Apple: Jailbreaking iPhone could lead to Major Network Disruptions

Earlier in the year, Apple had told the U.S. Copyright Office that it believes
jailbreaking an iPhone is a violation of the DMCA and infringes on its
copyright.

To counter it, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) had filed an exemption request with the to get the U.S. Copyright Office to grant DMCA exception so
users can jailbreak their iPhone without fear of copyright infringement
penalties.

PCWorld is reporting that Apple has told the U.S. Copyright Office that jailbreaking the iPhone could lead to major network disruptions or allow people to avoid paying for phone calls.

Apple had informed the Copyright Office in February that the exception
request by Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) was not acceptable as the very act of jailbreaking the iPhone results in copyright infringement.

Apple has filed more arguments on the issue on June 23 in which it has informed the Copyright Office that jailbreaking the iPhone i.e. modifying iPhone's software could lead to major network disruptions.

In the fillings Apple has raised the following concerns:

"Because jailbreaking makes hacking of the BPP software much easier,
jailbreaking affords an avenue for hackers to accomplish a number of
undesirable things on the network"

"With access to the BBP via jailbreaking, hackers may be able to change
the ECID, which in turn can enable phone calls to be made anonymously
(this would be desirable to drug dealers, for example) or charges for
the calls to be avoided"

PCWorld rightly points out that a separate identifier, contained in the phone's SIM (Subscriber
Identity Module) is used to distinguish between customers for billing and
authentication purposes rather than ECID.

Apple claims that if several iPhones were modified to have the
same ECID, it could cause a transmission tower to malfunction or kick
phones off the network.

"In short, taking control of the BPP software would be much the
equivalent of getting inside the firewall of a corporate computer — to
potentially catastrophic result"

EFF's argument is that jailbreaking iPhone is protected under fair-use
doctrines, and that the Copyright Office should grant an exemption
because "the culture of tinkering (or hacking, if you prefer) is an important part of our innovation economy."

The Copyright Office is expected to make a decision in the case later this year.

What do you think about jailbreaking? Do you think Apple is right in
making it illegal? Should the Copyright Office accept EFF's request for
an exception to the DMCA? It will be great to get your feedback in the
comments below.

[via PCWorld]