Former AT&T employees sued for illegally unlocking under-contract smartphones

AT&T has filed a lawsuit against three of its former employees in the Washington state for stealing the unlocking software and then use it for contract-bound smartphones. The phone sales representatives have been accused of helping the people in unlocking their smartphones for monetary benefits.

All the contract-based smartphones going on sale are locked by the carrier that would enforce the usage of SIM only of the respective carrier, unlocking allows the owner to use the SIM card of any carrier in this world. These two employees did exactly the same for apparently a few hundred bucks. One Google search can land you several fake and illegal websites offering such services, however, soon your contract expires the carriers in the US have vowed to remove the lock from the phone.

As per the initial reports, AT&T said that these two employees first installed a malicious software on the company’s computer and then stole the software required for unlocking the smartphones. Carriers like AT&T takes a hefty amount of money to let the users go without the contract, and this illegal unlocking made the company unknowingly suffer an enormous loss.

AT&T lawyers said that the people involved in such work is very common, and a small business based in the Anaheim, California allegedly used the stolen software to unlock the smartphones for a small fee.

Apparently, the employees left so much of trail for the detectives to follow and catch them for unlocking the smartphones in just a few milliseconds. The lawsuit mentioned that these former employees were able to capture the cash stash worth $20,000 or more.

There is no criminal fraud described in the lawsuit, but the company wants an arrest. There are high chances that the AT&T would win this lawsuit that can further lead the employees ending up in paying the amount they lost due to the unlocking of devices. Presumably, it is going to be larger than the $20,000.

Swift Unlocks is also going to face such fines under the Federal Criminal Act for illegally processing the unauthorised unlocking of smartphones registered with the AT&T.

Earlier, once purchased on contract, the smartphone used to stay locked even when the contract expires, however, a new pact from the cellular companies in the United States allows the customers to have their smartphones unlocked automatically soon the contract expires. Otherwise, a user can also call the company to unlock out of contract smartphones for free of cost.



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  • Thus why I will never, ever give this horrible company a dime. This company is still in business because they grew by bribing politicians and bureaucrats for the past 30+ years.

    Their entire business model is only about taking over smaller competition and then attempting to enforce draconian rules to make sure they themselves can squeeze every penny they can out of their clients. They hate competition.

    They are one third of the reason the USA has a decaying data communication industry.

    No innovation. No breakthroughs.

    They are everything that every aspiring entrepreneur never wants to become.

    • Plutocracy is a form of oligarchy and defines a
      society ruled or controlled by the small minority of the wealthiest
      citizens or companies.

      A mere 80 people now control 50% of the wealth of the world. These people, in some way, control the largest companies in the world.

      Politicians have widely conspired to create laws, designed by the wealthy, to protect only the wealthy.

      Innovation, technology, equity, knowledge, fairness, and common sense have all suffered, and been suppressed as a result.

      The almighty dollar is the true messiah, and king.

    • I second the motion. Laws have been designed to protect the large multinational companies over all, leading ever more to a feudalistic system between the super rich & everyone else.

      Kudos to the people that took this software.

      Civil disobedience is every citizens civic duty.

  • AT&T wireless aka Cingular aka AT&T wireless is not a company you would want to work for unless you enjoy being drugged in order to get to work.