Bloggers, whistleblowers, and our founding fathers all made use of anonymity in order to freely speak unpopular or dangerous information.
While anonymity is arguably as American as apple pie, that hasn't stopped Apple Corp. from continuing its war against all things anonymous.
In 2004, AppleInsider, a Mac rumor blog, published (presumably leaked) information about a forthcoming Apple product. The company went to court in order to try and force the blog to reveal their anonymous sources. AppleInsider turned to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who successfully convinced the court to apply California's journalist shield law to bloggers. The court eventually forced Apple to pay the EFF a cool $700,000 in legal fees.
Apple still hates anonymity
Even after that rather expensive lesson, it seems that Apple still has no love for those who seek anonymity.
In a recent filing with the copyright office, Apple has argued that consumers who wish to jailbreak their mobile phones and change the device's unique serial number must be drug dealers or other criminals.
[E]ach iPhone contains a unique Exclusive Chip Identification (ECID) number that identifies the phone to the cell tower. With access to the BBP via jailbreaking, hackers may be able to change the ECID, which in turn can enable phone calls to be made anonymously (this would be desirable to drug dealers, for example) or charges for the calls to be avoided.Remember that the only way a US consumer can legitimately use an iPhone (at least in Apple's eyes) is to sign up for service with AT&T: A company that willingly (and illegally) violated the privacy of millions of Americans by allowing the US National Security Agency to spy on their calls, text messages, emails and web browsing activity.
To therefore argue that drug dealers are the main beneficiaries of iPhone anonymity is a pretty disgraceful lie. David Hayes, Apple's bigshot IP lawyer at Fenwick and West who wrote this letter should be ashamed of himself.