Unlocking Mobile Phones to Become Illegal in the US Tomorrow!

Here is news that no mobile phone owner will want to hear. From tomorrow (Jan 26) unlocking your phone will become illegal thanks to the Library of Congress’s DMCA and could actually result in jail time! In fact, this shiny new restriction extends to tablets as well where they can use SIM cards. There has been next to no press coverage that this was coming either, which is strange for something big like this, because digital liberty groups like the EFF normally shout loud about it in order to help promote a pushback. It seems like their efforts didn’t pay off in this case, however.

Anti-DMCA poster

The law was no doubt changed at the behest of the large mobile carriers in order to squeeze every last penny out of their subscribers, while restricting the value those subscribers get from their services, since they’re stuck with the service provider that they bought their phone from. There is one way to unlock it though, as explained in the quote below. Finally, unlocking is not the same as jailbreaking, which recently became legal, much to the chagrin of Apple’s late CEO, Steve Jobs, who fought tooth and nail against it, but thankfully lost. Picture credit: Shepard Fairey.

All is not lost though, there are still ways to unlock your phone without breaking the law. For example, if you are the owner of a copy of software that runs on a particular phone, then by all means it is ok to unlock your phone. If this is not the case, be damned and forever wonder which direction your right as a consumer has gone to.


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