Tag: unlocking

White House phone unlocking petition gets 110,000 signatures

A White House web petition to lift the phone unlocking ban has received more than 110,000 signatures. The threshold for “We the People” petitions is 100,000 and now the White House will have to review or at least reply to the petition, before it throws it out.

The silly ban was imposed in January and under the new law anyone who dares unlock their own phone in the Land of the Fee could face up to 5 years in jail and a $500,000 fine. Forbes described the new legislation as a “clear example” of copyright law gone crazy. The underlying law is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA), but applying the law to cellphone unlocking is a stretch to say the least.

Basically the ban is viewed as an example of crony capitalism, nothing new in post-Citizens United America. The ban allows companies to control how their gear is used after it’s sold, which clearly violates property rights. Phone companies might try to claim that they are in fact renting their phones on two-year plans, but they’re not, at least not at the moment.

It is a bit like a car company telling its customers that they can’t install new alloys. What’s more, buying a modular assault rifle is still legal in the US, and the accessory market is booming.

In most states it is possible to install everything from a bayonet to a high powered scope and high capacity magazine on virtually any rifle. It’s perfectly legal, yet unlocking a phone can land someone in court, facing some serious jail time. 

Apple still says no to jailbreaking iPhones

It is now officially legal to jailbreak your phone in the US, after a move by the Library of Congress to revise the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, but Apple is still staunchly against the idea, claiming it will brick your jailbroken phone because it loves you, wants you to be happy, and wants to save the world from bad men.

Apple previously claimed that jailbreaking a phone was illegal under the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which it hoped would stop its customers installing different versions of its OS, running unsupported applications, switching to a network it doesn’t have a large dollar deal with, or switching to the rival OS, Google’s Android. It’s illegal and you’ll go to jail, it claimed.

And now it’s not, but that’s not stopping the fruity party line. It might not be illegal now, but Apple still thinks it’s immoral and the jailbreaking sinners must repent now or face eternal damnation. You see, souls are at risk here, not just mobile phones, and Apple is looking out for us all.

As part of its efforts to protect us all it issued the following statement to Cult of Mac in response to the legalisation of jailbreaking:

“Apple’s goal has always been to insure that our customers have a great experience with their iPhone and we know that jailbreaking can severely degrade the experience. As we’ve said before, the vast majority of customers do not jailbreak their iPhones as this can violate the warranty and can cause the iPhone to become unstable and not work reliably.”

So you may not be going to prison, but you certainly also won’t be going back to your local Apple store to get your iPhone 4 fixed if a jailbreaking attempt results in a bricked phone. Apple has previously sent out software updates that actually deliberately brick jailbroken phones, making them completely inoperable. In other works, if you don’t do it Apple’s way, they will break what you have paid for, and their defence is that you have violated their warranty, which is now not supported by the legal stance they had previously taken.

But Apple is doing this for a good cause. It previously claimed that unlocking an iPhone should be illegal, because it aids hackers, criminal gangs, drug lords, and terrorists. Eh, what? Apparently Apple thinks jailbreaking iPhones gives people potential access to mobile phone masts, which is a possible terrorist threat, while altering the chip identification number allows for anonymous calls, which is clearly the work of drug dealers. Only criminals could ever want an unlocked phone. It’s called jailbreaking for a reason, right?

In other words: leaving Apple’s precious walled garden leads you into sin and temptation. Do not bite the apple the serpent offers you. Wait – the Apple? There’s clearly something the Cupertino-based company isn’t telling us.

In stark contrast, Apple’s rival, Google, which has been gaining momentum with its Android operating system lately, is not against jailbreaking of its phones and has actually sold unlocked phones itself. But clearly it is evil for doing so and must also be supporting terrorists and drug dealers.

Apple users can now avail of unofficial app stores like Cydia or finally use rival Google’s free apps, without fear of Judge Jobs calling the cops, but it still violates your warranty, which, let’s face it, is the Law as far as Apple is concerned. It’s their way or the highway, folks. The Digital Millenium Copyright Act was only ever something they would abide by when it supported their policies. Typical.

iPhone users unlocking their phones fall for scam

A malware code is targeting people wishing to unlock their iPhones.

The scam, which goes by the name of Trojan.BAT.AACL, was detected by security bods at Bit Defender. It targets users through an e-mail offering a link that promises a new version of an iPhone unlocking application to overcome vendor set network restrictions. People who click the link are then directed to a web page which provides instructions for downloading the rogue application.

When it’s been downloaded the Trojan attempts to change the preferred DNS server address for several possible Internet connections on the users’ computers to 188.210.[REMOVED]. This allows the malware creators to intercept the victims’ calls to reach Internet sites and to redirect them to their own malware-laden versions of those sites.

Mihai Andrei Livadaru, a Bit Defender virus researcher, said: “After being urged to connect their iPhone to a PC, the victims are then instructed to download the application and run it on the iPhone. However, once installed the executable file causes a Trojan virus to be infected in the PC.”