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  1. patlarkin's Avatar
    Steve Jobs Confirms iPhone Has a Kill Switch - Yahoo! News



    Steve Jobs Confirms iPhone Has a Kill Switch Jennifer LeClaire, newsfactor.com
    Mon Aug 11, 3:50 PM ET



    Apple CEO Steve Jobs has confirmed that the iPhone 3G has a kill switch that can remotely remove software from the devices.

    Jobs told The Wall Street Journal that Apple needs the capability in case it inadvertently allows a malicious program -- such as an application that steals user's personal data -- to be distributed to iPhones through its App Store.

    "Hopefully we never have to pull that lever, but we would be irresponsible not to have a lever like that to pull," Jobs said.

    Switch Not Used

    Jobs' statement reveals Apple hasn't used the kill switch yet, but the company did remove an application from the App Store last week.

    Apple removed the $999 "I Am Rich" application, which had the sole purpose of showing people the owner has money. The program creates a red icon that sits on the iPhone deck with a the words "I Am Rich" underneath. After the user activates the application, it glows on the handset like a ruby.

    Apple initially approved the application, which bumps up against the pricing limit for applications sold on its App Store. The company was not immediately available for comment on why it decided to pull the plug.

    Disappearing Acts

    But the real controversy started when Jonathan Zdziarski, author of the books iPhone Open Application Development and iPhone Forensics Manual, discovered a URL buried in Apple's firmware. That URL links to a file dubbed "unauthorizedApps" where malicious or simply bad apps might go once they disappear from the App Store.

    According to Zdziarski, I Am Rich isn't the only app to disappear. BoxOffice (renamed to Now Playing) and NullRiver's NetShare were also removed. But removing the applications from the App Store and removing them from a consumer's iPhone are two different issues.

    "The kill switch is a very controlling gesture. I am not sure why Apple didn't disclose it up front as simply a security measure," said Avi Greengart, an analyst at Current Analysis. "Consumers will accept an awful lot if you let them know what they are accepting."

    What Else is Apple Hiding?

    In the past, Jobs has said he wants to be careful not to allow applications to bring down the network. Greengart doesn't see that as a major threat, especially since Apple is approving the applications.

    However, Greengart said he's less concerned with the "heavy-handed and Big Brotherish" kill switch than the fact that Apple didn't disclose it in the first place. As far as he knows, no other mobile phone has a kill-switch capability.

    "To my way of thinking, the issue is that you don't really know what your phone might be doing or not be doing," Greengart said. "I am not 100 percent sure what the capability is or is not. That is the problem. What is the capability? When might they use it? When wouldn't they use it? Is there anything else Apple is not disclosing?"





    THiS iS WHY I OWN A BLACKBERRY
    08-13-08 01:28 AM
  2. Arninetyes's Avatar
    A year ago, when unlocked iPhones were turned into expensive paperweights by an Apple upgrade, Apple followers said, "Apple has a right to do this." Today, many have expressed happiness that Apple can reach out across the world and remove a piece of software from your iPhone for whatever reason Apple feels will protect their interests.

    This seems just an extension of Apple's apparent belief that even though we pay for their iPhones, Apple still owns them.

    Oh, wait. They're only protecting us from ourselves. That makes it okay.
    08-13-08 02:25 AM
  3. Duvi's Avatar
    Not sure how this is a bad thing, but okay. I bet with RIM had the same capability on our consumer devices, no one would say anything. Oops, the kind of already do (points his head at everyone that has their Bolds shut down) and not a word is being said.

