Posted at: 01/30/2013 7:01 AM
It's now illegal to unlock your cell phone without your carrier’s permission.
The U.S. Copyright Office of the Library of Congress issued the new law which went into effect this week.
Even if you own your cell phone outright, you can't alter the device to activate service on another carrier or you may risk a fine. Previously customers could unlock their cell phones under the Digital Millennium copyright. That meant subscribers could then sell the phone at a higher price or use another carriers SIM card to start new service in another wireless network.
Officials say carriers rarely went after customers that unlocked their phones but instead targeted businesses that bought throw away phones, unlocked them and shipped them overseas.