Jailbreaking may go illegal back again

Jailbreaking – or freeing your iPhone, iPod or iPad from Apple’s constraints to allow access to additional applications and extensions not available on the App Store – has been a thorn in Apple’s side for some time.

The latest Absinthe iOS 5 Jailbreak  for iPad 2 and iPhone 4S received a million downloads within just 3 or 4 days.

Back in 2010 the United States government ruled that jailbreaking was not illegal, which caused quite a shock back at Apple headquarters. Obviously, the court’s decision to rule the act of jailbreaking as entirely legal was a major blow for Apple, considering they have invested so much time and money into making their devices and operating systems as secure as possible, and have always been public advocates for making jailbreaking an unlawful act.Apple made the following gloomy announcement:

“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.”

Time is coming around again, with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) lobbying for users to add their electronic voice to a petition which aims to ask the United States government to declare once again that jailbreaking an iPhone does not violate the DMCA. The EFF are also asking for this initial exemption, which is set to expire, to be extended to cover tablet devices as the Apple’s iPad is not currently covered in the original ruling.

Well known iOS developer, Charlie Miller, is an advocate for this change and has been alerting his Twitter followers to the petition, directing them to the EFF website to add their voice.To allow this exemption to expire, and cast the world of jailbreaking back into the dark days would not only be a huge regressive step, but would also play a huge part in killing off innovation and development talent which we have seen flourish in the last eighteen months.