EFF Calls Apple’s Anti-Jailbreaking Argument A “Hill Of Beans”

After Apple’s claim yesterday that the legalization of jailbreaking could potentially aid drug dealers and cell network hackers, we guessed the EFF would probably have something to say about it. Today they said it in a statement that rebutted Apple’s claims, describing it as less than “a hill of beans.”

“This is all just a lot of fear, uncertainty and doubt,” said Fred von Lohmann, a senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “There were no surprises here. Apple’s made the same arguments of the copy infringement question, and the rest of it, including the cell tower claims, is essentially irrelevant. Whatever else attacking cell phone towers is, it’s not copyright infringement.

“There’s nothing that Apple has conjured up that amounts to a hill of beans,” von Lohmann added.

He says that all of Apple’s claims amount to no more than scary list of hypothetical scenarios that have yet to actually happen, and are unlikely to become an issue.

“None of this has ever happened [with jailbroken iPhones],” von Lohmann said. “You don’t see the independent iPhone stores filled with malicious software tools. Instead, they’re filled with the software that Apple has refused to offer in its App Store.”

“If we had to live under this kind of regime for computers, consumers would rebel,” said von Lohmann. “This isn’t about stopping attacks, it’s about Apple and AT&T trying to lock out other programs. I can’t imagine anything that’s any more blatantly anti-competitive.”

He added that he was confident that the EFF would ultimately side with them on the issue, citing their previous ruling on the unlocking of cellular devices for use on other carriers.

“In 2006, the Office gave permission to unlock call phones, and I don’t see our jailbreaking exemption very different from that,” he said. “The FCC and the Department of Commerce are already beginning to smell a rat when it comes to exclusive ties between hardware and software, and the Google Voice exclusion is really a development that will help us.”

[via Macworld UK]

View the comments on the forum…