‘Unlocking’ Your Cell Phone Is Illegal as of Today
A strange new law went into effect at 12:01 this morning that makes it illegal for you to unlock your phone to access other networks. To 'unlock' means to remove the security feature that prevents your phone from being used on other networks and different advocacy groups are calling the new law into question. I wasn't even aware of this feature on my phone, but I am wondering what happens when I'm traveling and my carrier, Verizon, is not available?
The ability to unlock has apparently been a very important option for people traveling internationally, but what about just traveling in the Tri-State area?
Most of the big carriers like Verizon and AT&T are available almost everywhere in the country so, I'm guessing it's not going to be a huge problem. However, does this mean you will no longer be able to roam if need be?
This new law is an exemption to the strict anti-hacking law known as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or DCMA. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has called the law into question and claims this is not what the DCMA was set up to do...we'll see.
I am looking at my phone right now and cannot find any setting that allows unlocking of any kind. Am I just cell phone challenged or is this setting impossible to find. Anyway, don't try and unlock your phone as of today or you will find yourself in some deep doo-doo!
By the way, Apple sells an unlocked iPhone 5 for around $650 and Google sells an unlocked Nexus 4 for about $300....who knew?