• Your favorite

    Apple

    ,

    iPhone

    ,

    iPad

    ,

    iOS

    ,
    Jailbreak
    , and
    Cydia
    site.
  • Unlocking New Cellphones to Become Illegal in the U.S.


    According to a new federal policy in the United States that is effective starting Saturday, it will become 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 but not to legacy devices purchased prior to that date. As noted by Tech News Daily:

    In October 2012, the Librarian of Congress, who determines exemptions to a strict anti-hacking law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), decided that unlocking mobile phones would no longer be allowed. But the librarian provided a 90-day window during which people could still buy a phone and unlock it. That window closes on January 26.
    Unlocking devices allows users to take their phones to other carriers such as T-Mobile or two use SIM cards from international carriers while traveling abroad without needing to purchase expensive international roaming packages from their domestic carrier. Users will still be able to 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. The SIM card slots on the Verizon iPhone 5 came 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 recently outlined decision in the Federal Register, these policies were cited as reasons for not allowing an unlocking exemption to the DMCA for newly purchased devices:

    The Register concluded after a review of the statutory factors that an exemption to the prohibition on circumvention of mobile phone computer programs to permit users to unlock "legacy'' phones is both warranted and unlikely to harm the market for such programs. At the same time, in light of carriers' current unlocking policies and the ready availability of new unlocked phones in the marketplace, the record did not support an exemption for newly purchased phones. Looking to precedents in copyright law, the Register recommended that the class designated by the Librarian include a 90-day transitional period to allow unlocking by those who may acquire phones shortly after the new exemption goes into effect.
    Previously, carriers such as AT&T already forbid unauthorized unlocking in their customer contracts but the clarification of DMCA policy with respect to unlocked will now make the issue a criminal offense. Although iPhone unlocked services have enjoyed a fair amount of popularity in the past, it appears the services will be unable to legally unlock any new devices for their customers, leaving only a pool of eligible legacy devices remaining.

    Source: Federal Register, Tech News Daily via MacRumors
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Unlocking New Cellphones to Become Illegal in the U.S. started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 88 Comments
    1. skram's Avatar
      skram -
      Quote Originally Posted by iLoveWindows&iPhone View Post
      So all the unlocking services you can find on the Internet, eBay, etc...it will now be illegal for them to unlock your phone correct? So my question is how is this enforced?

      I imagine it will still be super easy to get your phone unlocked using these services, I would think they could avoid this "law" by operating out of another country...So will it be illegal for us to own a phone that we have had unlocked using one of these services (unlocked after the cutoff date)? Or is the actual act of unlocking illegal?

      Can say... tmobile tell if your phone is unlocked from another carrier such as AT&T? If so will they no longer be able to allow these devices on their network? This law sucks and is retarded...and I have no problem breaking laws that suck and/or are retarded, and cannot be enforced completely . I hope this is another law that cannot really be enforced at this point in time... So my last question is...Is it?
      You can still unlock, as stated in this article. The device has to be purchased on or before said date..Unlocking services will continue to operate, but unlocking is at their discretion. If you need your device unlocked, get it done at iUnlockr - The easiest way to unlock your iPhone for any carrier. Factory unlock your iPhone today. .
    1. buggsy2's Avatar
      buggsy2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by AUZambo View Post
      Those of you who are complaining and moaning about this should probably simmer down and think about it just a little bit. In America, if you buy an iPhone for a specific carrier (AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint), that carrier HEAVILY subsidizes the cost of the phone with the understanding that you will adhere to the 2 year contract.
      Yeah. So what? I'll pay their 2-year contract, but if I travel to say Europe, why shouldn't I be able to buy a SIM card from a local provider and use it in my unlocked phone? This is just more government overprotection of monied, corporate interests at our expense.

