As of January 26th, it is now illegal for you to unlock your smartphone if you want to use it on another network. Carrier unlocking has been legal in the U.S. for years, but in October the Library of Congress ruled that unauthorized unlocking is a crime.
The Obama Administration has already voiced its opinion that citizens should be allowed to unlock their smartphones without risking criminal penalties, and a senator from Oregon just introduced a bill that would making unlocking legal again.
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) announced on Twitter Tuesday that he has created the Wireless Device Independence Act to ensure citizens can unlock their devices.
You bought it, you should be able to use it. My Wireless Device Independence Act ensures you can unlock your device.
– Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) March 5, 2013
Wyden’s bill would attempt to amend Section 1201(a)(1)(B) of title 17 of the United States Code which deals with the circumvention of copyright protection systems.
The Obama Administration said that it would support a range of approaches to address the issue, including legislative fixes. A few other U.S. lawmakers are trying to rush bills out as well. Rep. Anna Eshoo from California plans to introduce her own bill in the House of Representatives soon, too.