As of a few days ago, President Obama has approved and signed the "Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act," making it once again legal to unlock your phones to use on carriers of your choice. Sen. Patrick Leahy, the main supporter of the bill, confirmed the news via The White House Blog. Of course, you still have to completely own your phone, so month-by-month payment plans and other contract terms will keep your phone on lockdown.
Although this legislation gives us all a reprieve from carriers' stranglehold on our devices, the solution is only temporary. The Library of Congress will still review this exception every three years, but for now we're going to check mark this in the wins column.
(Of course, this is nothing new to anyone living in Australia. If your phone is locked in the first place, you're able to get it unlocked through the carriers for just a few dollars. But it's good to see that the rest of the world is getting a little more in line with the times as well.)
US citizens — go forth, unlock, and be merry. [The White House Blog]