Thank Buddha it’s Friday! With the weekend approaching it’s also that special day of the week where yours truly vents about a recent story that rubbed me the wrong way. This weeks session is dedicated to a story we reported on regarding Apple’s new patent that would enable them to remotely wipe your iPhone. You may be rolling your eyes but hear me out because I think a lot of you will be even more irritated by the spin I apply here…

Let me preface this with saying that I too have been among the jailbreak community. I haven’t hacked my iPhone 4 yet but as the features continue to pile up, the likelihood of me utilizing JailbreakMe do too. I wish the features that many jailbreak for were simply approved and available through the App Store. But as you know you can wish in one hand and, well you know.

Let’s assume (since it’s just as possible that the patent is for security purposes) that Apple is using the patent to wipe and deactivate those who choose to root their iDevices. As much as it infuriates me initially to think that Cupertino could and would remotely pull our plug, Apple has repeatedly expressed their disapproval over jailbreaking your devices. Why is it so hard to handle the idea that they finally might be doing something to back their disapproval up.

A common rebuttal (and a decent one on the surface) is that the user should be able to do with their iDevice whatever they wish once it’s purchased. A deeper analysis of this argument shows the plasticity behind it. Just because we own something doesn’t mean we’re free to abandon regulations of the manufacturer we purchased it from.

Some have expressed the ability to remotely wipe your device is infringing on the privacy of the consumers. I tend to agree however I think people need to open their eyes to the lack of privacy that already exists. I’ve heard concerns over Apple having our personal data but we already know that screenshots of our GPS coordinates are taken each time we close the maps application. If you want personal privacy you shouldn’t be using a smartphone of any kind. It’s sad but true.

I want to reiterate that my opinion of whether this patent is right or wrong is neither here nor there. If it were up to me the Cydia store wouldn’t be needed. That being said it is a bit peculiar that people complain about possible sanctions over an already discouraged procedure. If you want to sleep in the snow then you  lose the right to complain about the cold.

I’ve put on my fireproof suit so flame away my friends. I hope at the very least this article reminded you that choosing to violate company policy also voids your right to be protected by it. Have a safe weekend. As for me I plan to start making my list of apps to get once I jailbreak.

  • Burge

    All I can say is YOUR NOT JAILBROKE YET !!!

  • Samball

    “if you choose to sleep in the cold, you shouldn’t complain about the cold”?? Yes, true, but that still shouldn’t allow someone to walk past and take your stuff… The analysis should be sided with “if you download from cydia, don’t cry to apple that it crashes your idevice” nothing to do with the fact that they should be able to do with it what they like…

    • Jason

      My thought is ok look at me apple I’m jailbroken, ok good now that you know this you can void my warranty. But what you can not do is wipe my iphone . I will take all my apple stuff hire a helicopter fl over corp office and it will be raining MacBook unibody, MacBook pro, iPod touch, 2 iPhone 4gs

  • Me

    It is LEGAL to jailbreak. Apple can’t do anything to disable your device if you jailbreak. The lawsuits that would come of that would kill them. Have no fear when jailbreaking!

    • Zmbieapocalypse

      Amen! Testify brother! First intelligent rebuttal to this topic!

  • Tom

    For pity’s sake Ethan, you could at least research a topic before spouting off half cocked. Tech and news blogs were reporting the legality of jailbreaking court ruling only a week or so ago.

    • Ethan

      Umm no offense but researching other tech sites opinions is actually research in the sense you suggest. If it were, I would be covered since that’s a big part of the prep here.

      As it stands, JB is legal, Apple doesn’t care, people should be aware of consequences. That is all

  • Ethan

    Isn’t actually*

  • Tom

    So you were well aware of it but just chose to ignore the fact that it pretty much nullifies your entire rant?

    How the hell will Apple, with any kind of impunity, be able to wipe a phone that is not operating illegally?

  • RG

    please….apple has had a KILL SWITCH since iOS1 !!, they could “kill” your iphone if they wanted to since day One !, so stop the dumbness around these pattents and the speculation !. Apple does not want a public relations nightmare, they just want to sell phones wether we jailbreak them or not, they could give a SH*T ! Besides, I can bet the jailbreak community will come up with a “anti-kill-swicth” app right the minute apple creates a new one !, as they have with the current one….do you really know what “jailbreak” means..?

    PS: if any of you will argue the the current kill switch setup is only for malicious apps…think before writing, anything running on the iphone can be considered maliciuos, depending on who’s the judge, so yes Apple can literally kill your iPhone remotely right since the begining !

