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Apple: Jailbreaking iPhone Could Crash Cell Towers

Digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) believes that modifications to Apple's iPhone operating system do not violate the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Thus, the group sent in a request to the Copyright Office stating that modifications should be allowed. As stated by the IDG News Service, the Copyright Office holds a hearing every three years to consider requests made by organizations that seek exceptions to the copyright law.

However on June 23, Apple rebutted the request, claiming that modifications to the iPhone OS constitutes copyright infringement. In fact, Apple told the Copyright Office that said modifications--aka jailbreaking--could allow hackers to avoid paying for phone calls, and could even crash mobile phone transmission towers, leading to major network disruptions.

"Because jailbreaking makes hacking of the BPP software much easier, jailbreaking affords an avenue for hackers to accomplish a number of undesirable things on the network," the filing said, referring to the iPhone's baseband processor that controls the connection to the mobile operator's network.

Hacking into the BPP could enable changes in the device's exclusive chip identification (ECID) and allow anonymous calling. With several phones modified with the same ECID accessing one network, legit phones could be kicked off, or cause a tower to malfunction.

"In short, taking control of the BPP software would be much the equivalent of getting inside the firewall of a corporate computer--to potentially catastrophic result," Apple said.

The Copyright Office will make its decision later this year.