      Quote Originally Posted by AUZambo View Post
      True...but the fee for early termination of the contract is nothing compared to the money they lose in monthly service fees.
      So? They should raise the early termination fee then. Instead, an unelected bureaucrat decides to give a late Xmas present to corporate interests, at considerable cost to us.
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Even if we don't have all the info now....F*** them! We can unlock whenever we want to.
    1. mr117's Avatar
      mr117 -
      I unlocked my i4 on AT&T after my two years were up on my plan, at no cost. Complain all you want, but the reality is that if you buy a phone at the "cheaper" rate, it is a discounted price given to you by the carrier and requires you to "pay it off" over the timespan of your plan. Buying a phone and attempting to run it on another network to avoid paying that price is, in effect, cheating the carrier, which is selling the phone at a discount and then remaking the money with your monthly payments. It's easy (if pricey) now to buy an unlocked phone (which it certainly wasn't before). Now, I personally think all phones should be open to an unlock after you pay them off. Because, yes, it is our phone. But the carrier is selling it to you, and you agree to pay off the cost of the discounted phone price by carrying the phone plan for a set number of time. So, buy the unlocked phone and be happy. You get what you want and the cost is not being subsidized by the carrier. Or buy the phone locked and, at the end of the plan's life, have the carrier unlock it. It's a marketplace decision for you to make.
    1. Gamemaster77's Avatar
      Gamemaster77 -
      Quote Originally Posted by spazturtle View Post
      Read the websites of most phone companies, you don't own the phone you just indefinitely lease it.
      You do own it. The hardware is physically yours. That's why this whole thing is moot.
    1. bish0p34's Avatar
      bish0p34 -
      So what happens after your two year contract is fulfilled and the phone subsidy is paid for? Can you unlock it then?
    1. iPittsburgh's Avatar
      iPittsburgh -
      Quote Originally Posted by Carvensno View Post
      Typical f@#%ing government sticking there nose where it doesn't belong. Why should they give a damn, its our phone and can use it as we please!
      What he said
    1. HeliPilot's Avatar
      HeliPilot -
      @mwhite, the USA is a Republic not a Democracy.

      @Evaded, Obama also won the popular vote.

      @Bish0p 34, Yes the carrier will most likely unlock the device after the contract is up.

      Now, personally, I see a bunch of people crying because they can't legally screw over companies any more.
      It's simple, you want and unlocked phone, either pay your 2 year contract off or buy an non subsidized unlocked phone.
    1. DirkSwizzler's Avatar
      DirkSwizzler -
      Quote Originally Posted by HeliPilot View Post
      @Bish0p 34, Yes the carrier will most likely unlock the device after the contract is up.
      They're not required to do that. And everything I'm hearing about Sprint is that they simply won't do it. So if I'm already fed up with their craptacular speeds and want to switch, my shiny iPhone 4S is basically an iPod Touch when I stop using their service.

      It's mine, and the hardware supports GSM. But there's just a big "F.U." stop sign in the software even after I've paid my 2 years. That's absurd.
    1. mr117's Avatar
      mr117 -
      Usually I refrain from commenting on comments, but we have, in this thread, people whining about being unable to rip off businesses, about the War in Vietnam, about a clown for a president (I thought the LAST one was the clown), about the electoral college, about whether when you sign a contract saying that you "lease a phone" that you own it, and on and on.

      Really, this is about businesses in America charging a fee for a service. What's more American than that? The business of America IS business, after all. If you don't like it, vote for a Republican who will change the laws to make businesses more consumer-friendly. Oh, wait, that won't work.

      Yes, your phone is locked to pay for the subsidy. Do I like that? No, I don't. But I'd rather buy a cheap phone that's locked than an expensive one that is not. AT&T WILL unlock your phone at the end of your plan cycle. I can't speak for the other carriers.

      I also agree that, if you go overseas, it would be nice for your carrier to unlock your phone to save YOU money. But, oops, the carrier is in the business of MAKING money and, guess what, roaming charges make them lots of money. Hmmm, be nice or make money? If you were a stockholder in that company, you'd be screaming if your investment didn't make (more) money because the company was being nice. Totally the American way. Been that way for a long, long time. It's not like the current government changed anything.

      Oh, and to the poster who mentioned that we hire people to run our government, well, actually we have freely-run elections in which usually (pesky electoral college, which president got elected without a majority of the popular vote recently? Oh, yeah, that was little George) the majority of people choose (not hire) a president.

      Let's keep this about phones, ok people?
    1. DayumQuitPlayin's Avatar
      DayumQuitPlayin -
      The nerve of some of these commenters who sympathize with corporate greed.

      You speak as if these corporations have OUR best interests in hand. They nickel and dime us, especially with texting plans which cost virtually nothing for them to maintain. Look at our pricing/technology compared to other advanced nations. Here in America, corporations are after money and profit at the expense of us average Joes.