  • Tom

    its as simple as this for me. all this “is it legal or not” stuff aside, bottom line . . . . i have chosen to jb my device. if apple chooses to wipe it because they dont like what i have done, then F em. I like the ios and the iphone, but if they choose to go that route with me personally, its off to android and another service provider without thinking twice about it.

  • Johnnyduke

    Jailbreaking skyrockets product sales. Look at the psp look at the wii. iPhone is no different, all are very successful because of the hack community that opens the device. Apple wouldn’t sell half on a closed device, there is no way they would want to stop it now!
    What they say publicly and what is said privately are completely different.

    • Madarchod chod tumhari ma ke chod

  • “Just because we own something doesn’t mean we’re free to abandon regulations of the manufacturer we purchased it from.”

    Umm.. What? Yes, it bloody well does. That’s what OWNERSHIP means.

    It’s my device. I paid for it. And I’ll do whatever I damn well like with it.

    • Brandon

      EXACTLY. I understand I run the risk of voiding the warranty on the device should I JB it, but I own the dammed thing, and if I chose to jailbreak it that’s my choice. Just like if I chose to toss it out of moving vehicle. My choice. I own it. Apple shouldn’t be able to do sh*t-all about it.

      • Bob Marley

        agreed s.jobs can suck it

    • Burge

       couldn’t agree with you more

    • Alvaro

      Well said Otto.

    • Vik071

      If I wanted to protect it with an used condom instead of that ugly bumper, I could…

  • Moo

    All smartphones have remote wipe. If your work has an exchange server, you can call them and ask to wipe it if it’s stolen. Nothing new. They are getting a patent on the sensors + wipe idea.

  • KinGz

    I feel that apple should really stop trying to threaten their customers and instead give their customers what they want. Their profit will surely increase. Btw doesnt apple love $ and as steve jobs said “we love our customers and we try our best to make them happy”

  • thefallen

    Jailbreaking is legal. Period.

  • Andrew

    Yah. Jailbreaking is legal so Apple cannot (and is not dumb enough to try) remotely wipe your phone if you jb.

    To the best of my knowledge Apple has never even used the “kill switch” that it has for apps yet. Sometimes an app is approved and quickly pulled from the AppStore, but if you are lucky enough to get it before it’s pulled, it’s yours to keep (so far anyway). Even when tethering apps sneak into the store and get pulled Apple doesn’t remotely kill the app on the iPhones that downloaded it before it was pulled.

  • andre

    MAN. You got PAID JB AND UNLOCK ADS on the same text you write about wadawadawada Don’t jailbreak… Quickpwn gives you money…. pffff

    • Like I just told you on Twitter, this article reflects the writer’s point of view, which is not always the same as mine (editor of this blog). First, I don’t think Ethan was saying “don’t jailbreak”. And even if that was the case, he’s free to think whatever he wants. As for me, I do jailbreak and believe everyone should, but that’s another matter.

      Yes we have ads that are automatically displayed by Google according to the content on the page. If we talked about fishing, ads would be fishing-related. I’ve got little control over these ads, and to be honest with you, I like them because they allow us to pay the rent and make sure this blog is updated on a daily basis with fresh and interesting content.

  • Spaz

    I’m not sure about America but I know the rest of the world jailbreaking is legal, and as I paid nearly £500 for my iPhone then it’s mine and not apples, so no apple you can’t go killing my device! U got money I got phone end of story now f off, and socalled apple loves there customers and want to make them happy?? Bullsh*t u just want our money! If you want to make us happy then u would of made a phone we all wanted like a 12mp camera with multitasking etc and video calling which was made about 5yrs again ur just taking ur time and rinsing us dry, we are mention to be in a resection but u don’t care money grabbing co*ks

  • Gaz

    Having a period and jailbreaking your iPhone AT THE SAME TIME!

  • I disagree with this article for these reasons:

    First of all, Apple’s patents can be called spying. While it may be spying for perfectly legitimate purposes, I can’t imagine spying on your users is legal nor ethical. Even if they do something legitimate

    Second, it is hardly in Apple’s interest to stop users from jailbreaking just to jailbreak. There are only three things about jailbreaking that could potentially be bad for Apple:

    * My3G and things like it. Apple puts (inconsistent) restrictions on what can be used on 3G to save bandwidth for cell carriers. Those restrictions are not arbitrary.

