US Government Legalizes iPhone Unlocking, Jailbreaking

On Monday, the jailbreak community claimed victory as the U.S. government unveiled new rules that, essentially, legalize the jailbreaking and unlocking of Apple’s juggernaut smartphone – the iPhone. While the decision has most widely been discussed within the context of Apple’s ubiquitous handset, it is now “legal” to unlock any mobile phone so that it can be used through multiple carriers.

On a regular three-year basis, the Library of Congress “authorizes such exemptions to ensure that existing law does not prevent non-infringing use of copyrighted material.” As a result of the extensive lobbying and consumer outcries that have bombarded the Federal Government since the iPhone was released in 2007, the feds effectively authorized the jailbreaking and unlocking of iPhones under the banner of new exemptions from a federal law “that prohibits the circumvention of technical measures that control access to copyrighted works.”

As reported by Bloomberg, however, iPhone users “still may risk voiding their warranties if they make changes to the device in order to get applications not approved by Apple.” The Cupertino-based tech giant announced it’s displeasure with the ruling with a public statement shortly after jailbreaking was, for all intents and purposes, legalized.

“Apple’s goal has always been to insure that our customers have a great experience with their iPhone and we know that jailbreaking can severely degrade the experience,” the company announced in a statement. “As we’ve said before, the vast majority of customers do not jailbreak their iPhones as this can violate the warranty and can cause the iPhone to become unstable and not work reliably.”