    I like security, not sure about everyone else. Explain why this is a bad thing?
    08-13-08 07:50 AM
  4. VoltaicShock's Avatar
    Don't BES admins have a remote wipe? That is somewhat the same.
    08-13-08 10:20 AM
  5. patlarkin's Avatar
    Well from what it sounds like to me is the iphone might have loop holes in security, hes talking about your private information being sent to apple and why would apple need this information? It just raises alot of questions if you know what i mean. It could be a good or bad thing thats all i was pointing out
    08-13-08 11:31 PM
  6. Arninetyes's Avatar
    Don't BES admins have a remote wipe? That is somewhat the same.
    No, it's different. On the face of it, you may say it is similar, but let's compare them:

    BES - a company owns a Blackberry, and provides it to their employee. The Blackberry (which may contain sensitive info) is stolen, the employee loses it, or the employee is fired. The company IT then wipes the Blackberry (which is owned by the company) to protect the company.

    iPhone Kill Switch - a person buys an iPhone. He/she owns it. They put applications on it, purchased only from the iTunes store. At some point, Apple decides that an app may cause problems with the iPhone/(or perhaps some other, nefarious reason), then deletes the app without notification to the owner of the phone, and, presumably, without reimbursing them on iTunes for a defective or dangerous app.

    Sorry. If I had an iPhone, and Apple notified me of app problems, then asked permission to do a remote delete, I'd have no problem with it. Since they are secretive about it and appear willing to use it without notifying iPhone owners, I have a problem with that. It's my phone. I bought it. Don't touch it without my permission.

    I don't quite understand why so many think this is acceptable behavior for Apple, but they'd scream bloody murder if Microsoft or Google did the same thing - you know, 'evil empire' and all.
    08-14-08 11:28 AM
  7. askdong's Avatar
    While I'm not a huge fan of the kill switch, I don't think it's really all that different from remote wipe. If you believe Steve, it's only to wipe "malicious" applications, and if you believe Blackberry the wipe is only to wipe Blackberries with permission of the owner. However in the end both Apple and Blackberry control the mechanism to do so. It's all a question of trusting or not trusting them. I'm not arguing that Apple is more trustworthy that BES, but rather it's not about the functionality as much as the choice of applying that functionality.
    08-14-08 12:04 PM
  8. Arninetyes's Avatar
    While I'm not a huge fan of the kill switch, I don't think it's really all that different from remote wipe. If you believe Steve, it's only to wipe "malicious" applications, and if you believe Blackberry the wipe is only to wipe Blackberries with permission of the owner. However in the end both Apple and Blackberry control the mechanism to do so. It's all a question of trusting or not trusting them. I'm not arguing that Apple is more trustworthy that BES, but rather it's not about the functionality as much as the choice of applying that functionality.
    Again, that's not quite correct.

    The killswitch is in the hands of Apple, who no longer owns the phone.

    BlackBerry remote wipe is NOT in the hands of RIM (BlackBerry) - it's in the hands of the IT of the company that owns the BlackBerry device.

    If you have a privately owned Blackberry (on BIS), RIM cannot wipe your phone. It's not part of BIS. It is only part of BES, which, again, is owned and operated by the corporation that owns the Blackberry that's being wiped.

    It's different.

    (NOTE: The info I have on BIS and remote wipe has come from inquiries I've made into the subject. If this is wrong, someone please correct me).
    08-14-08 12:34 PM
  9. askdong's Avatar
    Arnintyes,

    I stand corrected on your distinction between BES and BIS.

    Though more broadly speaking, all carriers have the ability to do alot of things with our phones without our permission just by the virtue of being on their network...
    08-14-08 01:05 PM
  10. Arninetyes's Avatar
    Yeah. Mostly they can disconnect us. They can disable features before you buy the phone, and they can limit what we can install.

    Apple has the distinction in being the only cell phone company I know of that has deliberately bricked phones (last year they put out an update that bricked any unlocked phones) and believing they should have final say on the content of your phone AFTER you buy the app from them and install it.

    As I've said, if they wanted to contact me and say "we believe so-and-so app is bad. If you want us to, we can remotely remove it.", then, I'd be okay with it. I object to the concept that they retain the right to delete apps I've paid for and installed on my phone at their own discretion.

    It's my phone.
    08-14-08 01:36 PM
  11. unmasked's Avatar
    It's my phone.
    Apple bricked phones which violated the terms of service (ie you agreed not to alter any of the code within the phone). Most companies would simply void your warranty but I can only imagine what a vindictive Apple would do if they sold mattresses and you removed the tag from yours.

