Only 48 Hours Until It’s Illegal to Unlock Your New Cell Phone

A controversial new federal policy in the United States takes effect on Saturday. If you unlock your new cell phone, you could be breaking the law.

Last fall, the Register of Copyrights at the Library of Congress determined that unlocking mobile phones would no longer be permissible, but a 90-day window was established for people to still buy a phone and unlock it.

That window closes January 26th. As of Saturday, it will be illegal – yes, against the law – for certain mobile phone owners to unlock their devices for use on other carriers.

Exemptions can be made for mobile owners specifically authorized by their carriers to make the jump to another operator.

It should be noted, however, that the policy applies to newly purchased devices but not to legacy devices purchased before the controversial new policy takes effect.

Do you agree with the new mandate regarding cell phones and whether they can be unlocked or are consumers losing a fundamental right of cell phone ownership? Please weigh in with a thought or comment below.