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The Most Ridiculous Law of 2013 (So Far): It Is Now a Crime to Unlock Your Smartphone
The Atlantic.com ^ | January 27, 2013 | Derek Khanna

Posted on 01/28/2013 2:11:59 PM PST by Kaslin

When did we decide that we wanted a law that could make unlocking your smartphone a criminal offense? The answer is that we never really decided.

ADVISORY

BY DECREE OF THE LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS

IT SHALL HENCEFORCE BE ORDERED THAT AMERICANS SHALL NOT UNLOCK THEIR OWN SMARTPHONES.

PENALTY: In some situations, first time offenders may be fined up to $500,000, imprisoned for five years, or both. For repeat offenders, the maximum penalty increases to a fine of $1,000,000, imprisonment for up to ten years, or both.*

That's right, starting this weekend it is illegal to unlock new phones to make them available on other carriers.

I have deep sympathy for any individual who happens to get jail time for this offense. I am sure that other offenders would not take kindly to smartphone un-lockers.

But seriously: It's embarrassing and unacceptable that we are at the mercy of prosecutorial and judicial discretion** to avoid the implementation of draconian laws that could implicate average Americans in a crime subject to up to a $500,000 fine and up to five years in prison.

(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government
KEYWORDS: digitalmilleniumact; dmca; fascism; policestate; revenuetickets; smartphoneplease
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1 posted on 01/28/2013 2:12:04 PM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Simplest and most probable explanation: under the table bucks for the bat-ear-b*stard and his fellow felons.


2 posted on 01/28/2013 2:15:24 PM PST by Da Coyote
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To: Kaslin

Uh right off the bat does not the potential sentence violate Cruel and unusual punishment?

One phone switched to another carrier and the gestapo comes down on you like a ton of bricks.


3 posted on 01/28/2013 2:21:21 PM PST by Wurlitzer (Nothing says "ignorance" like Islam!)
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To: Kaslin
It's not a new law, actually. It's a direct reversal of an earlier interpretation by the Library of Congress that unlocking your smartphone for certain purposes constitutes a copyright violation under the DMCA.

This law is thoroughly hideous and should have been repealed long ago.

4 posted on 01/28/2013 2:23:04 PM PST by FredZarguna (PA:The right of citizens to bear arms in defence of themselves and the State shall not be questioned)
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To: Kaslin
BY DECREE OF THE LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS

Damn! Obama has his stooges everywhere!

5 posted on 01/28/2013 2:23:48 PM PST by dennisw (The first principle is to find out who you are then you can achieve anything -- Buddhist monk)
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To: Kaslin

This is simple for me, I was thinking about buying a smartphone and now I won’t. Screw ‘em.


6 posted on 01/28/2013 2:29:01 PM PST by MeganC (Our forefathers would be shooting by now.)
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To: Kaslin

What is the purpose of this law? Do they assume that if you’ve unlocked your smartphone and switched to another carrier....that you stole the smartphone and are therefore a thief? Is it to protect the original carrier? I don’t get it. Could someone explain this to me?


7 posted on 01/28/2013 2:33:25 PM PST by XenaLee (The only good commie is a dead commie.)
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To: Kaslin

This makes me want to unlock my phone. Unfortunately, I can’t: it’s a CDMA phone.


8 posted on 01/28/2013 2:34:02 PM PST by AZLiberty (No tag today.)
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To: Kaslin
Well, there aren't enough cops. Just like there won't be enough cops to deal with everybody who doesn't want to give up their health insurance information on their tax returns.

I know a lot of people who anticipate not filing tax returns at all from now on, because by the time the IRS scopes them out and pursues them, they will be long dead.

Sounds like a good plan to me.

9 posted on 01/28/2013 2:35:21 PM PST by elkfersupper ( Member of the Original Defiant Class)
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To: Kaslin

The more criminals the feral government can manufacture, the better.


10 posted on 01/28/2013 2:36:28 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (TYRANNY: When the people fear the politicians. LIBERTY: When the politicians fear the people.)
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To: Kaslin

I think it only applies to folks who get a discounted phone with a contract. If you just buy the phone outright you can do what you want with it. Still... we don’t need the police to enforce contract law. It should be entirely a civil matter.


