President Obama signs bill making it legal to unlock your phone again

By Cody Lee on Aug 1, 2014

The White House announced this morning that President Obama will be signing the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act today. The bill restores the copyright exemption that allows customers to unlock their phones, regardless of carrier restrictions.

The bill was first unanimously passed by the Senate a couple of weeks ago, and then agreed upon by the House of Representatives earlier this week. And with the President signing it into law today, it has become once again legal for users (and vendors) to unlock their phones… Read More

 

Congress passes bill making phone unlocking legal

By Timothy Reavis on Jul 25, 2014

Earlier this year, a DMCA exemption expired, which made unlocking your iPhone not only illegal, but also punishable by a $500,000 fine, five years in jail, or both.

Today, Congress passed a bill that makes unlocking your phone without permission from your carrier legal. The bill was first unanimously passed by the Senate a couple of weeks ago, and the policy was unanimously passed by the House of Representatives this afternoon. The last step is for President Obama to sign the bill, which will officially turn it into a law. Read More

 

Senate passes cellphone unlocking bill

By Cody Lee on Jul 16, 2014

The Senate has passed a bill legalizing cellphone unlocking this week. The unanimous decision to pass the legislation, which was penned by Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, came last night, and it will now move to the House and onto President Obama.

The bill reinstates a 2010 ruling by the Librarian of Congress so that consumers can ‘unlock’ their cell phones without worrying about copyright laws. It also directs Congress to consider whether other wireless devices, such as tablets, should be eligible for unlocking… Read More

 

All Sprint devices released after February 11, 2015 to be unlockable

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 23, 2014

As much as carriers would want to keep devices locked to their network to make switching service impossible, this is fortunately just a pipe dream. Last December, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was able to successfully pressure major U.S. wireless companies to agree to unlock their devices for use on other domestic networks.

The US House in February passed a device unlocking bill and now the nation’s third-largest wireless operator Sprint has responded by announcing it will make all of its devices released after February 11, 2015 unlockable for use on competitors’ wireless networks without repercussions… Read More

 

US House passes bill that makes unlocking your phone legal

By Cody Lee on Feb 26, 2014

Reuters is reporting that the US House has passed a bill that would allow mobile phone users to unlock their devices and use them on competitors’ wireless networks without repercussions, making the once ‘gray-area’ practice completely legal.

Before you get too excited, however, there are a few big asterisks. First, for the bill to be written into law it must also be approved by the Senate, which could take years or never happen. And two, the bill contains an exclusion for ‘bulk unlocking.’ Read More

 

PassTime lets you customize the passcode requirement duration (and it’s really awesome)

By Sébastien Page on Jan 31, 2014

If you’ve been listening to either Let’s Talk Jailbreak or Let’s Talk iOS, you’ve probably heard Cody and I rant about the fact that you can’t use Touch ID for iTunes purchases without either using Touch ID or a passcode to unlock your device.

Since I first got my iPhone 5s, this has been a big annoyance. I do like the simplicity and security that Touch ID brings to my purchases on iTunes or in the App Store, but I do not want to use Touch ID or even a passcode to unlock my device. As it turns out, Apple won’t let you do one without the other.

Enters PassTime, a new jailbreak tweak by Julian Weiss that lets you set custom passcode or Touch ID unlock requirement durations, effectively solving my biggest Touch ID pet peeve… Read More

 

FCC and carriers finally agree on cell phone unlocking

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 12, 2013

Threatening regulatory action, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was able to drive U.S. wireless carriers into a corner concerning their stance on cell phone unlocking. As much as carriers would want to lock phones to their network to make switching service that much harder, the FCC and major U.S. wireless companies have reached an agreement which will make it easier for people to unlock their devices and switch from one carrier to another.

The wireless association called CTIA, which represents U.S. carriers like AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and U.S. Cellular, released a statement on Thursday confirming that all named carriers have agreed to the new cell phone unlocking principles put forth by the government… Read More

 

Leaked document shows White House in favor of banning unlocking, jailbreaking

By Cody Lee on Nov 19, 2013

The last we heard, things were looking good in the fight to reform out-of-date policies on device unlocking here in the US. Last week, the FCC chairman sent a letter to the CTIA saying he’d like to see changes made before the holidays. But don’t get your hopes up just yet.

According to information recently leaked by WikiLeaks, the White House—despite publicly supporting unlocking—has been secretly negotiating a treaty with other countries and special interest lobbyists that would make this and other processes illegal by international law… Read More

 

FCC Chairman urges CTIA to amend Consumer Code on unlocking

By Cody Lee on Nov 15, 2013

There’s been a lot of talk in recent months about the consumer’s right to unlock their mobile devices, but very little meaningful action. That changed this week, though, thanks to new FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

Wheeler sent out a letter to the CTIA (the governing body of the wireless industry) urging it to amend its Consumer Code to include a policy ensuring consumer rights to get their devices unlocked once off contract… Read More

 

The Verizon iPhone 5s comes unlocked just like the Verizon iPhone 5

By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 27, 2013

It looks like we’re 2 for 2 when it comes to unlocked iPhones on Verizon’s network. As you all know, I picked up my Verizon iPhone 5s on launch day, but I haven’t been able to test it out with a GSM sim card until today.

I walked into Walgreens just a few hours ago, and picked up one of T-Mobile’s No Annual Contract kits that contains the SIM card starter kit. Unfortunately the SIM card that came with the kit was one of the old-school normal sized SIM cards (people still use those?), so I had to break out a pair of scissors and cut it down.

After a few minutes of manicuring the SIM card down to a nano size, I was ready to rock and roll. I popped out my Verizon SIM, inserted my T-Mobile SIM, and sure enough, I was on T-Mobile’s “4G” network. Read More