    Some bolds were pin locked because they were not obtained legitimately (the so called five finger discount). Unfortunate but not unexpected.

    If AT&T locks me out because I forgot to pay my bill I might whine and complain about it but it is part of the contract.

    Verizon disables the GPS in your phone unless you pay for their software. Greedy perhaps but their right as part of the contract.

    The kill switch is different because you did not give them the contractual right to have such a thing. That is unless the iTunes TOS referred to it which I doubt since otherwise it would have been noticed without someone scouring through the code.

    Now as one of those people who got Box Office when it was first available I have no idea why Apple removed it. I am glad it's back under a different anme. I'll have to dl Now Playing and compare it to the original to see if there is any difference.
    08-14-08 04:33 PM
  12. Arninetyes's Avatar
    Apple bricked phones which violated the terms of service (ie you agreed not to alter any of the code within the phone). Most companies would simply void your warranty but I can only imagine what a vindictive Apple would do if they sold mattresses and you removed the tag from yours.
    Yeah, I know why they did it - I'm just trying to imagine what people would say and do if Honda nuked the main computer in all their cars that had beer can mufflers. After all, it violates not only Honda's requirements for safe operation, but Federal law as well. And yet...

    Some bolds were pin locked because they were not obtained legitimately (the so called five finger discount). Unfortunate but not unexpected.
    Nope - especially when one realizes that the pre-release Bolds were all technically still owned by RIM, no matter what someone paid for them.

    If AT&T locks me out because I forgot to pay my bill I might whine and complain about it but it is part of the contract.
    As will any company that provides a service for fee.

    Verizon disables the GPS in your phone unless you pay for their software. Greedy perhaps but their right as part of the contract.
    Yes - I just wish the sales people were aware that the GPS is disabled. I was sold a Curve by someone who had no clue - until I told him after the fact - that GPS on a Blackberry was extra cost. However, while I don't like it, it is their right to disable features and greedily charge extra.

    The kill switch is different because you did not give them the contractual right to have such a thing. That is unless the iTunes TOS referred to it which I doubt since otherwise it would have been noticed without someone scouring through the code.
    Exactly.

    Now as one of those people who got Box Office when it was first available I have no idea why Apple removed it. I am glad it's back under a different anme. I'll have to dl Now Playing and compare it to the original to see if there is any difference.
    I hope it works out. I haven't yet downloaded any apps for my iTouch. Kinda waiting to see how things shake out. Also, don't really need any at this point. It's pretty entertaining all by itself. Still can't get a decent looking Dr. Horrible on my BlackBerry.
    08-14-08 05:28 PM
  13. Duvi's Avatar
    Arnintyes,

    I stand corrected on your distinction between BES and BIS.

    Though more broadly speaking, all carriers have the ability to do alot of things with our phones without our permission just by the virtue of being on their network...

    You weren't corrected. RIM does have the power on BIS as well. No one knows it

    Yes, same way they can put your PIN on the blacklist to disable BB features, they can wipe your BB.

    For BES, it's the company who has control as it's the servers that they maintain.

    It is pretty much the same. They just do it in different ways.
    08-16-08 03:25 PM
  14. Duvi's Avatar
    Yeah. Mostly they can disconnect us. They can disable features before you buy the phone, and they can limit what we can install.

    Apple has the distinction in being the only cell phone company I know of that has deliberately bricked phones (last year they put out an update that bricked any unlocked phones) and believing they should have final say on the content of your phone AFTER you buy the app from them and install it.

    As I've said, if they wanted to contact me and say "we believe so-and-so app is bad. If you want us to, we can remotely remove it.", then, I'd be okay with it. I object to the concept that they retain the right to delete apps I've paid for and installed on my phone at their own discretion.

    It's my phone.


    Apple deliberately bricked all iPhones? Hmm... Let me ask, what was the reasoning behind them purposely doing that?

    So you would like them to contact 15 million people to ask for permission? Are you serious? That would make no sense what so ever. That's like a cop seeing a robbery and continuing to drive by because the owner didn't call 911 yet.

