Cellphone unlocking might become illegal soon ?

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According to the new law, Unlocking Mobile phones purchased before January 26th 2013 is not illegal. Whereas mobile phon... (more)

magikpwincezz (Feb. 13, 2013 @ 4:55a) |

Bump - Just a few more days until the petition closes. Please sign and ask others to sign it.

bamx2 (Feb. 20, 2013 @ 5:40p) |

A White House petition to make unlocking cell phones legal again has passed 1 lakh signature . Passing the milestone mea... (more)

magikpwincezz (Feb. 26, 2013 @ 4:13a) |

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If you don't like the new law, Sign the petition to repeal the law.



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yes.

so would screwing your wife..what has this country come to,,even cell phones..

Thanks for this info-

I have a smartphone mobile contract in another country, they will let me unlock that phone to use in other countries no problem (they are more relaxed than the US is about these things), but I haven't gotten around to unlocking it, and they said that first I have to get a PAYG sim card with a US carrier, turn the phone off, insert the new sim, turn the phone on with that new sim in it, then go through the unlocking steps by entering the codes.

I don't know how the technology works in terms of this new US law -- I don't know if the US carrier I get a PAYG sim from will have ways to determine that my phone is still locked and under contract when I insert their new sim? Even if it's locked by a foreign cell phone network provider that has given me permission to unlock it - would that be acceptable under this new law? I can't really tell from reading the linked articles.

But anyway, I'll do this unlocking today (Friday) just to make sure I get it done before the deadline.

OP, I had not heard anything about this, really glad to know about this.

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What is our country coming to? Seriously. This is ridiculous.

I think the DMCA should be overturned. With that said.
The way I look at this is
Company A sells a device
The customer finds a way to modify the device to do something more useful to the customer
Now they want to step in and make this modification illegal
The government should be telling them to pound sand
i wonder how this will affect "factory unlock" services sold on eBay, I suspect they will still be ok, it will just be the untrasn0w type unlocks that will be banned

NantucketSunrise said:   Thanks for this info-

I have a smartphone mobile contract in another country, they will let me unlock that phone to use in other countries no problem (they are more relaxed than the US is about these things), but I haven't gotten around to unlocking it, and they said that first I have to get a PAYG sim card with a US carrier, turn the phone off, insert the new sim, turn the phone on with that new sim in it, then go through the unlocking steps by entering the codes.

I don't know how the technology works in terms of this new US law -- I don't know if the US carrier I get a PAYG sim from will have ways to determine that my phone is still locked and under contract when I insert their new sim? Even if it's locked by a foreign cell phone network provider that has given me permission to unlock it - would that be acceptable under this new law? I can't really tell from reading the linked articles.

But anyway, I'll do this unlocking today (Friday) just to make sure I get it done before the deadline.

OP, I had not heard anything about this, really glad to know about this.

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What is our country coming to? Seriously. This is ridiculous.

I am guessing if your carrier wants to unlock it, that will still be legal
When you insert the sim, the phone will detect that it is from a different carrier
it will not connect to that carrier at all, it will then ask you to enter an unlock code to allow it
to use that sim at all

there is million dollar business on eBay. I guess eBay will start to remove listing on unlocked code selling...buy it while it last...

Anti-consumer , anti-competitive

So the government of America is telling you that you cannot do what you want with what you have. Government by the people, of the people, for the people, really?

EPA now regulates water as a pollutant; they can't wait to regulate farting, either. America is dead, people, dead! How stupid this once great country has become. What a laughable piece of suicidal idiot this people has become.

linatom said:   So the government of America is telling you that you cannot do what you want with what you have. Government by the people, of the people, for the people, really?

EPA now regulates water as a pollutant; they can't wait to regulate farting, either. America is dead, people, dead! How stupid this once great country has become. What a laughable piece of suicidal idiot this people has become.


No, the lobbyists for the corporations are telling you what you can or cannot do with what you have. Me, I will buy an unlocked Nexus and plug in whatever no-contract sim card I want and not be tied down with a 2 year contract for overpriced cell phone service.

What I am thinking for Android phones is this...

DMCA is stepping in on the ground that the someone other than the consumer is unlocking the phone (modifying the software and thus violating copyrights)
However most android phones can be rooted and put a custom ROM on the phone. Which doesn't modiify it REPLACES!
This is usually an OPEN SOURCE version of android, thus not subject to the copyright
== OK to unlock?

Essentially its like buying a computer, removing the OS (like Windows) and putting a different Open Source OS that allows modifications.


The same could be said about flashing phones on verizon/Sprint as you are not modifying software all the time but replacing it rather.



