I registered the domain hackmyandroid.com back in April 2012 when I was not aware that my hosting provider HostGator would deny me an account for this site. HostGator’s TOS say that they do not host sites which publish Hacker focused content/archives/programs and hence they decided not to host hackmyandroid.com on their servers. A HostGator representative underlined the words “MY ANDROID” which seemed to scare the shit out of him unlike his colleague who loved reading this blog as she had rooted two of her Android devices previously. Though I was able to convince them with my statements, there is a large population which still gets scared when they see the word “hack”. Obviously the reason behind this is their little knowledge about Android hacking. I do not blame them but it is all about discovering new things related to Android that leads to Android hacking also known as rooting the device and later modifying its system. With this post, I would like to throw light on the legality of Android rooting/hacking.
Update: Google disabled their Ads on this site because they do not display advertisements on hacking sites. After we sent them a long email explaining to them what we published, ads were re-enabled. No Google, we don’t expect this from your employees.
Here’s what Wikipedia says about a hacker:
- Hacker (hobbyist), who makes innovative customizations or combinations of retail electronic and computer equipment
- Hacker (programmer subculture), who combines excellence, playfulness, cleverness and exploration in performed activities.
The other meaning is what most people know – to circumvent a computer’s security system illegally.
The word “root” comes from Linux which lets you gain the highest level of access you can have over an operating system. So when you root an Android device you basically gain the highest level of access and the root directory is where you can see all of the files used in building up your device’s firmware. Modifying them can be risky as well as exciting. Read more about rooting.
The Legality of Hacking/Rooting Your Android Device
We always mention a disclaimer when we publish such hacking tutorials where we inform you that your device’s warranty will be void once you root your device. You can obviously get it back by reversing the process – unrooting. But if you go to a service center with an unsuccessful rooting attempted that soft bricked your device, they have full rights to charge you for fixing it because you breached the contract you signed. If not a contract, you signed some sort of agreement which does not let you hack/root the system on your phone.
Yet another reason for this is that you may easily cheat your phone’s carrier. For instance, you may bypass the data cap limit they impose on your plan without them noticing. Some carriers also do not allow tethering but you can still do it without letting them know just by rooting your device. In such cases, they may even boot you off their network completely.
You may not breach the contract you signed by rooting your device, you may do it to install custom ROMs or modify the Android system which is not against their terms of services but they might still charge you for fixing your phone because there is a possibility that you might have gone against their TOS.
So now you may trust us – we do not publish anything that is illegal. The files you download to root your device do not send any of your personal data to us. We also do not collect your personal data via this site except your email which is used when you comment on our posts. However, we do not create mailing lists and send it to advertisers either.
Hacking is Your Decision Not Ours
We do not ask you to root your devices, unlock their bootloaders or install custom ROMs, it’s your decision. You are responsible for anything wrong that goes while you follow our tutorials. We do not want your devices to get bricked as we gain nothing out of it. We publish only those tutorials which have been tested and proved working. Most of the tutorials are not made by us. The generous folks at XDA Developer Forums release most of the hacks and we only help you do it with all downloads in one place and anything else that the developer might not have mentioned in his posts at the forums.
Since I myself have rooted and installed custom ROMs on quite a lot of devices (including those which my friends possess ;)) I may help you to some extent if time permits. Most of the comments receive replies but we do not guarantee replies on hacking tutorials either. With numerous comments pouring in daily, we may not be able to reply to all of your comments. This doesn’t mean you’ll have to criticize us for a bricked phone because
It’s your decision