples of crack? Because I hear about them a lot online, but never been able to get any IRL. Asked my herbs guy if I could get some (said I was thinking about trying coke, but didn't really know what it was like), and he just laughed his arse off, then charged me a 10% premium on my herbs "fo' puttin up wid yo' dumbass questions'.

Is this one of those things where you have to be a grade-school kid in the inner city to have drug pushers give you free, candy-flavored samples? Or just a flat-out lie?

Re:Hold up wait what? (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#38834527)

Asked my herbs guy if I could get some

He's already got you paying. Why spread your discretionary cash around between multiple vendors?

then charged me a 10% premium on my herbs

You paid it too. Didn't you?

Re:Hold up wait what? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 2 years ago | (#38834355)

Its a tactic to get their way by making people think they are getting their way, but in a few years it quietly expires and goes the way of what congress really wanted if no one notices.

Specifying by shape??? (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#38833629)

There is something just heartbreakingly pathetic at the notion that the EFF is going to have to petition to get further devices included, distinguished largely by shape from those originally included, rather than it being a given that the device you buy, you own.

Perversely, I sometimes wonder if the situation would be improved if makers of 'traditional' categories of objects, like cars and appliances and firearms, were to start getting their DRM on and building systems that cryptographically verify every FRU's TPM on start and enter a lockout that can only be cleared by an authorized dealer if any tampering is suspected... Yeah, it'd make those product categories horribly worse; but it might finally give the computer-clueless some idea of just how insane the world of EULAs, DRM, and assorted device lockdown really is...

Re:heartbreakingly pathetic (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 2 years ago | (#38833689)

Perfect phrase! .gov pulverizes us with new copyright treaties, then we have to ASK to KEEP the exceptions! Trouble is, y'all have followed the pace of things, the climate is WAY worse than 3 years ago - the Corp-Gov hydra is smelling blood and wants to go for the kill.

Re:Specifying by shape??? (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#38833965)

distinguished solely by shape

That's better

Re:Specifying by shape??? (1)

Hillgiant (916436) | about 2 years ago | (#38834091)

I sometimes wonder if the situation would be improved if makers of 'traditional' categories of objects, like cars ... verify every FRU's TPM on start and enter a lockout that can only be cleared by an authorized dealer if any tampering is suspected.

They already do that. Though, I guess "lip mode" may not fully qualify as a "lockout".

Expire? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38833641)

How.. Jul 2010 was 18 months ago, If anything we have till Jul 2013 ?!

Re:Expire? (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#38833823)

The petitions have to start going out now, and be submitted, reviewed, and approved by the LoC before the 2013 deadline.

They were asking for more than that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38833645)

The email they sent me included a reference to ALL consumer devices, gaming consoles, phones, everything.

As for who cares? I care, I don't want to have to do the damned legwork to root everything myself, it's nice for people to be able to share tips and help each other openly (and searchably) rather than have to hide it all in some ridiculous cloak and dagger game.

Sheer stupitdity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38833691)

So you can buy a $35K car and trick it out but you can't buy a $200 pone and jailbreak it. This country is getting very sad. I guess if the phone companies made money off of jail breaking then they would promote it.

Re:Sheer stupitdity (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#38833831)

Don't worry, consumer. Your ECU will be verifying the 'authenticity' of all peripherals on the local bus before authorizing ignition soon enough.

Re:Sheer stupitdity (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 years ago | (#38834161)

Trick it out too much and the cops will take it away and crush it.

They hate cars faster then theirs.

Re:Sheer stupitdity (2, Interesting)

mlts (1038732) | about 2 years ago | (#38834217)

Believe it or not, on some makes of cars, the ECM/TCM will check if it is tampered with, and when taken to a service depot, the entire warranty will be voided.

It took about a year for people to "jailbreak" the latest EcoBoost engines so one can run a custom tune on them.

I cant wait thousands of 12 year olds in jail.. (5, Funny)

Rivalz (1431453) | about 2 years ago | (#38833709)

We need to create a new arm of the government now to fight this menace to society.
We need a badass name to instill fear in teenagers to curb their illicit jailbreaking habits.

