Apple claims jailbroken iPhones could harm cell towers

By Justin Mann on
Furthering their long-standing opposition to people ‘jailbreaking’ the iPhone, Apple has made a powerful assertion that is sure to leave some people with gaping mouths. According to them, the practice could lead to massive denial of service attacks on cell towers. Apple’s claim is that people tinkering with the iPhone’s software innards could execute commands that would crash cell tower software, resulting in people being unable to make phone calls or otherwise causing havoc on local cell networks.

They draw a comparison between people jailbreaking the iPhone to someone breaking into a corporate network and damaging computers. I give credit to Apple for the iPhone, but can they truly be making such a claim with a straight face? Cell phones have been broken millions of times across multiple platforms and multiple vendors. What makes the iPhone so exceptionally dangerous that allowing people the freedom to tinker with it will result in massive service outages all over the world?

Currently, the U.S. Copyright Office is reviewing requests backed by the EFF and others to completely legalize jailbreaking. If enough people buy Apple’s rhetoric regarding this, however, such efforts could be crushed. It's clear that the company just wants to protect their bottom line, but their latest claims are preposterous at best.

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