Thursday, May 17, 2012

Apple starts filtering the term 'jailbreak' out of the U.S. iTunes store

We all know how much Apple hates jailbreaking of its iDevices. Now, the Cupertino, Calif.-based firm has gone so far as to filter the term from iTunes.

As shown in the screenshot above, the term jailbreak has been filtered to read j*******k. It's not affecting the artist Jailbreak, and it's not affecting the term Jail Break (two words). Strangely, it affects the album "Jailbreak (Deluxe Edition)" by Thin Lizzy, but not the album "Jailbreak," at least at the time of this writing.

It's not just limited to songs and albums. The filtering appears to affect apps in the App Store, as well, and also iBooks.

The filtering was first noticed by an iOS hacker, planetbeing, with a Tweet announcing the discovery being posted by fellow hacker MuscleNerd.

For now, though, it appears the filtering is only active in the U.S. iTunes store. A later MuscleNerd Tweet seemed to indicate that the filtering was gone from songs and ringtones, but based upon the image above, taken after the Tweet, songs - at least - still exhibit the filtering. - Unmask Blocked Calls
Jailbreaking allows iOS users to install apps and enable features that Apple would otherwise not authorize. In 2010, the U.S. Copyright Office and Library of Congress deemed jailbreaking legal. However, Apple has long emphasized that jailbreaking will void your warranty.

Those concerned about that should note that recently, the third-party warranty company SquareTrade confirmed that its policies will cover jailbroken iPhones and Windows Phones, and rooted Android phones. SquareTrade's warranties do cost, in contrast to a manufacturer's warranty, but they cover things like full immersion in water, as well.

Update: As we expected, Apple has quietly fixed the issue, which means it was most likely an error.

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