Unlock Your Smartphone, Go To Jail...That's The Law - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Unlock Your Smartphone, Go To Jail...That's The Law

Posted: Updated:

A new law went into effect and it involved your smart-phone. It's official...you can no longer 'unlock' your smartphone, at least not legally.

On Saturday, a law went into effect, making it illegal for you to unlock your mobile device without the permission of your carrier. Companies lock phones as a way to prevent customers from getting a cellular plan with a different carrier. In theory this would make it harder to launder and sell stolen cellphones.

The Library of Congress decided that consumers have a number of alternatives to unlocking devices, including buying devices that come already unlocked.

So...what could happen if you break the law? First time offenders face a $500,000 fine, five years in prison, or both! Repeat offenders face double those penalties.

Unlocking is different from "jailbreaking" that allows you to run additional software and is still legal for smartphones.

  • Share ThisMore>>

  • National Dog Day: Send Us Your Pup Pics

    National Dog Day: Send Us Your Pup Pics

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 7:17 PM EDT2014-08-26 23:17:59 GMT
    The purpose of the holiday is to show appreciation for the millions of the dogs in the US that keep us safe and bring us comfort and companionship.
    The purpose of the holiday is to show appreciation for the millions of the dogs in the US that keep us safe and bring us comfort and companionship.
  • myFOX Tech

    Review: Microsoft Surface Pro 3- The Future of Laptops, NOW!

    Review: Microsoft Surface Pro 3- The Future of Laptops, NOW!

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 12:14 PM EDT2014-08-26 16:14:57 GMT
    It's no secret that Microsoft has struggled in the hardware department so I can't say whether the Surface Pro 3 will be the hero Microsoft needs but I can say it is the modern computing experience users deserve. I love it and think you should too! Read on to find out why.
    It's no secret that Microsoft has struggled in the hardware department so I can't say whether the Surface Pro 3 will be the hero Microsoft needs but I can say it is the modern computing experience users deserve. I love it and think you should too! Read on to find out why.
  • World's Scariest Selfie: Would You Dare?

    World's Scariest Selfie: Would You Dare?

    Monday, August 25 2014 6:13 PM EDT2014-08-25 22:13:48 GMT
    Rooftopping photographer and Ravens fan Daniel Lau (note the hat), took a selfie from the top of a ridiculously high skyscraper in Hong Kong.
    Rooftopping photographer and Ravens fan Daniel Lau (note the hat), took a selfie from the top of a ridiculously high skyscraper in Hong Kong.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices