Unlock

New bill introduced that legalizes cellphone unlocking and more

Back in January, the mobile homebrew community suffered a major blow when several DMCA exemptions expired. Among them was a rule that made unlocking cellphones legal, effectively making the practice illegal here in the United States.

But it may not be that way for long. A new bill just landed in the House of Representatives called The Unlocking Technology Act of 2013, which, among other things, would make the process of unlocking your cellphone unequivocally legal…

Regional carriers voice support for cell phone unlocking

I find it peculiar that regional wireless carriers in the United States have traditionally been way more vocal in their support of Apple and sound business practices than the corporate behemoths like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile, the nation’s top carriers.

A new report out this morning praises some regional carriers for having the guts to back a broader initiative to make cell phone unlocking legal again. Contrast the move to AT&T’s “straightforward” policy of locking your device to its network until you’ve met the terms of your service agreement.

Specifically, rural carriers such as U.S. Cellular and Bluegrass Cellular are now backing these looming bills, likely in a bid to appease to its iPhone customers. Remember, these same guys happily undercut major carriers’ iPhone deals by at least $50…

AT&T issues statement on unlocking policy

There’s been a lot of commotion lately regarding the recent expiration of a DMCA exemption that makes the unlocking of smartphones illegal. The people are talking about it, the government is talking about it, and the word is, it could lead to new legislation.

Today, AT&T issued a statement on the topic, reassuring customers that the DMCA rule has no effect on its unlocking stance. The whole thing comes off as a bit garish, as no one was really worried about that in the first place. But it does offer clarity on their policy…

Legislation to legalize cell phone unlocking looms

After the White House last week weighed in on the still illegal cell phone unlocking in the United States, drawing responses from carriers, The Library of Congress and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden announced on Twitter yesterday his proposal of a new bill dubbed the Wireless Device Independence Act to ensure that owners of mobile phones are allowed to bypass copy protection and unlock their devices without being scrutinized as criminals.

Arguing “it’s a freedom issue”, the Senator confirms the bill seeks to amend a section of the United States Code covering the circumvention of copyright protection systems. A few other lawmakers voiced their support for unlocking as well, having announced plans to introduce legislation to make the practice legal again…

US prepaid carrier Solavei now selling iPhone 5-friendly nano SIMs

Hot on the heals of this morning’s news that the iPhone 5 would be landing on Strata Networks soon, comes word that the popular handset can also now be used with Solavei, a US-based prepaid provider.

The carrier sent out a press release this afternoon announcing that it has begun offering nano Sim cards, meaning  you can now hook up Apple’s latest handset to its $49/month unlimited everything plan…

The White House responds: cell phone unlocking should be legalized

With the United States Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski promising last Thursday to look into cell phone unlocking, the federal government is now expressing concern about the recent criminalization of the controversial topic, with the White House finally making known its official stance on cell phone unlocking.

R. David Edelman, a Senior Advisor for Internet, Innovation, and Privacy  for the White House, Monday published the official response stating the government stands in support of those wishing to unlock their cellphones once they have fulfilled the terms of the contract. Unlocking your iPhone, as you know, basically frees your handset from the clutches of your carrier so you can take it to any wireless company’s network…

FCC questions ban on unlocking cell phones

The federal government is expressing concern about the recent criminalization of unlocking cell phones. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said Thursday his office will look at the subject to see if and what the agency can do. Earlier this year, an exemption in a digital copyright law expired, prompting outrage from some mobile phone owners.

The head of the FCC said he is “concerned” that a return to the ban on unlocked cell phones could stifle competition or limit innovation. As Cody reported last month, a White House petition calling for again allowing unlocking drew more than 100,000 signatures…

Petition to legalize cell phone unlocking will get response from White House

On January 26th of this year, the DMCA exemption that made unlocking your cell phone legal, expired, subsequently making the popular practice illegal. Now, folks who go about unlocking their handsets risk serious legal repercussions.

Obviously, people weren’t too happy with the way this played out, so an online petition was started to re-legalize unlocking. And as of today, that petition has surpassed 100,000 signatures, meaning the White House must issue a response…

This SIM card-friendly iPhone case is perfect for travelers

Do you travel abroad often? Maybe it’s for business, or pleasure, or both. And if so, do you use the same unlocked iPhone everywhere you go? If you answered yes, to either question, you might want to check out the SIMPLcase.

The SIMPLcase is an ultra-slim iPhone 5 case—3mm in the center, 1mm at the edges—with a couple of cool features. In addition to protecting your phone, it can also store extra SIM cards, has a SIM tray eject tool, and more…

Patent shows Apple working on image-based password alternative

Good news for those of you who have a strong disdain for remembering and entering in passwords. It looks like Apple is again exploring alternatives to the traditional text and number-based authentication method.

An interesting patent application fro the Cupertino company has recently surfaced that depicts an iPhone being unlocked by a user verbally (or using touch-based input) identifying a person, pet or object in a photo…

Ultrasn0w updated for iOS 6.1

Between the rise of third party vendors and the recent change in DMCA policy, the need for iPhone software unlocks is steadily dwindling. But that doesn’t mean that the method is obsolete, as there are still many people out there with older iPhones.

And if you happen to be one of those people, you’ll be happy to know that MuscleNerd has confirmed that Ultrasn0w was quietly updated this week to support iOS 6.1. So if you’re on an eligible device and baseband, you can unlock on the new firmware…

The EFF clarifies legality of jailbreaking and unlocking in the US

The big news this week, aside from the new 128GB iPad and the impending jailbreak, has been that unlocking your phone became illegal in the US on Saturday. Law-breakers face a fine of up to $500,000 and/or 5 years in jail.

Well today, the folks over at the EFF (the Electronic Frontier Foundation) commented on the new regulations and have broken down what they really mean for us end-users. There’s both good news and bad news…