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Saturday, January 26, 2013

United States Makes Unlocking Phones Illegal

See for yourself from the Daily Mail.

While rooting Android phones and jailbreaking iOS devices may be legal according to this court ruling, a new provision to the same law now makes it illegal for people to unlock their phones unless given consent by their carrier.

It has been, for many years, perfectly legal for individuals to buy a phone from any carrier and unlock them and move them to another carrier. Many people have done this with their Apple iPhones and moved them over to T-Mobile or other GSM SIM card carriers. This new law will now make it illegal for any of these people to continue doing this.

The punishment for doing such an action? The least that will happen, if prosecuted, will be a $2,500 fine. The most is $500,000 fine + time in prison. The $2,500 fine will incur on individuals who unlock phones in private for themselves while prison time and the higher fine will go to those who are doing it for profit in a business or to multiple individuals similar to how drug dealers/users are charged.

What will this mean for us? For us, as individuals, we will no longer be allowed to buy a phone from a carrier and unlock it and use it on another carrier unless the carrier allows. For businesses, they will no longer be able to unlock anyone's phone for any reason unless allowed by the carrier.

Many are complaining because these smartphones can cost, on average, around $400. Many people feel that it is unfair that they buy a phone and are not able to do as they please with the phone.

What do you think of the new law?

We at WIFLI are outraged over legislation like this. We have always been and always will be for the right of individuals to buy a product and use it in any way they please as long as it does not cause harm to another individual.


  1. The updated information is.....It is now legal to get our phones unlocked from third party unlocking services in U.S.Recently, I unlocked my mobile .I had to travel outside my country and I had to unlock it very quickly.My network provider prolonged the unlock process...and luckily the amendment of unlocking phone made legal saved my time.I used the service from and removed the network lock very easily.They unlocked my phone within few hours....

    1. Lency, if the laws have changed, why did you have to go outside of the United States to have your phone unlocked?

      Can you provide some sort of news link that shows that the laws have changed? I'd love to see a reverse to this!

  2. @ndh777,
    Hope this helps, News link...and I approached a third party unlocking service since my service provided kept prolonging the unlocking process and asked me to wait for a few more days...Since I needed to leave my country immediately I unlocked it from the website.


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