11 posted on 01/28/2013 2:36:40 PM PST by SeeSharp
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To: Wurlitzer

It’s kinda like how Big Government is coming down on private citizens for pirated software, copywright infringement on downloaded media and other minor “crimes”....while letting real criminals (with violent histories) go free or with very light sentences.

Everything is back@sswards when leftists are running and ruining things.

“One phone switched to another carrier and the gestapo comes down on you like a ton of bricks.”


12 posted on 01/28/2013 2:36:57 PM PST by XenaLee (The only good commie is a dead commie.)
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To: XenaLee

What is the purpose of this law? .........

Make you buy new phones..........


13 posted on 01/28/2013 2:38:15 PM PST by Red Badger (Lincoln freed the slaves. Obama just got them ALL back......................)
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To: XenaLee

Well if you’re a Justice Dept bureaucrat, what sounds like a better afternoon

going after college students illegally downloading music

or disarming the ghetto in Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, etc?


14 posted on 01/28/2013 2:40:48 PM PST by nascarnation (Baraq's economic policy: trickle up poverty)
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To: XenaLee
.

Check out the Ting phone service advertised on Twit.com

Looks like this legislation is made to order for folks wanting to switch carriers.

Hope someone has had experience with TING.COM. If so, please share. :)

15 posted on 01/28/2013 2:41:55 PM PST by ptsal (E)
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To: MeganC

There is no differnece in unlocking a smartphone versus a dumbphone. From what I’ve read elsewhere this applies to all types of phones so your solution won’t work. This is insanity.


16 posted on 01/28/2013 2:42:12 PM PST by The Unknown Republican
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To: XenaLee
Could someone explain this to me?

If you obtain a $600 phone for $200 on the condition that you sign a two year contract, then jail break the phone and start doing things the contract doesn't allow, then the phone company considers that a breach of contract. What they're trying to do is to get the police to enforce these private contracts so they won't have to bear the expense of taking you to court. Pardon the hyperbole but this really is pure fascism.

17 posted on 01/28/2013 2:44:42 PM PST by SeeSharp
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To: Kaslin

I’m sure the next Chief Librarian will be much younger and have a totally different position on this law.


18 posted on 01/28/2013 2:44:56 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: Red Badger

The no-unlocking rule only applies to “newly purchased” phones, meaning any carrier-locked phone purchased on or after October 28, 2012, the date the new rules went into effect. (A 90-day grace period ended today, January 26.)

If you buy a used phone – or even a new phone not locked by a carrier – you are still allowed to unlock it. It’s also perfectly legal to buy a phone that comes unlocked from a carrier or otherwise. You can also, in some circumstances, ask your carrier for permission to unlock your device. (More on this below.)

Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/unlocking-your-new-smartphone-is-now-illegal-what-you-need-to-know/#ixzz2JJRN8MoL
Follow us: @digitaltrends on Twitter | digitaltrendsftw on Facebook


19 posted on 01/28/2013 2:45:18 PM PST by Perdogg (Mark Levin - It's called the Bill of Rights not Bill of Needs)
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To: Red Badger

Does that law also apply to Obamaphones? lol


20 posted on 01/28/2013 2:46:13 PM PST by XenaLee (The only good commie is a dead commie.)
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To: nascarnation

Well, we already know this administration has no interest in going after the REAL criminals in America. They have arbitrarily decided that those on the right are the criminals now.


21 posted on 01/28/2013 2:48:23 PM PST by XenaLee (The only good commie is a dead commie.)
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To: SeeSharp

Ah....so.....in order to combat what they “deem” to be unlawful activity....they decided to participate in unlawful activity in order to enforce, via unlawful actions, their definition of “unlawful activity”. Got it.

That sounds about right and how things go in this Obama Bizarro World.

“If you obtain a $600 phone for $200 on the condition that you sign a two year contract, then jail break the phone and start doing things the contract doesn’t allow, then the phone company considers that a breach of contract. What they’re trying to do is to get the police to enforce these private contracts so they won’t have to bear the expense of taking you to court. Pardon the hyperbole but this really is pure fascism.”


22 posted on 01/28/2013 2:52:16 PM PST by XenaLee (The only good commie is a dead commie.)
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To: Kaslin

this will go down in history along with the law against tearing the tag off the cushion.