    You don't know what kind of things this app is going to do to your phone, but yet, they have to catch you at a time where you may not even pick up your wireless device because its an 800 or blocked number to inform you, the app you installed may be accessing your personal info (ssn, credit info) from your wireless device. I'm sorry, no offense to anyone, that is just "not smart."

    No one, but apple knows what this really means, yet everyone somehow knows what it means. Apple is probably going to give credit for those apps purchased.
    08-16-08 03:36 PM
  15. Duvi's Avatar
    Now as one of those people who got Box Office when it was first available I have no idea why Apple removed it. I am glad it's back under a different anme. I'll have to dl Now Playing and compare it to the original to see if there is any difference.

    I'm not disagreeing, I just wanted to know where you found this information out. Why was it Apple that pulled it and not "Box Office" That app had serious issues and a new name. To me it sounds like the company wanted to have a new beginning.
    08-16-08 03:39 PM
  16. Arninetyes's Avatar


    Apple deliberately bricked all iPhones? Hmm... Let me ask, what was the reasoning behind them purposely doing that?

    So you would like them to contact 15 million people to ask for permission? Are you serious? That would make no sense what so ever. That's like a cop seeing a robbery and continuing to drive by because the owner didn't call 911 yet.

    Wow! There were 15 million unlocked iPhones? No?

    I referred only to the small number of unlocked phones - they were the ones that were bricked. Interestingly, in a court case last year, it was determined that unlocking a cell phone (an iPhone is still classified as a cell phone, isn't it?) to take it to a different carrier is NOT against the law. So, Apple had no legal standing to brick the unlocked phones. They did it because 1) they were pissed that someone messed with their product, 2) They did it because people broke a contractual agreement and they had the blessing of ATT, and 3) they believe that even after purchase, they still own the phone. Seems likely it was a mix of the three.

    You don't know what kind of things this app is going to do to your phone, but yet, they have to catch you at a time where you may not even pick up your wireless device because its an 800 or blocked number to inform you, the app you installed may be accessing your personal info (ssn, credit info) from your wireless device. I'm sorry, no offense to anyone, that is just "not smart."
    Text message? Email? Mass mailing? I guess Apple can't do that. They'd have to phone everyone individually, just like they did when they bricked the unlocked phones. Oh, wait. They just did it without warning. Right. Precedent.

    No one, but apple knows what this really means, yet everyone somehow knows what it means. Apple is probably going to give credit for those apps purchased.
    Let's hope Apple does give credit for apps they dump from your phone. Of course, they probably will, now that the stealthily hidden kill switch has been publicly revealed.

    Sorry. I love many Apple products - I've owned more than few. Yet, I fail to understand why people get so hung up on Apple that the company can do no wrong. Someone LEGALLY unlocks their phone to use on a different network, Apple bricks the phone, but that's okay. Someone buys an app from Apple, and Apple can, without warning or notification, delete the app. No problem. It's their right. After all, read the software contract, no matter what you pay, YOU DON'T OWN the software - and you probably don't own an iPhone, either. You're just leasing it. Check the contract - maybe Apple really DOES still own all the iPhones.

    I'm going to repeat myself for the sake of clarity - and because people sometimes misread posts (like thinking I said Apple bricked 15 million iPhones).

    "As I've said, if they wanted to contact me and say "we believe so-and-so app is bad. If you want us to, we can remotely remove it.", then, I'd be okay with it. I object to the concept that they retain the right to delete apps I've paid for and installed on my phone at their own discretion.

    It's my phone."


    Of course, maybe by contract, it really wouldn't be my phone. Anyone really read their iPhone contract?
    08-18-08 12:17 PM
  17. unmasked's Avatar

    I'm not disagreeing, I just wanted to know where you found this information out. Why was it Apple that pulled it and not "Box Office" That app had serious issues and a new name. To me it sounds like the company wanted to have a new beginning.
    I don't know, it was just written up as Apple removing Box Office from iTunes and not the company removing it themselves. It could have been the other way but the article wasn't written that way.

    It seems to work fine for me, not that I use it a whole lot.