An elite squad named...
A.J.A.C.K.A.S.S
Anti Jailbreaking And Computer Knowledge Agianst Stupid Senators

A weird place that USA (4, Insightful)

Teun (17872) | about 2 years ago | (#38833723)

On the one hand you can in many jurisdictions legally shoot (take the life of) someone that trespasses your land/ house or car and on the other hand you can be locked up for modifying your own paid for appliance.

While the outside world has for many years thought the USofA was the most materialistic nation on earth...

Too bad ALL laws don't expire (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38833725)

It would be nice if all laws had a sunset scheme... something like:

Law originally passed unanimously: no sunset review needed

Law originally passed 75% to 25%: ok to "bundle" with other laws in a simple majority re-confirmation every 10 years.

Law originally passed with simple majority less than 75%? requires single-issue re-confirmation every 3 years.

Re:Too bad ALL laws don't expire (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#38833843)

I actually rather like that. Sure, its a lot more paperwork and problems for Congress... but then maybe they'll be less likely to waste time on stupid things.

Re:Too bad ALL laws don't expire (4, Insightful)

dnahelicase (1594971) | about 2 years ago | (#38834087)

It would be nice if all laws had a sunset scheme..

If only I had mod points.!

Why stop at laws? Let's make things like copyright expire too!

Unanimous consent (2)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#38834099)

Law originally passed unanimously: no sunset review needed

And guess how both the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Copyright Term Extension Act passed.

Re:Too bad ALL laws don't expire (1)

bky1701 (979071) | about 2 years ago | (#38834285)

That's fine and good, until you have environmental regulations expiring in a divided congress. Just look at the debt shenanigans if you want to know why your suggestion would never work.

Re:Too bad ALL laws don't expire (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | about 2 years ago | (#38834325)

Cmon, considering how long it takes Congress to pass NEW laws, if we had a sunset clause like this nothing would ever get done.

Re:Too bad ALL laws don't expire (1)

EvanED (569694) | about 2 years ago | (#38834379)

While I like the sentiment, and I think I've expressed it too in the past, I think it smells like the potential for a lot of unintended consequences. For instance, imagine that some folks want to add some provision to the law. It'd probably be way easier to do that on the back of a vote to renew (since congress "has to" act anyway) then it would be to go through the whole legislative process to amend.

It also seems like it'd lead to a lot more see-sawing of laws: party A is in control and passes some legislation, party B takes over and lets it lapse, party A takes over and passes it again, etc.

Re:Too bad ALL laws don't expire (1)

deblau (68023) | about 2 years ago | (#38834539)

Are you crazy?? Do you know how many laws there are? They'd be constantly reviewing the old laws, and nothing new would get done...

On second thought, this is a brilliant strategy!

Game Consoles (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38833781)

Can we get game consoles added as an expemtion as well? Please?

Aspire X1 (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#38834155)

Acer makes an open game console. It's called the Aspire X1 [acer.com] , it's about the size of an original Xbox 360 and can use its gamepads, and it runs all PC software. And unlike the major consoles, it has multiple app stores: Steam, Impulse, Desura, and GOG. There's even an adapter called the Retrode that lets it play classic games made for the Super NES and Sega Genesis.

Let's make PCs the fourth console.

Who's property (5, Insightful)

Grindalf (1089511) | about 2 years ago | (#38833815)

So if I buy such a device, who's property is it then? This seems to contradict the property laws ...

Re:Who's property (1)

future assassin (639396) | about 2 years ago | (#38834407)

Ahh but thats the catch. They won't tell you that and just stick introducing laws for the software parts of the hardware. You want to mod the phone to run an OS other than the one that came with it, sorry to bad its illegal to remove the drm inorder to remove the original os. Imagine the out cry if all of a sudden you couldn't do ANYTHING with the physical part of the device.

The Pigs Are Creating a Counter-Market (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | about 2 years ago | (#38833877)

In their greed, the pigs are fuel the market for hardware that remains jailbreakable.

GPL should require vendors to ship with root (5, Insightful)

nightfire-unique (253895) | about 2 years ago | (#38833889)

Even if someone intervenes and solves this legal issue, I don't think that's good enough. Having access to tinker and enhance is the reason these devices exist at all.

Imagine if 90s PCs were crippled this way. Would Linux, or its multibillion dollar server industry even exist? Apache? Tomcat? Free software can't survive in such a hostile environment. The anti-intellectualism must stop.

