Apple fights EFF attempt to open up device…
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has been busy petitioning The Copyright Office to legalize the act of iPhone jailbreaking, which gives users complete control over what applications they can run and what other networks the device runs on (assuming there are any). But in a filing, Apple lawyers are arguing
that the act of jailbreaking constitutes a national security threat, and that by allowing users to alter the iPhone’s BBP (baseband processor software), all manner of nefarious activities can take root:
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.
EFF Fred von Lohmann calls Apple’s claims “preposterous,” noting there’s an estimated one million jailbroken iPhones already in the wild, none of which have triggered wireless Armageddon. He also notes that were Apple’s claims true, the open-source Android phone from Google on T-Mobile networks would be a complete menace to society.
According to an FCC announcement, the FCC will finally start developing a national broadband strategy this week, after more than a decade of assuming we didn’t need one. That assumption resulted in the United States’ mediocre global showing when it comes to speed, penetration, competition and price, with Americans paying more, for less — than more than a dozen developed countries.
Since any useful plan would increase competition and therefore reduce revenues, carriers are lobbying against substantive changes or tough rules of any kind. The FCC’s new broadband plan is expected to take about a year to complete, and will explore all options — including a government subsidized broadband network, network neutrality protections, improved broadband mapping, and a higher standard (than 768kbps) for what we consider broadband.
Developing a working, useful plan may be the easy part. After (and while) it’s being cooked up it will run through a gauntlet of K-Street telecom lobbyists — some of the best in any business. That’s where the real test occurs.
As we’ve noted, the problem with getting a real broadband plan in place certainly hasn’t been a shortage of ideas — we’ve seen an endless flood of industry round tables at which a myriad of techno-celebrities and Ivy League pundits offer their insight into the best possible course of action. The problem has been that telecom lobbyists have such a tight grip on DC, truly consumer-friendly policy never survives the incubation period.
It’s not clear the “new” FCC will be any less beholden to carrier lobbyists. One thing you can be sure of, if lobbyists are running this show, you’ll see the FCC very quickly throw their wholesale support behind a program called Connected Nation, which consumer advocates argue is little more than a sophisticated con cooked up by the nation’s largest carriers, and dressed up as a real national broadband policy
This is a brand new look for my site and is going to be a great tool for my customers and anyone who wants more personalized help with any kind of tech.