Apple Stopping Jailbreakers? Please.

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While I am sympathetic to people who would like some of the functionality that jailbreaking your iPhone provides--heck, I wouldn't mind some of it myself--anyone who is calling upon Apple to "call off the dogs" on jailbreakers clearly doesn't understand what they are asking Apple to do.

Jailbreaking is a process by which you can run programs on the iPhone that did not come from the App Store--apps that are not Steve Jobs approved, so to speak. Seems fairly straightforward, right? I mean, who is Apple to tell me what I can run on my phone, right?

The problem is: every single one of these jailbreaks is performed by exploiting a security vulnerability in the phone's software. Every single one. The most recent example of this was the Jailbreak Me website that, by simply visiting a web page and sliding a slider, would trigger an exploit in your phone that would cause it to execute the necessary code to jailbreak the device.

Of course, if the jailbreakers can cause your phone to execute arbitrary code, so can a bad guy. And that's the point behind Apple "stopping" the jailbreakers. It's not really to stop them, it's to stop the bad guys who can use the same vulnerabilities to do worse things.

Instead of being critical to Apple for stopping jailbreakers, how about we be critical to Apple for not allowing us to run software of our choosing on our own device, even if Apple doesn't approve of it? That's the real problem, and that's what we should be focusing on.

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