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Apple removes jalibreak-snooping API from iOS4

Apple has quietly removed the ability to detect and disable jailbroken devices from its mobile operating system.

The sneaky back door kill switch was first discovered in version 4.0 of the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch operating system and caused a storm when it transpired that the API was theoretically capable of remotely bricking a device which had been nefariously fiddled into doing things Apple didn't want you to do - like installing the software you choose to install rather than that which Steve Jobs had approved.

Apple tried to hide the unpleasant nature of the function by suggesting that it would only be used if the gadget fell into the hands of an 'unauthorised user' by which it probably meant anyone who had attempted to jailbreak one of the Cupertino company's precious devices.

A recent ruling by the US Copyright Office declared that, contrary to Apple's position on the matter, jailbreaking an iDevice is perfectly legal.

Apple hasn't made a statement on the removal of the offending code according to Ars Technica but, then again, it kept pretty quiet about it when it added it in the first place.

One rumour has it that the jailbreakers had found a way to hide the hack from the API which made it redundant anyway.