Jailbreaking Your Phone Could Land You In Jail

There’s a crazy new law you need to be more aware of: you are no longer allowed to unlock your phone…or you could go to jail.



If your favorite smartphone that you want to buy is not available with the carrier of your choice, it’s best to either wait for that phone to either land with your carrier or for you to make that switch.  But jailbreaking that phone to make it work may be a thing of the past.

According to the new revised DMCA rules, jailbreaking the device would be illegal for people without consent of their service provider.

It does seem rather absurd; I can’t imagine calling up my cell phone carrier and saying, “So, I totally want to dump you and switch to another carrier; can you please unlock my phone?” They have no obligation to actually do so, of course. And I don’t think they will. Who would allow their customers to leave in that way?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was reviewed and passed an exemption that was approved by Congress in October of last year, and had a 90 day transitional period which was offered as a grace period for those phone owners who wanted to get their phones unlocked at the last minute. Sadly, this time span has expired yesterday, January 26th.

Now jailbreaking a phone using a third party solution, even if phone wasn’t in a contract will be termed illegal for residents of the United States.   However, tourists visiting the country will not come under this rule.

If you were to buy a second hand device from say eBay, this rule will also not apply to you.  The rule only applies to new phone purchases.

So although the rule is in effect to make jailbreaking illegal, there seems to be one major flaw and work around of the system, because a person would have to do is sell their  new phone they just bought to any other person, get it unlocked without consent by the service provider and then use it as you wish.

Wheteher you’re thinking about jailbreaking your phone or not, you might want to think twice before unlocking your phone. That would be a crappy thing to go to jail for.