According to the same librarian of Congress who decided that jailbreaking was perfectly legal, it is now a crime to unlock your smartphone without permission. Leo says that the phone is the user's personal property and it should be their right to unlock it. To say a person can't unlock it means it really isn't their property at all and that's just confusing. The carrier can still unlock it, and many will after the contract is up. Even Verizon is unlocking the phones from the very beginning. If you do it yourself, however, it's a $500,000 fine and 5 years in jail.