Unauthorized Unlocking of New Mobile Phones Set to Become Illegal in U.S.

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot



    As noted by Tech News Daily, a new federal policy in the United States is set to go into effect this Saturday that will make it illegal for certain mobile phone owners to unlock their devices for use on other carriers unless specifically authorized by their carriers. The policy applies to newly purchased devices beginning on Saturday, but not to legacy devices purchased prior to that date.
    Unlocking devices allows users to take their phones to other carriers such as T-Mobile or to use SIM cards from international carriers while traveling abroad without needing to purchase expensive international roaming packages from their domestic carrier.

    Users can, of course, still purchase unlocked iPhones at unsubsidized prices, and, last April, AT&T began unlocking iPhones for customers whose contract terms were completed or who had paid early termination fees to end them early. The SIM card slots on the Verizon iPhone 5 are already unlocked, while Sprint announced that it would unlock the SIM card slot on its iPhones for international usage three months after purchase.

    In the decision outlined in the Federal Register, these policies were cited as reasons for not allowing an unlocking exemption to the DMCA for newly purchased devices.
    Carriers such as AT&T already forbid unauthorized unlocking in their customer contracts, but the clarification of DMCA policy with respect to unlocking will now make the issue a criminal one. iPhone unlocking services have enjoyed a fair amount of popularity, and while a substantial pool of eligible legacy devices will remain, it appears that these services will be unable to legally unlock any new devices for their customers.

    Article Link: Unauthorized Unlocking of New Mobile Phones Set to Become Illegal in U.S.
  2. macrumors 6502

    ************ !

    What.. the government is going to give me 10 years, The library of Congress can go to hell
  3. macrumors 68040


    Just what the competitive telco landscape needs in the USA

  4. macrumors 604


    And what's the penalty? Because the law only means anything if it's enforced and has consequences.
  5. macrumors 68020


    Well that sucks. Hear that folks? Don't unlock phones. Not that people won't do it anyways...
  6. macrumors 65816

    It'll be criminal to unlock a phone? Incredible.

    Customers are already paying back the subsidy through a term contract with the carrier, regardless of whether the phone is unlocked or not.

    Talk about anti-consumer.
  7. macrumors member

    A little backwards

    I think in the UK it is illegal for telco's to lock a mobile and not give you the ability to unlock it.
  8. macrumors regular

  9. macrumors 603


    Illegal? Who's going to arrest me?
  10. macrumors 604

    Jessica Lares

    Should make browsing eBay much easier then. :rolleyes:
  11. macrumors demi-god


    someone read him his rights
  12. macrumors 6502a

    You can unlock your device for $3-4 on eBay, and you don't need AT&T or other company to do it. It's 100% legit (probably inside job), and the best thing is that it works.
  13. macrumors demi-god


    Beautiful. :mad:
  14. macrumors regular


    It's why 2013 will be like 1984...
  15. macrumors newbie

    This is what a massive, extremely powerful federal government looks like - the power is taken from the people and given to the powerful.
  16. macrumors 6502a

    And if I go to another country and get it unlocked...?
  17. macrumors 65816

    Ha ha ha!!!

    This law will have as much "teeth" as the law that flashes up when you watch a DVD "Copying....FBI...blah blah blah".

    Though it IS nice to know the phone industry lobbyists still have jobs in a tough economy.;)
  18. macrumors 604


    No one. Just like no one's going to arrest a 13 yr old for watching porn.
  19. macrumors newbie


    Wow that sucks. Here in Chile every phone in the market must be unlocked by law and if a phone is locked, the carrier has to unlock it.
  20. macrumors 68040


    So if I unlock my phone and use it on another carrier, who's going to enforce this new law?
  21. macrumors 6502

    Only in the U.S...
  22. macrumors member

    Thankfully, I live in Canada.
  23. macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    They forgot to add "WITHIN THE TIMELINE OF THE CONTRACT" to the end of the law.

    I have no problem with this law existing while you're paying back your carrier. But it's beyond ridiculous that it exists beyond that time. I think carriers should be obligated to unlike your phone the instant the contract ends.

  24. macrumors 68000

    Why doesn't the government take away our first right. Almost every other freedom has been taken away as of today's date.
  25. macrumors 6502

    So let me understand this, as of Saturday we will no longer be able to "legally" unlock our iPhone's? So iTunes won't unlock them, and you won't be able to unlock your phone via At&t or any other cell provider?

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