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Unlocking Smartphones Becomes Illegal Starting next Week

The Librarian of Congress determined in October of last year that certain actions involving mobile phones were illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The rules were revised to state that while it is legal to jailbreak smartphones, it is illegal to jailbreak tablets and illegal to unlock phones without permission from your wireless provider.

A 90-day window was put in place that allowed consumers to purchase a phone and unlock it, however that window closes on January 26th, TechNewsDaily noted. Most carriers lock their phones to prevent them from running on competitors’ networks. Starting next week, U.S. consumers will no longer legally be allowed to unlock their carrier-locked devices without permission, though some smartphones such as Verizon’s iPhone 5 and the Nexus 4 are unlocked to begin with.