Monday, October 20, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;41.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/skc.png;2014-10-20 09:02:46
Sunday, July 27, 2014

Cellphone unlocking to become legal again

NEW YORK – Congress passed a bill Friday that makes it legal to “unlock” cellphones so the devices can –at least in some instances– be used on other carriers.

The law, which President Obama said he looks forward to signing, undoes a move by the Librarian of Congress in 2012. That made it a copyright violation to unlock a phone without the carrier’s permission. ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

NEW YORK – Congress passed a bill Friday that makes it legal to “unlock” cellphones so the devices can –at least in some instances– be used on other carriers.

The law, which President Obama said he looks forward to signing, undoes a move by the Librarian of Congress in 2012. That made it a copyright violation to unlock a phone without the carrier’s permission.

The law passed Friday by the House of Representatives makes it legal to unlock phones for personal use, at least until the Librarian’s next round of rulemaking, next year. The measure was passed earlier by the Senate.

Unlocking typically involves entering codes on the phone. In more difficult cases, the phone needs to be hooked up to a computer to have new software installed.

Carriers have, in some instances, sued people who made a business out of unlocking phones and reselling them, but individuals unlocking for personal use have never been pursued.

Carriers have become more lenient in their unlocking policies in recent years. Verizon, for instance, ships most of its phones unlocked. However, technical differences mean that it’s often difficult to move a phone from one network to another, and if you can make the move, phone functions are impaired. The easiest move is between AT&T and T-Mobile US.