Google Now Policing Rooted (Android) DevicesIn Blog
One of the big draws attracting millions to the Android platform is the air of openness that Google has baked into the OS. Millions of Android device owners have rooted their devices, the first step to customization beyond mere widgets and apps for personalization of the UI. While rooting an Android device is required to install custom ROMs, most owners do it for other reasons, specifically enabling the Wi-Fi tethering built into the Android platform by Google. I’ve warned you that the tethering police, aka wireless carriers, are coming and looking for you. Now we find the more disturbing news that Google is looking for rooters and denying them full use of rooted Android devices. I fear that content providers are going to push Google into full-blown DRM hysteria aimed at rooted Android devices.
Google recently added movie rentals to the Android Market, which was quickly followed by the proof that it was denying the service to rooted devices. The reasoning behind the bizarre move was that rooted devices make it possible to do things that might bypass the content DRM, so all rooted devices get an error message when attempting to rent a movie from Google. It’s disturbing enough that content providers are able to push the DRM agenda down to the handset level, and especially so that Google itself has fallen victim to the fear.