Not that it was stopping anyone before, but as of today you can finally, legally, unlock your cell phone and prance it on over to whatever carrier your heart (and wallet) desires.
President Barack Obama signed into law the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, achieving what the White House is calling a "rare trifecta" by proclaiming this action "a win for American consumers, a win for wireless competition, and an example of democracy at its best -- bipartisan congressional action in direct response to a call to action from the American people." Rare indeed.
The government's swift response was a direct result of a We The People petition gaining over 114,000 signatures asking for a call to action.
Before you start celebrating and hitting the Internet for the latest unlocking software, keep in mind there are a few cavets to this new law. First, you have to actually own the phone (so if you're on a payment plan, tough luck). Second, it's only temporary and will be revisited by Congress every three years. But progress is progress, right?