While we do have the ability to call the shots, I suggest that the next GPL revision include an additional clause:

Redistribution privileges granted by the GPLv4 are revoked from all manufacturers who ship devices that don't provide to the end user an easy, supported method of superuser privilege escalation.

The good news is, it would have two effects. Smart vendors would fix their devices to comply. The evil ones would fork the kernel and anything else using the new license, and eventually die off without community support.

Remember. We have the money, and we have the power. Not Hollywood. Hollywood is irrelevant.

Re:GPL should require vendors to ship with root (3, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#38833925)

The GPLv3 effectively does require that. It bars the use of GPLv3 software in things that require jailbreaking, or otherwise keep the user trapped and unable to rebuild and replace the GPLv3 binaries. Slightly different terminology, but same effect (the anti-TiVOization clause.)

Having access to tinker and enhance is the reason these devices exist at all.

Not quite. However, that should be something all users are able to do without interference from the manufacturer.

Smart vendors would fix their devices to comply. The evil ones would fork the kernel and anything else using the new license, and eventually die off without community support.

WRT GPLv3, they're already not using the GNU coreutils. And the Linux kernel will never be anything but GPLv2.

We have the money, and we have the power. Not Hollywood. Hollywood is irrelevant.

But you don't have someone like Chris Dodd, who can go on Fox News and threaten congressmen for not standing up to the American populace to force bad laws through.

Headline correction (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38833897)

How about "EFF working to keep jailbreaking legal" as a headline? The OP (who has also linked to the article on his own retarded ad-filled site) is just sensationalising this shit to attract traffic / improve his pagerank. Better stories are available here [pcmag.com] and elsewhere [engadget.com] .

Re:Headline correction (2)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#38833983)

Sounds like the shrill cry of a wounded fanboy.

The fact is that Apple would see all jailbreaking be illegal if it were up to them.

The original title is an accurate portrayal of the situation better capturing the fact that jailbreaking would otherwise be illegal. It took consumer lobbying to be declared legal and it will lapse into being illegal again without active consumer lobbying.

This has to be done repeatedly.

The RC could still declare jailbreaking illegal again despite of what the EFF does.

A watered down approach to the subject really doesn't capture the essence of the situation here.

Maybe you should have bought a blackberry instead. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38833905)

After all, blackberry puts no restrictions on what the owner of a phone can do with it which would be YOU (or sometimes YOUR EMPLOYER).

Install whatever apps you like on YOUR phone.

Configure permissions for apps on YOUR phone any way you like.

Install apps from blackberry app world, or from anywhere else.

For all the OOOH!! Shiny!!! mindshare that iphone & android generates, at some point the general assholeness of these companies is something you should pay attention too.

Unfortunately there only appear to be 12 of us who still care and use blackberry. Maybe this is all a secret govt plot to get blackberry users to stop using phones with strong encryption...

Re:Maybe you should have bought a blackberry inste (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38834051)

After all, blackberry puts no restrictions on what the owner of a phone can do with it...

Except that RIM is using locked bootloaders*. That means, no, you don't get to do whatever you want because only RIM controls what software is allowed to run on the device.

* Definitely locked on their Playbook tablet, I'm not sure about all of their phones.

Re:Maybe you should have bought a blackberry inste (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38834533)

Except that RIM is using locked bootloaders*. That means, no, you don't get to do whatever you want because only RIM controls what software is allowed to run on the device.

RIM phones only run the RIM OS. (I'm not talking about the playbook, which is a different animal).

The RIM OS always shows you what programs are installed (and you can remove them if you like).

But on the RIM OS you can run any application you like. RIM doesn't stop you. RIM isn't able to remove applications that YOU put on YOUR phone.

For example, not long ago the phone company in the United Arab Emirates tried to trick users into installing a new "firmware" which was actually spyware:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124827172417172239.html [wsj.com]

Removing it was dead simple.

If only other things were given a 3 year span (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38833941)

Isn't it amazing that Congress can find whole ranges of things that can put into law forever (like spending and taxes) but can't seem to find a way to put the ability to modify a device you own there as well??

Maybe everything should sunset after 5 years, including copyright etc...

Re:If only other things were given a 3 year span (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 2 years ago | (#38834275)

On one hand, it would be nice to have sunset provisions, but in reality, I can see what would end up sunsetted if this happened:

The Clean Air/Water Acts.
Acts making national parks/preserves/national forests.
Labor laws.
Minimum wage.
Bank regulations.