    PS I forgot to dl Now Playing from iTunes.
    08-18-08 02:04 PM
  18. unmasked's Avatar
    Interestingly, in a court case last year, it was determined that unlocking a cell phone (an iPhone is still classified as a cell phone, isn't it?) to take it to a different carrier is NOT against the law.
    Can you link the case? Do you know what state the case was filed in and what the outcome of the obvious appeal was? Frankly I can't imagine that decision standing up on appeal as it is a flagrant contractual violation.

    If this case does somehow hold up it would spell the end of subsidized cell phone pricing.
    08-18-08 02:10 PM
  19. Realestatepro's Avatar
    Wow! There were 15 million unlocked iPhones? No?

    I referred only to the small number of unlocked phones - they were the ones that were bricked. Interestingly, in a court case last year, it was determined that unlocking a cell phone (an iPhone is still classified as a cell phone, isn't it?) to take it to a different carrier is NOT against the law. So, Apple had no legal standing to brick the unlocked phones. They did it because 1) they were pissed that someone messed with their product, 2) They did it because people broke a contractual agreement and they had the blessing of ATT, and 3) they believe that even after purchase, they still own the phone. Seems likely it was a mix of the three.


    Text message? Email? Mass mailing? I guess Apple can't do that. They'd have to phone everyone individually, just like they did when they bricked the unlocked phones. Oh, wait. They just did it without warning. Right. Precedent.



    Let's hope Apple does give credit for apps they dump from your phone. Of course, they probably will, now that the stealthily hidden kill switch has been publicly revealed.

    Sorry. I love many Apple products - I've owned more than few. Yet, I fail to understand why people get so hung up on Apple that the company can do no wrong. Someone LEGALLY unlocks their phone to use on a different network, Apple bricks the phone, but that's okay. Someone buys an app from Apple, and Apple can, without warning or notification, delete the app. No problem. It's their right. After all, read the software contract, no matter what you pay, YOU DON'T OWN the software - and you probably don't own an iPhone, either. You're just leasing it. Check the contract - maybe Apple really DOES still own all the iPhones.

    I'm going to repeat myself for the sake of clarity - and because people sometimes misread posts (like thinking I said Apple bricked 15 million iPhones).

    "As I've said, if they wanted to contact me and say "we believe so-and-so app is bad. If you want us to, we can remotely remove it.", then, I'd be okay with it. I object to the concept that they retain the right to delete apps I've paid for and installed on my phone at their own discretion.

    It's my phone."


    Of course, maybe by contract, it really wouldn't be my phone. Anyone really read their iPhone contract?
    I totally agree with you Arninetyes.... first off, the fact of the matter is if you buy something (in this case the Iphone) it is yours and you own it... only you should have the right to decide what software you want to delete or wish not to delete...if the app is leaking or "stealing" any personal info well guess what you as a consumer chose to buy it and install it.. so deal with it...the fact is that apple is playing god with your phone...not cool. ::Rant Ended::

    Second... 15 million people....LMAO are you serious where did you get these stats from, the ATT BullS*** rebuttle handbook????

    come on Jayden i know you work for ATT and all, and have an Iphone so you choose to defend apple till the end... even if you know that what apple is doing is wrong (if it wasnt they would have made it public knowledge so when you purchase the equipment you are aware of what your getting yourself into...but they chose not to disclose it...) i on the other hand choose to be a realist and look at the facts and see things for what they are... dont get me wrong i LOVE apple products, as i own several... ( Macbook, Ipod, Ipod touch ect) but this whole idea of having total control with this master kill is BullS***...

    Third... How are you so certain that Blackberry can wipe your phone at their discretion if your on BIS??? where are you getting this information from??? must be another chapter in that ATT BullS*** rebuttle handbook of yours...
    08-18-08 02:50 PM
  20. Arninetyes's Avatar
    Can you link the case? Do you know what state the case was filed in and what the outcome of the obvious appeal was? Frankly I can't imagine that decision standing up on appeal as it is a flagrant contractual violation.

