RUSH: Here’s Ron in Pensacola, Florida. I’m glad you waited, sir. Great to have you on the program.
CALLER: Dittos from the back of the class since about ’92 or ’93, Rush.
RUSH: Well, it’s great to have you here in the front row today.
CALLER: I remember when you used to have to bang the printer to get it to work.
RUSH: I still do. I just do that in private now.
CALLER: Rush, with iOS 7 and the Apple event next week, I was thinking. I don’t recall you talking about jailbreaking Apple devices before. Are you for it or against it? Most people are pretty passionate about it.
RUSH: Well, it’s not… There are not a whole lot of people that do it in terms of the universe of owners. Most people wouldn’t know the first thing to do to jailbreak their phone and be afraid of breaking it if they did. I have been tempted to do it a few times, but only to give myself a little bit more control over the system functions, not for apps. But I’ve not done it. I’ve always decided not to do it, because Apple knows.
They know who has jailbroken phones. They could break your phone if they want to. You blow your warranty out sky-high if you do it, and I’m not that kind of power user. The interesting thing about what’s coming next week, iOS 7, is that there aren’t going to be what I felt were reasons to jailbreak the phone anymore. Once people get a load… Two things are gonna happen with this. A lot of users are gonna be totally confused by the new look.
The function remains the same in large part, but it looks all different. Things are in different places and operate a little bit differently. It is a humongous technological advancement. It is beautiful. It’s layered. It’s state-of-the-art. It’s light years ahead of iOS 6. But people have gotten comfortable with iOS 6 and 5 and 4. They’ve gotten used to it, and this is gonna be a tremendous — I don’t want to say shock, but it’s like you get accustomed to anything in then there’s a big change like this.
But most of the jailbreak items that people really liked have been incorporated here one way or another. I’m not gonna say that the jailbreak items have been stolen. That’s not what I mean. But with the system expandability that jailbreaking gave you, those kinds of things like multitasking and the Control Center and all kinds of streamlined workflow advances are in iOS 7, I don’t think there’s gonna be as big a need to jailbreak.
The people who are gonna continue to do it are just the nerd geeks that love doing that kind of stuff. And, God bless. I mean, let me tell you. There’s a new app. I don’t know how into this you are, but if you ever wished that you could get a video from your iPhone to your computer without having to e-mail it, without having to go to all kinds of things, there’s an app that has just been put on sale in the App Store called Desk Connect, and it was created by an early jailbreaker, a kid that’s 17 years old.
I believe he has invented this app, and it does more than ever. There’s a new Apple app in iOS 7 called AirDrop, but it only works between iOS devices, iPhones and iPads and iPad touches. This enables you to transfer whatever. It’s not just the vide but pictures, documents, you name it, any kind of file. This guy was a jailbreaker, and he’s a hacker, but he loves iOS. He was not doing any of it to corrupt Apple. He just wanted to learn it. It was mind expansion for him. I was reading a long story about this.
His last name is Weinstein, and he’s now written this app. So the jailbreak community, it’s got its positives. It’s not something that I have done. I’ve not wanted to, quote/unquote “break” it. You’re breaking your phone when you do it, and has nothing to do with cell phone service, folks, if you’re wondering.
You know, it’s you have your phone on AT&T and you want to use it on something else? That’s not what this is. This just takes out the walls that Apple has put into the operating system. It breaks ’em down and you can do with it whatever you want or whatever you can buy on their store, the jailbreak store, which is called Cydia. I just have never really wanted to get into it that much. I’m a user.
CALLER: Well, privacy is one of the issues that concerns me so there’s an app on Cydia that you can get that I won’t name but it prevents any program from sending your contacts or accessing the Internet or turning on the camera unless you give it permission to do that.
RUSH: Uh… Well, now, I don’t know what the name of the app is. It wouldn’t be hard to find it. But you’re talking about privacy encryption?
CALLER: No. I’m talking about accessing certain parts of the iOS. So when you start up almost any program — I’ve seen this written up in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times — there are a lot of apps that download your contacts or your individual ID number. They want to track what you do. It’s sort of like a cookie to a operating system, but they get your information, and this program that has the word “privacy” in it, it protects that from happening.
