U.S. carriers must unlock cellphones, starting today

By

Ericsson wants to stop Apple selling iPhones in the United States. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Some U.S. carriers have historically been more lenient about unlocking phones than others, but starting today they are all mandated to provide unlocking once a customer’s contract is up.

Legislation put in place by the Federal Communications Commission back in 2013 takes full effect today, and carriers must comply with new policies on unlocking.

President Obama makes smartphone unlocking legal again

By

eace5ea2357f62b92ddcfa70b041ca45_large

A new smartphone unlocking bill has made its way through the Senate and House of Representatives, and now it’s getting the seal approval from President Obama.

Today The White House announced that Obama will sign the “Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act” into law, which gives the right to unlock your phone after your contract is up and take it to another carrier.

Unlocking your iPhone is finally going to be legal in the U.S.

By

iphone_4S_sim

Today the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill that lets customers legally unlock their cell phones and switch carriers. The same bill was passed in the Senate last week, and now President Obama is expected to sign it into law.

The process of unlocking a phone to take it to another carrier in the U.S. has been a convoluted and questionably illegal one. The “Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act” is designed to make the process easier for those looking to take phones to a different service provider. But there’s an important caveat.

The Obama Administration Has Been Secretly Moving To Make iPhone Unlocking Illegal

By

The leaky apps debacle raises more questions about smartphone security.
The leaky apps debacle raises more questions about smartphone security.

It was only six months ago that the White House officially went on record saying that they thought cell phone unlocking should be legalized. The statement was issued in response to a 114,000+ signature petition, which rightfully argued that if you have paid off a device on-contract, it should belong to you, full-stop.

The Obama Administration said flat-out they agreed… which is why it’s distressing to find out that they may have been misleading us. In fact, while telling the American public that it supported laws to make cell phone unlocking legal, it appears that the Obama Administration has secretly been working against it.

U.S. Senators Introduce New Bill To Make Cellphone Unlocking Legal Again

By

post-219419-image-1eee2db53b929df42f14a65cd00e173a-jpg

A group of U.S. Senators have introduced a new bill that will allow cellphone owners to legally unlock their devices again after their contract has expired.

Called the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, and backed by Al Franken and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the bill would reverse a Library of Congress ruling from October 2012 that deemed cellphone unlocking illegal unless the process was performed by a carrier.

AT&T: We Will Unlock Your Phone Once Your Contract Is Up

By

post-219070-image-43bf97ab4050b9d8c2d6b54dcf767baa-jpg

There’s been a lot of noise lately surrounding smartphone unlocking. On October 28, 2012, the Library of Congress said it was going to be illegal to unlock your smartphone starting on January 26, 2013.

Since then, Obama has stepped in and said that’s totally not fair. And then a few legislators have brought up bills to make sure people can unlock their smartphones without facing criminal charges. Now AT&T says it wants to be perfectly clear that they don’t really want you to go to jail for unlocking your smartphone.

White House Says Cell Phone Unlocking Should Be Legalized

By

State_of_the_Union_Obama

Last month, a petition was created on the White House’s ‘We The People’ website that demanded the White House ask Congress to rescind its decision to make unlocking cellphones illegal.

After 114,000 signatures were collected on the petition, the White House invited experts on telecommunications, technology and copyright law to come over to the White House and talk about the issue.

The official White House response was issued today stating that the Obama Administration believes that consumers should be able to unlock their cellphones without risking criminal penalties.