These seem round about ways to get around the problem "legally" but the funnniest thing to me is that the normal method using unlock codes would be illegal, yet the method the flash a rooted rom (leading way to pirated software) and then unlocking would be legal.

Jailbreaking/Rooting/and Custom ROMs still remain LEGAL! Seems like DMCA is grasping at straws here.

Unlocking Iphones with Sim interposers like GEVEY et al would also not be modifying any software they just convert the sim id, so that should not violate copyright either (though still in a grey area probably) so Verizon/Sprint phones would be fine.


ATT Iphones and regular phones on GSM seem like the ones that are stuck if you cant get the orig carrier to unlock (PIA with ATT now if you are not the orig owner) Maybe this is meant to kill the second hand phone market since GSM carriers will/up until now at least unlock if you phone is out of contract and you bought the phone from them.

Do you guys think signing this petition will do anything here?

A lot of you seem confused. This has nothing to do with jailbreaking (which is covered by the DCMA) and the articles mention isn't at issue here.

It has to do with paying for a product (cellphone) on an installment plan (which is how most cellphones are purchased in the US). If you don't pay the full price up front, the owner (the service and equipment provider) can decide how you use the product until your contract is up. In Europe, where most phones are purchased outright, this isn't an issue. It's also not an issue in the US if you pay the full price of the product: at that point you own it and can use it with any service provider.

(Added: There is no requirement in law that a provider unlock your phone once the contract is up. Apple and AT&T took advantage of this to drive some upgrades as newer phone models became available. The FCC ruling basically said you were free to unlock your phone once you'd paid for it. Nowadays, Apple and AT&T have seen the error of their ways: they will unlock a phone once it's out of contract. So there's no reason for the FCC to issue a new ruling that would be moot. Unlocking a phone under contract is still, and was always, governed by the terms of your contract.)

To me ,it seems like the cellular equivalent of purchasing a car(on payments), and not being able to swap speakers out, or even add/change body parts (eg: rims, tires,tint windows, whatever you choose) essentially its removing a say in what you can do with YOUR product,that YOU purchased!!

z00medu said:   To me ,it seems like the cellular equivalent of purchasing a car(on payments), and not being able to swap speakers out, or even add/change body parts (eg: rims, tires,tint windows, whatever you choose) essentially its removing a say in what you can do with YOUR product,that YOU purchased!!

Since you haven't actually paid for the phone, going to a different service provider would deprive the owner of the income stream they'd been promised for the device, one they counted on to pay the manufacturer for the device. It's more akin to stopping payments on your car and announcing that it's yours since you've got all your stuff in it.

Of course you may want to have an unlocked phone to avoid onerous overseas roaming charges. I'm not going to fault you. (All my phones are unlocked, either purchased outright or unlocked by the provider/manufacturer after they were out of contract.) And the EU government stepped in and regulated roaming charges. The US government is less prone to regulation (that free-market, capitalist economy), so the service providers are free to make a buck off you. You have to decide do you want government regulation, or a free market. You can't have both.

I don't know how they do it in continental Europe, but in the United Kingdom, when you start a 2-year contract paying monthly with a new phone from a major mobile network provider, you can usually ask them to give you the unlocking code right away.

They don't make you wait for the contract period to be over or make you buy the phone outright first, before letting you unlock the phone.

They might ask for your reason, which might be that you need to take the phone to other countries and want to be able to use other sim cards in it.

I have done this several times with phones there. It was no big deal.

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To my mind, there is no logical reason that a mobile network should be prevented from offering this option to their customers in the US if they want to. It's their business decision, no one else's.

Jonnyrock: I am guessing if your carrier w]ants to unlock it, that will still be legal
When you insert the sim, the phone will detect that it is from a different carrier
it will not connect to that carrier at all, it will then ask you to enter an unlock code to allow it
to use that sim at all


Thank you for commenting on my situation - yes, that makes sense.

It's because the terrorists will switch their phones during a hostage crisis and we might have trouble tracking them

Unlike say a third world country with no cell phone regulation, doing so during terrorist attacks sarcasm*


There's a reason there's been a furor about Skype passing their calls through their servers now. States want access to that informatino and are banning it if these companies don't share and allow monitoring (hence why you saw it banned in some countries during the Arab and Iranian Springs)

Know your laws. It's just not the news anymore.


The irony is that great competetive, privately grown cities like Chicago and New York are dying to the defense contracting (former employee) and healtcare industries of the DMV. Many of whom have a vested interest in increasing 'security' procedures at airports, transportation hubs, and will fund such laws

Very sad for America, and even sadder for all the young grads like me who are under or unemployed with student loans. It's a tough tough market out there

olav said:   z00medu said:   To me ,it seems like the cellular equivalent of purchasing a car(on payments), and not being able to swap speakers out, or even add/change body parts (eg: rims, tires,tint windows, whatever you choose) essentially its removing a say in what you can do with YOUR product,that YOU purchased!!