23 posted on 01/28/2013 2:53:38 PM PST by Daveinyork (."Trusting government with power and money is like trusting teenaged boys with whiskey and car keys,)
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To: SeeSharp

Here is my logic kicking in. If you bought a $600 phone for $200 with a “locked in carrier” and then you somehow unlocked it and switched to another carrier before your contract was up, the original carrier could and should then just bill you $400 on your “final bill”. No “law” should need to be passed for something this basic and simple.

But then, everything is now back@ssward from what it should be...logically.

“If you obtain a $600 phone for $200 on the condition that you sign a two year contract, then jail break the phone and start doing things the contract doesn’t allow, then the phone company considers that a breach of contract. What they’re trying to do is to get the police to enforce these private contracts so they won’t have to bear the expense of taking you to court. Pardon the hyperbole but this really is pure fascism.”


24 posted on 01/28/2013 2:59:53 PM PST by XenaLee (The only good commie is a dead commie.)
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To: SeeSharp

The law is ridiculous. I just bought me a Samsung Galaxy Express smart phone which had just came out for $150 at our AT&T store, a couple of weeks ago. The regular price $450 If I don’t unlock it, I can’t even make a phone call


25 posted on 01/28/2013 3:00:59 PM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin

United Corporations of America.

We the corporations, in order to form a more perfect monopoly, establish onerous fees, insure consumer dependence, promote overindulgence, and secure steady streams of income to ourselves and our Chief Officers bonuses, do ordain and establish this form of Government, based on under-the-table payments and kickbacks, of the United Corporations of America.

With rules like this, please prove me wrong. Don’t forget the other darlings of FR - MPAA, RIAA. Citizen’s rights < corporation’s rights.


26 posted on 01/28/2013 3:02:45 PM PST by SengirV
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To: Wurlitzer

I didn’t even know you could switch a cell phone from one carrier to another


27 posted on 01/28/2013 3:05:00 PM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Wurlitzer

I didn’t even know you could switch a cell phone from one carrier to another


28 posted on 01/28/2013 3:05:21 PM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin

“I didn’t even know you could switch a cell phone from one carrier to another”

Yeah it can be done given the right set of instructions.

IMO the fines and jail time are completely out of proportion to the infraction and directly violate “cruel and unusual punishment”.

It’s a simple theft of services at worse. The penalties are worthy of a shooting at a school.


29 posted on 01/28/2013 3:13:14 PM PST by Wurlitzer (Nothing says "ignorance" like Islam!)
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To: Kaslin

FOLLOW THE MONEY TRAIL! Somebody, someway, somewhere, is making a bundle off this decree. And no doubt, some politician is getting a kickback!


30 posted on 01/28/2013 3:16:51 PM PST by ImNotLying (The MSM bears a close resemblance to the world's oldest profession!)
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To: Kaslin

Now I WANT to unlock mine. Screw these assholes!


31 posted on 01/28/2013 3:29:41 PM PST by unixfox (Abolish Slavery, Repeal The 16th Amendment!)
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To: Kaslin

I’m not even sure what this means, so glad I decided to stay with my dumb phone rather than move on up to a so called smart phone.


32 posted on 01/28/2013 3:32:12 PM PST by This I Wonder32460
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To: SeeSharp

Maybe the carriers should think about holding up THEIR end of the contract.

Ya know, like providing service that actually works?


33 posted on 01/28/2013 3:33:48 PM PST by unixfox (Abolish Slavery, Repeal The 16th Amendment!)
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To: ImNotLying

I am certain of it


34 posted on 01/28/2013 3:37:32 PM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin

Under what authority does the Libwawian of Congwess impose fines on anybody for anything?

Where is that in the Constitution?


35 posted on 01/28/2013 3:41:57 PM PST by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: Kaslin

             

36 posted on 01/28/2013 3:50:29 PM PST by tomkat ( .. shall NOT be infringed)
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To: Kaslin

I don’t have a phone. My wife has a cell phone. Cheapest phone with Clear Talk from Walmart.

IMO people are enslaving themselves to their phones.


37 posted on 01/28/2013 3:58:06 PM PST by bigheadfred
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To: Kaslin

So, what if I purhased a phone for the full market value of the phone? Also, how does this impact the situation in which I have completed my two year contract?