      This is a stupid law designed to keep us locked into paying inflated prices for services that are now necessary to have in this day in age. I hope that this law stirs up enough people to bring about a change to this new law.
    1. runey71's Avatar
      runey71 -
      So much for the land of the free LOL In Australia it's illegal for telcos to refuse to unlock your phone ( though they can charge a fee for doing so ). Seems like the USA government care more about big business than they do about the citizens of their country.
    1. xzero's Avatar
      xzero -
      Another great reason to switch to android. Unlocked my note 2 the day I got it. All you have to do is put into airplane mode and enter the phones system options and change carrier to unlocked. It took literally 30 seconds. Tested it on my friends T-Mobile and it worked perfectly!
    1. mr117's Avatar
      mr117 -
      Sympathize with corporate greed? No. Understand it? Yes. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (which means, if you read your history, to make money). Would I like it to be different? You bet. Is it going to get different? Not while we have the best Congress money can buy. You don't like how things are, quit voting for the clowns that keep things the way they are. (Hint- Congress.) If you don't like how a corporation treats you, here's a hint: don't buy its stuff. But to expect a change without working (voting is working) at is is worthless.
    1. Gamemaster77's Avatar
      Gamemaster77 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mr117 View Post
      Usually I refrain from commenting on comments, but we have, in this thread, people whining about being unable to rip off businesses, about the War in Vietnam, about a clown for a president (I thought the LAST one was the clown), about the electoral college, about whether when you sign a contract saying that you "lease a phone" that you own it, and on and on.

      Really, this is about businesses in America charging a fee for a service. What's more American than that? The business of America IS business, after all. If you don't like it, vote for a Republican who will change the laws to make businesses more consumer-friendly. Oh, wait, that won't work.

      Yes, your phone is locked to pay for the subsidy. Do I like that? No, I don't. But I'd rather buy a cheap phone that's locked than an expensive one that is not. AT&T WILL unlock your phone at the end of your plan cycle. I can't speak for the other carriers.

      I also agree that, if you go overseas, it would be nice for your carrier to unlock your phone to save YOU money. But, oops, the carrier is in the business of MAKING money and, guess what, roaming charges make them lots of money. Hmmm, be nice or make money? If you were a stockholder in that company, you'd be screaming if your investment didn't make (more) money because the company was being nice. Totally the American way. Been that way for a long, long time. It's not like the current government changed anything.

      Oh, and to the poster who mentioned that we hire people to run our government, well, actually we have freely-run elections in which usually (pesky electoral college, which president got elected without a majority of the popular vote recently? Oh, yeah, that was little George) the majority of people choose (not hire) a president.

      Let's keep this about phones, ok people?
      Ya but why should the government care? Oh wait, the companies give them money. But the governments not a business...Hmmmmmmmm
    1. twitchee3's Avatar
      twitchee3 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mr117 View Post
      also agree that, if you go overseas, it would be nice for your carrier to unlock your phone to save YOU money. But, oops, the carrier is in the business of MAKING money and, guess what, roaming charges make them lots of money. Hmmm, be nice or make money? If you were a stockholder in that company, you'd be screaming if your investment didn't make (more) money because the company was being nice. Totally the American way. Been that way for a long, long time. It's not like the current government changed anything.
      maybe a little off topic, but that sentiment perfectly nailed my perspective on why the business model is doomed to fail. isn't the point of a business to provide things people need while allowing the business owner to make a living? you know, a mutually beneficial system? well, it seems that once a corporation reaches a certain size, it becomes a profit hungry monster incapable of doing anything but putting profit above all else, eventually at the expense of the customer. when we have massive corporations whose 'business' is turning a profit selling the very resources millions of people need to survive, and that corporation is run by a few very wealthy people with nothing but profit on their mind... well, that's a very dangerous situation
    1. nokian93's Avatar
      nokian93 -
      Quote Originally Posted by xzero View Post
      Another great reason to switch to android. Unlocked my note 2 the day I got it. All you have to do is put into airplane mode and enter the phones system options and change carrier to unlocked. It took literally 30 seconds. Tested it on my friends T-Mobile and it worked perfectly!
      your dumb, you make it sound like it was that easy. with the updates that samsung is releasing, they are blocking this. be more specific instead of puking out what you read on xda. Android isnt better than iOs and vice versa. They both have their benefits and downfalls.

      Source: I have a note 2, galaxy s 3, iphone 5 and nexus 4.
    1. danman2_2999's Avatar
      danman2_2999 -
      First they took away large sodas... People said "mehh nobody needs that much soda." Then they want to take away our guns... people said "mehh nobody needs them." When the government starts deciding what we need and keeps us from having what we want, it's only a matter of time before they start taking away more and more rights. Nobody NEEDS a ferrari. Nobody NEEDS a cellphone. When are they going to take those from us? Oh they already are half way there with the cellphones..
    1. frissondj's Avatar
      frissondj -
      i hope this doesnt happen here in the UK
    1. b1997469's Avatar
      b1997469 -
      Quote Originally Posted by frissondj View Post
      i hope this doesnt happen here in the UK
      It wont. That's something that only happens in America.
      The rest of the world are able to unlock their phones.