My brother is worried that he may get in trouble if the people checking bags at security can see his jailbroken device when he enters the US.

Are there any documented cases or specific experiences with this where people got into trouble due to a jailbreak modification?

  • 5
    I guess there are thousand of people with jailbroken iPods/iPhones going through the gates there every day. And they'll never have enough jails for all of those persons, so he is safe. If you are really paranoid, but the Cydia app, and whatever jailbroken app you've got, in a single folder, called 'games' or something, together with some real games. No-one will notice
    – Mathias711
    May 24 '14 at 21:50
  • This question is problematic because the TSA / security matters for checking in for outbound flights from US. Customs and immigration is what screens international arrivals. What applies for one is very different traditionally than the other despite some common grounds. Also, this is rapidly changing in the US. What once was rare is becoming commonplace - demanding social passwords, detaining devices, imaging them, requiring fingerprints to unlock them.
    – bmike
    Mar 26 '17 at 14:18

From me, a US citizen, I wouldn't worry about it at all.

They shouldn't even touch his iPhone/iPod, let alone turn it on. Also, I can't imagine how he could get in trouble over something that is legal in the US (jailbreaking).

From my experience flying, electronics are just sent through an xray machine. Any search of electronics would make people upset on grounds of the 4th amendment.


I work for the TSA and no, we cannot see that the device is jailbroken, nor do we care that it is jailbroken...


In 10 years of flying with some form of smartphone, never once, in any country, including US, has any form of security paid any attention to any device I carried.

If you are concerned, my suggestion is to enable the lock code, lock your phone, and then forget about it. They can't open your phone to look for whatever evidence you think is there.


As bassplayer said, Jailbreaking is legal in the US (with the exception of the iPad, where the law is rather fuzzy). You should have nothing to worry about.


According to: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/IOS_jailbreaking

Jailbreaking is legal in USA, unlocking is NOT. But you have to check if it is illegal to jailbreak in the country you are going.


I've been through airports a few times, always with my iPhone which has always been jailbroken. Nothing's ever happened—it's just a phone and they consider it as such, never even turning the thing on.

These have been return flights from UK to Italy

Of course, paranoia can always mean you can hide Cydia or even disable Substrate to remove all tweaks so that the device looks fine, without having to remove the jailbreak.

  • Anybody from the USA? May 24 '14 at 22:16
  • Could he just put it into safe mode? May 24 '14 at 22:19
  • @Jeremy Yes, safe mode is fine, although it does put Exit Safe Mode in the status bar.
    – grg
    May 24 '14 at 22:46
  • Is it okay now he just his all the icons and got rid of his new theme. May 25 '14 at 0:17
  • The only thing that is shows he jailbroke his ipod is in the settings May 25 '14 at 0:18

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