Monthly Archives: September 2007

Will hacked iPhones become iBricks?

Jacqui Cheng’s article at Ars Technica points out the dilemma facing consumers who want to hack their iPhones so they are not tied to Apple’s exclusive service provider in the USA, AT&T. While hacks are available, they are quasi-legal at best. And, users who do it face the possibility that their $600/$400 iPhone could become an expensive brick when Apple next pushes updates to the phone.

While hack providers point out that recent amendments to the DMCA allow individual users to hack a phone to be put on any network, this exception was not intended for this particular situation. It’s supposed to be for people with older phones whose contracts are expired and/or can’t be used with their prior network because the company doesn’t exist anymore. It’s doubtful that this exemption will prevent Apple from going after the authors of these hacks, or allow Apple to be sympathetic to any users whose hacked phones become bricks.

As always… caveat emptor.

Video on National Security Letters

The Bill of Rights Defense Committee has put together a 26-minute video entitled “FBI Unbound: How National Security Letters Violate Our Privacy”, which can be viewed online or ordered on DVD.  It features interviews with Lisa Graves, Bruce Fein, and George Christian, who actually received one of these letters and can talk about it.

Hat tips to EFF and BeSpacific for the link.

Cyberlaw Central Commentary:

National Security Letters are the hidden, secret ways that ISP’s can be ordered to turn over customer information without judicial oversight.  Authorized by the Patriot Act, these are intended for anti-terrorism activities, but are capable of significant abuse.  This video does a good job explaining what they are, I highly recommend watching.