Apple is doing everything it can to sway the Copyright Office, which is in charge of periodically handing out DMCA exemptions, to keep iPhone jailbreaking illegal. We always thought Apple was against any exemption because of their exclusivity deal with AT&T. But no, it turns out they’ve been trying to protect us all from a Die Hard attack on the nation’s communications infrastructure.
Wired’s blog Threat Level reports,
The company’s filing explained that jailbreaking could allow hackers to altering the iPhone’s BBP – the “baseband processor” software, which enables a connection to cell phone towers.
By tinkering with this code, “a local or international hacker could potentially initiate commands (such as a denial of service attack) that could crash the tower software, rendering the tower entirely inoperable to process calls or transmit data,” Apple wrote the government. “Taking control of the BBP software would be much the equivalent of getting inside the firewall of a corporate computer – to potentially catastrophic result.
The EFF points out that other phones—like the Android-powered G1 offered by T-Mobile—are also capable of being turned into weapons, and we all know that the Palm Pre can be used to attack cheese. Perhaps we should actually license these things before someone gets hurt.