Unlocking Cellphones In The U.S. To Become Illegal From Jan. 26

By Vamien McKalin email: v.mckalin@mobilenapps.com | Jan 25, 2013 02:31 PM EST

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Guess what? If you are a citizen of the U.S. who loves to unlock mobile phones, then you're in for a bit of bad luck. Starting next week, unlocking phones in the U.S will be illegal, which means doing this could send you to prison.

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Beginning Jan. 26, folks in the U.S. will be barred from unlocking their mobile phone, so says the Library of Congress and the anti-hacking law known as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The new law doesn't only stop users from unlocking mobile phones, but tablets as well.

It's hard not to admit how much of a strange move this is. Why would unlocking a mobile phone and tablet be unlawful in the U.S. in 2013? It is safe to say the DMCA didn't make this move by itself - cellphone carriers played a huge role in setting this law into motion.

Unlocking a mobile phone allows the device to be used on more than one carrier, this is great for users who travel a lot internationally and would just rather have a single phone to take everywhere. This law makes doing that more complicated.

All is not lost though, there are still ways to unlock your phone without breaking the law. For example, if you are the owner of a copy of software that runs on a particular phone, then by all means it is ok to unlock your phone. If this is not the case, be damned and forever wonder which direction your right as a consumer has gone to.

Something you should note - unlocking is not the same as jailbreaking, so don't worry iPhone fans, you can continue to jailbreak for as long as possible, until the law finds a way to stop you in your tracks.

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