P2P "jeopardizes national security," jailbreaking "desirable to drug dealers"

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Claims of the day
Oh dear. Apple and the Federal Government have both lost all connection with reality. I mean, it’s not like there was much to begin with, but this is like a policy debate Godwin. It seems that the activities you and I think of as simply illegal and/or unwanted (jailbreaking and P2P software), are a clear and present danger to this country and everyone in it.

The chairman of the US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform says (of Limewire, though his phrasing suggests a wider application):

At any time your computer is connected to the Internet, other computer users with similar software could simply search your hard drive and copy unprotected files.

It’s also true that if you leave your door unlocked, people might walk in and take things. That’s actually a growing problem here in Seattle. But you don’t hear anyone saying we should ban doors.

In a similar but unrelated incident we posted (I wanted to get my two cents in), it was revealed that Apple has more than simple greed in mind when it argues against jailbreaking. It’s not just that you’ll use free voice apps. It says that with a jailbroken phone,

…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. Taking control of the BBP software would be much the equivalent of getting inside the firewall of a corporate computer — to potentially catastrophic result.

Well, it’s much easier to do things like that with a computer. And they come jailbroken. And just as a parting shot, they suggest that a jailbroken phone allows the user to mess with the phone’s Exclusive ID number, allowing it to make calls anonymously. Cue Apple:

This would be desirable to drug dealers

Yes, anonymous calls, not unlike those made from pay phones. This garbage is the biggest load of FUD I’ve seen in a long time. I’m not advocating for the right to hack cell towers, but the arguments being given against jailbreaking and P2P are like saying “the hammer is a potential murder weapon. Therefore we must ban hammers.” Screw that. The more they take these illegitimate stances, the more people will wonder what they’re trying so hard to hide that isn’t drug-dealing, tower-hacking, vital-national-security-comprimising bullshit.

[image credit: Mercer Mayer in his scariest book]

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