Since you haven't actually paid for the phone, going to a different service provider would deprive the owner of the income stream they'd been promised for the device, one they counted on to pay the manufacturer for the device. It's more akin to stopping payments on your car and announcing that it's yours since you've got all your stuff in it.

Of course you may want to have an unlocked phone to avoid onerous overseas roaming charges. I'm not going to fault you. (All my phones are unlocked, either purchased outright or unlocked by the provider/manufacturer after they were out of contract.) And the EU government stepped in and regulated roaming charges. The US government is less prone to regulation (that free-market, capitalist economy), so the service providers are free to make a buck off you. You have to decide do you want government regulation, or a free market. You can't have both.
And if you don't pay your car note they can repo it. The ETF is the equivalent of a lien. If you pay the ETF they get their money. If you don't pay the ETF, they block the phone from activation. I see no reason the provider shouldn't provide the unlock, especially if you are in contract.

Many of our government senators, congressmen, are in bed with the corporation. It is why!

Just sign the petition. Don't know if it would help though.

linatom said:   So the government of America is telling you that you cannot do what you want with what you have. Government by the people, of the people, for the people, really?

This is still true, as long as you use the Supreme Court's decision that corporations are people.

Just don't buy any new cell phone until they change it back. We're the ones allowing them to do it. We have far more power when we stand together. Anyway, it will still happen. Just call your techie friend.

I meant the following in response to open source.... Goofy tablet.



You are totally right. They will try to control, but at least with open source around we have some freedom. Though it definitely gives perspective on where our governments concerns are at. They really have no business sticking their nose in here. I don't know if America is really heading down a dark dark path or if I'm just more aware of it. It seems like its getting pretty bad.

In case anyone is concerned about phones they currently own,

"The new policy only applies to new locked phones purchased after Saturday, meaning it will still be legal to unlock phones purchased before January 26 without permission."

from http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/25/tech/mobile/smartphone-unlocking-i...

Out of the articles I've read on this issue, this was the easiest to understand and the most informative.

it's illegal to unlock your phone since Jan 26 2013

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/now-illegal-unlock-cellphone/st...

Or, if you're really upset with the latest rule change, you can sign a "We the People" petition on the White House's website that calls for the Librarian of Congress to "rescind this decision, and failing that, champion a bill that makes unlocking permanently legal."

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/make-unlocking-cell-ph...

will it be enforced?

vickh said:   will it be enforced?

Probably not.

vickh said:   will it be enforced?
The fine is up to half a million dollars for a reseller, with possible prison time (see abc article).

Do you want to find out?

ctujackbauer said:   vickh said:   will it be enforced?
The fine is up to half a million dollars for a reseller, with possible prison time (see abc article).

Do you want to find out?


no.

How about an end user?

Up to a $2,500 fine.

It's a pretty absurd fine either way, and a very nanny state-ish law change.

Bump -Over 50K signatures on the petiton, keep it going . Also, let your congressman your opinion about this law.

fastness said:   it's illegal to unlock your phone since Jan 26 2013

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/now-illegal-unlock-cellphone/st...

Or, if you're really upset with the latest rule change, you can sign a "We the People" petition on the White House's website that calls for the Librarian of Congress to "rescind this decision, and failing that, champion a bill that makes unlocking permanently legal."

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/make-unlocking-cell-ph...

According to the new law, Unlocking Mobile phones purchased before January 26th 2013 is not illegal. Whereas mobile phones purchased after that alone is illegal. To re-legalize unlocking phones people can sign in the online petition from https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/make-unlocking-cell-ph... . The petition closes on 23/02/2012
Those who have purchased mobile phones before 26/01/2013 can definitely unlock your mobile phones. you can ulock using codes from third party vendors. For example, You can get accurate unlock codes from Onlinegsmunlock.com

Bump - Just a few more days until the petition closes. Please sign and ask others to sign it.

magikpwincezz said:   According to the new law, Unlocking Mobile phones purchased before January 26th 2013 is not illegal. Whereas mobile phones purchased after that alone is illegal. To re-legalize unlocking phones people can sign in the online petition from https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/make-unlocking-cell-ph... . The petition closes on 23/02/2012
Those who have purchased mobile phones before 26/01/2013 can definitely unlock your mobile phones. you can ulock using codes from third party vendors. For example, You can get accurate unlock codes from Onlinegsmunlock.com

A White House petition to make unlocking cell phones legal again has passed 1 lakh signature . Passing the milestone means the U.S. government has to issue an official response.



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