38 posted on 01/28/2013 4:04:19 PM PST by SoldierDad (Proud dad of an Army Soldier who has survived 24 months of Combat deployment.)
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To: ImNotLying

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39 posted on 01/28/2013 4:04:43 PM PST by pjoseph
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To: pjoseph

Perhaps unlocking would allow uses beyond current locked abilities...abilities that put Americans at risk, the National Security kind? Just a thought.


40 posted on 01/28/2013 4:19:50 PM PST by Golfinsocal
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To: pjoseph

Perhaps unlocking would allow uses beyond current locked abilities...abilities that put Americans at risk, the National Security kind? Just a thought.


41 posted on 01/28/2013 4:19:50 PM PST by Golfinsocal
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To: Wurlitzer
Uh right off the bat does not the potential sentence violate Cruel and unusual punishment?

Yeah, but you've still got to go to court.

This law is like penalizing you for not using "genuine Ford parts" on your F-150.

42 posted on 01/28/2013 4:50:50 PM PST by BfloGuy (Money, like chocolate on a hot oven, was melting in the pockets of the people.)
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To: Golfinsocal
As I read this, unlocking a phone allows one to use a sim card from another carrier (T-mobile and Net10 are 2 that advertise "bring your phone"). Their service is much cheaper than the major carriers.

As far as I can figure, you can still buy an UNLOCKED phone and buy a sim card from one of the pay as you go carriers (no contract). You will pay more for the phone upfront but save on monthly charges for the life of the phone.

43 posted on 01/28/2013 4:57:38 PM PST by Abby4116
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Article that answers a lot of questions:

http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/unlocking-your-new-smartphone-is-now-illegal-what-you-need-to-know/#ixzz2JJRN8MoL


44 posted on 01/28/2013 5:27:49 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: XenaLee
"Could someone explain this to me?"

Big Media wants to total control of all media and the hardware that is used to consume it.

Bottom line is they want you to have no ownership rights because then you can't resell their products which means that there will be no secondary or used market. Which means that every person will have to buy new and that makes Big Media tons more cash!

Bruce Willis is currently in a lawsuit against Apple (I believe) over his vast collection of Digital Music and Movies he has purchased. (Apparently its tens of thousands of dollars worth of media)He found out the way the laws are set up now he cannot bequeath via a last will any of this media to his children/survivors. If BIG Media gets its way you won't be able to leave any of your electronics to anyone in your will either.

45 posted on 01/28/2013 5:47:58 PM PST by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the 2nd one...)
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To: unixfox

Illegal aliens are permitted to cross our borders and demand satisfaction. Tax paying citizens must fork over $$$ to the corporate bedbuddies of Obama. W’unnerful w’unnerful.


46 posted on 01/28/2013 9:33:31 PM PST by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: unixfox
Maybe the carriers should think about holding up THEIR end of the contract. Ya know, like providing service that actually works?

WOuldn't that be nice?

Verizon attempted to buy out Alltel here, but the Feds said "No. That would be a monopoly."

The result is that AT&T bought out Alltel, and our accounts were switched over, after being assured they were going to invest heavily in towers, etc. I have over 10,000 rollover minutes with AT&T because the damned phone won't work past the end of the sidewalk, and AND a Verizon account, because the place I need the stinking thing is out in the boonies where I work.

Add in the Feds doing away with the old phones which finally worked, and I have thousands in equipment and bills for services which just don't get the job done. When the contracts run out, I'm done with the SOBs. I can cut my monthly bills in half by using $45 a month unlimited services phones if they work, and I can find out for $100 with no ongoing obligation.

47 posted on 01/29/2013 2:14:18 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Kaslin

Five years in the pen for... unlocking your SmartPhone.

Yet, we hear all this caterwauling about prison overcrowding.


48 posted on 01/29/2013 5:07:09 AM PST by ScottinVA (Gun control: Steady firm grip, target within sights, squeeze the trigger slowly...)
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To: Smokin' Joe

Try Virgin Mobile. No contract and they have some decent phones. I refuse to get any contract for cell phone service. I have been using no contract phones for the last five years.


49 posted on 01/29/2013 5:13:27 AM PST by USAF80
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To: Kaslin

If you buy a phone you have every right to change it in whatever way you want, if i buy a tv i have the right to smash it with a baseball bat because its mine. Yeah this is a absurd law indeed


50 posted on 01/29/2013 5:19:07 AM PST by The Right wing Infidel
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