As of today, consumers can no longer unlock a cell phone at their whim. According to Michael Gowan’s article in TechNewsDaily, the Librarian of Congress has closed the window allowing consumers to unlock their mobile phones for use on other networks. However, if the carrier approves of the unlocking of the phone, then it is legal.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the wireless tech-talk, unlocking a phone means that the phone is opened from the restrictions and allows to the consumer to use the phone on another carrier with the same wireless standard. This has become common practice for a lot of consumers. They want a specific phone, but they don’t want to purchase a plan from the carrier that made the phone, or they want to switch carriers, but they want to keep their phone.
How are they going to enforce this, though? There are billions of cell phones out there. Possibly the carrier won’t be allowed to activate an unlocked phone? But then, how are they going to know in every case?
Not everyone will have this issue, though. VZW’s iPhone 5 comes unlocked already and AT&T will unlock their phones once the customer is out of contract.
Just another way the government is regulating everything we do…and with things that we purchase.
What are your thoughts? Should the government have a say in whether or not we can unlock the phones we purchase?