RUSH: Well, I will just tell you that… I don’t know how much I can talk about this ’cause there’s an NDA associated with it, but I think Apple has written this up on their website. There is now a… Let me put it this way. You have that ability in three different areas here to shut your phone down so it doesn’t share data with sponsors, potential sponsors. Apple Maps, this kind of thing. I don’t know if it’s this comprehensive, this app that you’re talking about.
Those things, I don’t really worry about. I’m not obsessed with that. I’ve got enough control turning off things, so I just say… Well, let me just leave it at that. I don’t want to give away too much here because I’m a public figure and a target, but those concerns are not that great. I’ve dealt with them in other ways. I wouldn’t have to jailbreak, in other words, to be able to protect myself. I’ve done other things that we powerful, influential members of the media must do that are outside above and beyond any single device.
But I appreciate where you’re coming from. A lot of people are obsessed with thinking they’re being tracked, everything they do, as if there’s somebody watching them, keeping track, getting ready to exploit their information somehow. And it is amazing how much can be tracked and done, but I don’t… It’s like the NSA doesn’t actually have somebody monitoring your keyboard as you input data and tracking it.
It’s not that, despite what Snowden says. It’s too massive. There’s too much data. It just like our sponsor, iDrive.com. Look at all the data they handle. They’re the premier backup service for computer hard drives and iPhones, iPads, you name it. People ask me, “Well, what if…? You know, the data’s all on their servers. What if they want to go get my data and look at my data?” They couldn’t find it.
They encrypt it anyway, and much of what is on your phone anyway is encrypted, but it’s too massive. They couldn’t go get it. The amount of data would boggle your mind. Same thing with the NSA. I think I’ve read — and I’d have to get this confirmed by literal intel experts, if they would. But I’ve read that of all the, say, e-mail data that the NSA collects — and this is still a large, but the odds are it doesn’t include yours. It’s that 5% of it is actually tracked, and they do target specific people based on criminal activity.
Now, we did learn, ’cause these things are possible, that certain NSA employees were targeting ex-lovers to find out if they were dating other people yet. Spying on their exes. The ability clearly exists; I’m not trying to diminish it. But, look, I have to be very careful how I say this. I don’t want anybody to be insulted. But for the vast majority of us, nobody cares what we’re doing, and with who.
For the vast majority of us. There are 300-some million people in this country. The vast majority, nobody cares, and it’s a genie that you’re not gonna be able to put back in the bottle. I think the app he’s talking about on Cydia, which is the jailbreak App Store, it’s called iProtect. Just a wild guess. Think that’s what he’s talking about. If you in the audience are wondering. We’re a full service show here.
RUSH: Okay, the NSA, National Security Agency, has the capacity to collect 75% of US e-mail, and they are probably actually collecting less than one-tenth of 1%, or 1% of 1%. It’s a very small amount that they are collecting. And, yeah, they can store it, they can keep it. But, folks, this isn’t anything new. How long’s the NSA been around? The NSA has been monitoring things for as long as they have been around. That’s what their purpose is. It’s part and parcel of technological advancement.
Go out and read some of these old guys like Alexis de Tocqueville. He warned of all the various disruptions to the way this country was founded; the things that could make government grow; the things that can make government become more powerful and more desirous of becoming more powerful, and one of the things that makes this possible is technological advancement. It’s not just consumers who benefit from it.
Anyway, I know it troubles a lot of people. I don’t really worry about it. I can’t tell you why. I don’t worry about a whole lot. I don’t let very much offend me. I don’t worry about this. Something happens, it happens, but —
What? Well, no, I’m not talking about the IRS. That’s a different thing. I was speaking specifically about wanting to take steps to make sure what I’m doing on my phone stays in my phone. The IRS, that’s not technological. That is strict statism. That is nothing more than a political agenda being used at the IRS against the enemies of a particular political party. That’s not what the NSA is doing. The possibility for it exists, of course. But, no, no, the IRS scandal outrages me, like it does everybody. Big government no matter what it’s doing bothers me.
But when I say I don’t worry, I just don’t sit around and fret over it. I don’t let it ruin my day. And I don’t start concocting conspiracy theories. I have this phrase, “it is what it is.” And remember, I’m the mayor of Realville. And there aren’t too many people that live there. That’s why I’ve been elected mayor. It doesn’t take too many votes. Mine and a few others.