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Bradley Mitchell

Unlocking Your Cellphone Can Be Illegal

By January 27, 2013

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Many people's cellphones are locked, meaning that their wireless (cellular) functions are restricted to work only on one cell provider's network. A new law took effect in the U.S. this weekend making unlocking illegal in some situations. Contrary to what some of the overly dramatic news headlines might say, cell phone unlocking remains perfectly legal in many situations. All you need to do is get the wireless provider's approval. That can usually be done without much effort when your service contract expires. Check the terms of your contract, too, as provisions are sometimes included allowing you to unlock (for a fee). And to avoid any legal worries, it's always a safe bet to simply purchased an unlocked phone.
More - A Right to Unlock Cellphones Fades Away (nytimes.com)
See also - How Do I Unlock My Cellphone?
Comments
January 29, 2013 at 1:53 pm
(1) rh.campbell says:

Locking cell phones is IMO unethical. Some shady alarm dealers do the same thing when installing alarm systems, making it impossible to go to another dealer without changing out the expensive motherboard.

It should be illegal to lock any apparatus that is fully owned by the customer. Once the cell contract is finished, AND THE CLIENT OWNS THE PHONE OUTRIGHT, the consumer should be able to bring it in to be unlocked FOR NO CHARGE (with the onus on the locking company to make it right). No company has the right to prevent lawful reuse of equipment owned by a consumer.

With all these big companies, it’s always money before ethics !!

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