What is Jailbreaking and Is Jailbreaking Legal?

If you’re a regular reader of Beebom, you have most certainly come across dozens of our articles about interesting jailbreak tweaks in iOS. While most of our readers have liked our jailbreak coverage, I acknowledge that we may have missed out one important thing in the past: nailing the jailbreaking basics. If you’re new to the jailbreak world, it can be quite a daunting place. So here is the What is Jailbreaking and Is Jailbreaking Legal?

What is Jailbreaking and Is Jailbreaking Legal?

What is Jailbreaking?

You’re probably pondering what does it even remotely have to do with the iPhone. To answer this question, we need to understand Apple’s “walled-garden” philosophy. A “walled-garden” is a closed platform where the provider, in this case, Apple, decides to exert strict control over applications, content, and media. What this essentially means, is that Apple scrutinizes each app carefully and controls what apps you can install on your iOS devices. But it’s not just about apps, such restrictions are imposed all over iOS, thus effectively making it a “walled-garden”.

Is Jailbreaking Legal?

Due to a large number of laws in effect, the answer isn’t Black and White. Fortunately, laws in most countries tend to incline more towards jailbreaking is perfectly legal. Jailbreaking is usually governed by the laws that protect DRM mechanisms, like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). In 2012, the US Library of Congress exempted jailbreaking iPhones from the DMCA, thus making it legal.

Is Jailbreaking Safe?

The Cydia app store is an alternative to Apple’s App Store and is home to thousands of jailbreak apps/tweaks. Cydia hosts numerous awesome jailbreak tweaks but given the number of repositories and the lack of a central authority, most of the apps are largely unscreened. Such apps could potentially contain malicious code that could infect your iPhone with adware, spyware, and trojans.

Jailbreaking vs Rooting?

Casually speaking, jailbreaking an iPhone would be the equivalent of rooting an Android phone. It’s only when you dive into the technical nitty-gritty that you understand the difference between them.

In technical terms, jailbreaking is the process of installing a set of kernel patches that give you root (unrestricted) access to the iOS file system. Rooting is the process of finding an exploit on an Android device to gain administrative-level root access. This is perhaps the only similarity.

Also, read: Top 3 Best Reasons To Jailbreak Your iPhone

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