G2 Comes with a Free ‘Rootkit’ – Designed to Prevent Users from Jailbreaking Device

It almost sounds like they’re begging potential customers to choose another, more flexible cell in lieu of the G2 …


According to the New American Foundation, the freshly-launched HTC G2 on T-Mobile comes with an interesting secret: an embedded system that prevents G2 owners from jailbreaking the device. According to the group, should a user try to customize their phone, an embedded rootkit (though the group appears to use this term loosely) jumps into action and will re-install the default Android version, and all of the carriers settings and restrictions. The Foundation isn’t particularly impressed:

Clearly, this is a major new initiative to control users rights to run their computers as they see fit. Instead, the new Google Android hardware rootkit acts just like a virus — overriding user’s preferences to change settings and software to conform to the desires of a third party. And just like a virus, this kind of behavior should be just as illegal. Users of the new Google Android G2 should be warned that their device has a rootkit that will overwrite their software modifications.

It’s a little amusing that an organization partially founded by Google executives is criticizing a Google mobile OS that has traditionally been praised as open. These kinds of restrictions help the device, OS and phone company retain control under the “threat” of an open wireless ecosystem.

Of course people are going to try (and likely succeed) to jailbreak the device anyway; this thread is full of people already hard at work trying to circumnavigate the protections.
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