    * Installous and other piracy endeavors. That is, by all standards, stealing software. Apple has every right to pursue action against those people.

    * Security issues. There are almost certainly jailbroken applications that are viruses or other bad stuff.

    Apple can make an effort to stop those because it is in their interest, but other jailbreak features are benign and, in many cases, keep users attached to their iOS device.

    This article also points a “lack of privacy that already exists,” so we shouldn’t be upset about these new patents. I disagree with that; just because you get away with something in the past doesn’t mean you should get away with it in the future.

    This patent has affirmed my belief that I will not buy another iPhone because I do not have any respect for Apple.

  • Jason masters

    Good well formed rant I get your point and somewhat agree but I have to go with the oldest known proverb “possession is nine tenths of the law”

  • amins123

    Hey guys !! I am totally in favor of JB.. Its your right to do do whatever you want to with your property.

    The question is ..IS IT YOUR PROPERTY ??. It is my guess that when Apple sells iphone @ $199 or more, these are subsidized prices. Meaning this are not free market prices. So when you buy at subsidized prices and you sign 2 year contract, I am sure there must be a clause in the same regarding ownership and when it gets transferred. If this is the clause than, in these cases, I guess, the iphone remains the property of apple. And it can kill it for unauthorized use.

    But for those who have paid full price for unlocked phones, where prices are much higher, e.g in Canada, Mexico, UK, they have bought the property with full ownership rights. And in these cases Apple has no right whatsoever and the full owners can do whatever they want to with their absolute property, sacrificing only the Warranty.

    Again, these is my opinion only!!

  • Polemicist

    Just like to point something out…

    A prototype iPhone 4 was left in a pub and found by someone not from Apple. (you might remember that little incident) It was played with for a while and then remote wiped.

    Now is that remote wiping a feature you have in your new retail iPhone 4’s? NO? So if Apple has this wonderful ability to do something with their prototypes but not their retail models it is pretty much a given that some JB app developer would work out a way to replicate this feature in iOS4. Then if Apple didn’t have a patent on the technology that JB app developer would actually have Apple over a barrel so to speak.

    The Apple Kill switch as already pointed out above has been around for ages. Apple is just putting something in place to give a semblance of security and protection to the app developers that are getting ripped off by people who pirate apps and they might even be considering an application that could let you remote wipe your own iPhone. But seriously who gives a crap? It won’t be hardware based it will be software based and every piece of software on earth can be bypassed or manipulated in some way due to the medium it is on. (I could go on about obfuscation and application hardening but that would get boring)

    Nothing Apple or any software company throws at the world can stand against the almighty fist that is the piracy scene. Hackers cannot be stopped. They can be slowed down but never stopped. The PS3 is the perfect example and has now been hacked.

  • OMFG!!! I wish I’d been done with school already …… 6 more years AT LEAST until I’m a full blown attorney …… I’d be on this like hair on skin!!!! there HAS to be some serious 4th amendment violations here!! at least in the US!!!! what they can/can not do in other countries I’m not quite so clear on!!!

    but seriously, if they took it to this level I’m sure there would be a revolution !!!!! STAND UP & REVOLT people!!!! otherwise they’ll keep trying to slowly take what rights & privacy we have left!!!!

  • Peter

    I know this is post necromancy, but I think this needs to be said for future readers of the article (in 6 years WyKeD will agree with me): Just because it is legal to jailbreak and just because you purchased your iPhone does NOT mean that Apple cannot kill your device. Everyone here spouting off property rights is confusing property law, which is largely inapplicable here, and contract law, which CAN prevent you from doing something that would otherwise be fully legal to do. When you purchase something and sign a contract for that purchase, you are bound to abide by the terms of usage for the item you purchased. There are few terms of usage that courts will not hold you to if you sign the contract agreeing to abide by them (they usually strike down provisions preventing you from selling your property, for example), but altering the device to make it easier to pirate software, especially in such a growing demographic, is probably not one of them (contract law is friendly to big business).

    Generally, this is a good rule to follow when reading contracts: until a court has ruled that a party to a contract cannot be held to a certain provision of that contract, that provision is presumed to be binding, and the first party (here, the purchaser) will have to go to court to prevent the second party (here, the seller) from enforcing that provision (here, killing your phone).

    Oh, and WyKed, the 4th amendment only applies to the government, not private organizations. When a private party takes something it’s called stealing, not a seizure.

  • foofighter1970

    i have the iphone 4 on contract for 2 years with t-mobile can i still jailbreak it??