    If this case does somehow hold up it would spell the end of subsidized cell phone pricing.
    My mistake. There was no court case - my memory was faulty. I didn't read about a court case, I read about a decision by the U.S. Copyright office. They issued six exemptions to the DCMA - and one of them was that unlocking a cell phone for the sole purpose of using it on a different network does NOT violate the DCMA, and therefore violates no copyright laws and IS legal. Of course, distributing software to unlock the iPhone may still be illegal - but that doesn't give Apple the right to brick phones that have been monkeyed with.

    That is, unless they still own the things. Has anyone looked at their iPhone contract? Does it say that Apple still retains all ownership rights to the iPhone even after purchase?

    ATT and/or Apple may appeal this in court, but they haven't as of yet - or, more accurately, there are no reports of it that I can find. A lawyer would have to answer that.

    As for the "end of subsidized cell phone pricing", that would probably be much, MUCH more closely tied to the recent, highly publicized court decision that Sprint lost concerning early termination fees. Maybe Sprint will just brick all the phones of people who terminate early instead of charging fees.
    08-18-08 09:00 PM
  21. unmasked's Avatar
    In thinking about it again I may have spoken (typed) too soon.

    If I buy a subsidized phone I am under contract. As long as I make the payments in accordance with that contract then it really doesn't matter what I do with the phone.

    It probably isn't illegal to unlock the phone and use it on another carrier while paying them a monthly fee as well. I don't know if it violates any TOS but the originally carrier has no reason to complain. It's pretty silly to pay 2 monthly fees though, especially when we're talking about smartphones with data charges.

    More likely, you would buy the phone from one carrier, pay the ETF, unlock the phone and get a plan from another carrier so you only pay 1 fee. It's pretty odd that a company would sell a phone where Subsidized Price + ETF > Retail Price I think but that's where the iPhone will stand.

    So yes you're absolutely right. It is the ETFs that matter most.
    08-19-08 09:19 AM
  22. xxxxpradaxxxx's Avatar
    In reference to Apple claiming the right to remotely disable stuff from your phone without asking permission, on the grounds that it would be overly time consuming to contact each iPhone user is not a valid reason.

    When the New Software upgrade (2.0.1 I think... It was the newest one, that was supposed to fix the 3G connection issue) I was notified by AT&T AND Apple via text, telling me to upgrade my phone to the newest upgrade.

    So they can contact you, so there is really no reason that they can't simply text you and say, "Hey were getting rid of the Dress Up Steve Jobs App, we will credit your account accordingly. Thank You"
    09-04-08 11:53 AM
  23. Duvi's Avatar
    Did you forget what you wrote?

    As I've said, if they wanted to contact me and say "we believe so-and-so app is bad. If you want us to, we can remotely remove it.", then, I'd be okay with it. I object to the concept that they retain the right to delete apps I've paid for and installed on my phone at their own discretion.

    It's my phone.

    This is what I was responding. 15 million is realistic for the amount of users that could be effected with the apps. Even with that, I wasn't being serious with the 15 million. "I tried to you call a billion times." Would you really think the person called a billion times? Never mind. The response above contains the answer.
    09-04-08 06:24 PM
  24. Duvi's Avatar
    I am a realist. I am not an APPLE fan, nor am I one for my company. I go with what works. In fact, the iPhone was my first apple product.

    Speaking of realist, that needs to be directed towards Arninetyes who wants Apple to contact every effected user to ask permission. Now when they can't reach you, how many times do they keep trying? Are they calling you on your cell during the daytime which will use your minutes? I can understand if they shouldn't remove them (if that is your POV), but it's absurd to say you would like them to contact each and every effected user for each and every app. It's not logical.

    Didn't mean to offend and seem like I'm defending Apple, because the iPhone may end up being the only Apple product I ever own.
    09-04-08 06:32 PM
  25. xxxxpradaxxxx's Avatar
    For Shame Jayden!

    Didn't you know about rule # 632,425,890,320 ?

    "Thou Shalt Not Use Real Numbers in the Place of Fictitious Numbers."

    In this case you should've said, "15 KAJILLION people", to avoid confusion.

    C'mon Jayden, you know better than to expect people to read into posts!
    09-05-08 09:52 AM
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