"This is now the law of the land:
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."
Source: The Atlantic -- http://is.gd/owU7sS
Unlocking smartphones for use on other carriers should be considered completely legal. If a person has paid for the phone, either by paying full price or by signing a contract (extension), that person has claimed the smartphone as his/her own property. As property, that person has the right to use it with whatever cell phone provider/carrier he/she wishes to, or to use it with no carrier at all. This violates no intellectual property rights, as the person is not sharing intellectual property with anyone else. No cell phone carrier is being allowed through such actions to circumvent the law and claim another's property for their own. The phone belongs to no one but the individual who has paid for it.