A new law that makes it illegal to ‘unlock’ your cell phone and switch carriers goes into effect today and will carry fines between $2,500 and $500,000, and in some cases, prison time.
The change made by the U.S. Copyright Office and Library of Congress to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act will make it illegal for consumers to unlock mobile devices without the permission of their carrier.
The lock feature on mobile devices essentially allows carriers a way to prevent customers from switching to a new plan with a different company. Unless your phone came unlocked and are grandfathered in under the law, you’re device is legally chained to your service provider.