Re:If only other things were given a 3 year span (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 2 years ago | (#38834485)

Follow the money, then you will find your answer.

Other things that should be illegal too... (2)

stevenfuzz (2510476) | about 2 years ago | (#38833945)

Upgrading a car stereo, getting suits tailored, Changing filters in air conditioners, Showering night club stamps off, Changing shoe laces, Singing along with a CD/mp3, Photoshop, Opening a computer... I mean, why would I have the right to root the cell phone/tablet I buy. Imagine if I enabled tethering, the world might end right then and there.

Revolution! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38833971)

You americans should make use of your right to carry a gun and revolt! Shoot the head of all politicians!

Re:Revolution! (4, Funny)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#38834013)

Shoot the head of all politicians!

There's nothing up there. Aim for the pocketbook.

Re:Revolution! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38834171)

Good point. The real threat are the CEO's and other execs who have the money. Take them out and the money dries up for the politicians, then they'll just wither away. Of course if the politico also happens to be a CEO/exec then you deal with two problems with one bullet. Efficient.

Why are they locking something someone else owns. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38833997)

I want to know.

Re:Why are they locking something someone else own (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | about 2 years ago | (#38834135)

Money. If its locked, your constrained to apps sold in a particular channel.

Re:Why are they locking something someone else own (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 2 years ago | (#38834517)

1 - because you are under contract with a carrier's network and they are requiring it to protect their network
2 - beacuse some industries are fighting for it to protect their content ( like mpaa/riaa )
3 - keep you coming back only to their store for content.

Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38834025)

Too much deregulation is not a good thing. Keep jailbreaking illegal.

root and CarrierIQ (2)

djscoumoune (1731422) | about 2 years ago | (#38834059)

Do mobile providers need root access when they install CarrierIQ ? If so could they be sued if this law wasn't renewed ?

Re:root and CarrierIQ (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#38834267)

Nope. Think for a bit why this is the case.

Always the same. (5, Insightful)

forkfail (228161) | about 2 years ago | (#38834581)

The white hats have to win every single battle.

The black hats need only win one.

Rooting (0)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | about 2 years ago | (#38834637)

Consider the difference between two time-wasting procedures:

10 for a=1 to 200000000
20 next a

and

10 read a
20 restore
30 goto 10
40 data "a"

Some time sharing systems will kill the former much earlier than the latter depending upon the throttles set for that kind of loop. READ has a much higher priority because of the nature of BASIC programming. BASIC contains both INPUT and GET. When running a program the priority of the BASIC interpreter (or the internally compiled code) allows for BASIC to have access to a priority in the keyboard queue. When running a BASIC program inside the interpreter that priority is no longer available to GET (GET will simply pass right through) because that priority, a bit in the code running inside of the OS, is necessary for the BASIC interpreter.

READ is similar in that it has access to that high priority bit. This is because BASIC is structured for program segment and DATA segment. There is no program code after DATA. This is an electronic load balancing mechanism that the kernel working with the power supply would know, in advance, how much load BASIC was applying to a very particular portion of the equation used in the load balancing circuitry. That is the inherent priority level that BASIC has access to within whatever surrounding OS or VM in which it is running. That is the priority of READ.

When writing a basic program, do not write:

10 a = 10

Write instead

10 read a
80000 end
95000 data 10

This will lead you to understand the hotwires available to BASIC. PEEK and POKE are running on similar priority levels and are mathematically related to the reason why the C=64 GET command worked properly within the hardware interpreter. If you are able to PEEK and POKE memory locations, for example, sequentially after the keyboard buffer in the C=64 environment it is possible to rotate the entire OS at the hardware level. Within most environments provided to BASIC interpreters the same mechanism does apply--if you are able to PEEK locations outside of the sandbox then you are able to POKE those locations back into DATA statements within the program and use READ to establish a hotwire.

Rooting of electronic devices? It's been going on for a while. The Jericho Mob [slashdot.org] has access to the superhypervisor console which is a management overlay for all of your electronic devices and it runs at the priority of the BASIC interpreter which talks directly to the power supply circuitry.

It is not The Man keeping you down. It is the rainbow-tards in the jericho parade and they're keeping The Man down, too.

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