Back in January of this year the Librarian of Congress declined to renew a copyright-law exemption that saw the legalization of cellphone unlocking. This isn't rooting or bootloaders, but carrier unlocking smartphones to be used on other networks, or while abroad. You might remember the petitions that made the White House issue a statement, and now they're at it again.
Essentially this means if you buy a phone on AT&T, and later want to unlock it to work on T-Mobile, you'd have to get the carriers approval and permission. Otherwise this was now a crime and could be pursed in criminal court. Pretty ridiculous and the Library of Congress should have just renewed the darn exemption to begin with.
We saw plenty of groups ban together to fight this new law, and the White House eventually came out and said that unlocking phones should be legal. Well, this week and nearly 8-9 months later the Obama Administration has asked the FCC to make some changes, and fix this little issue.
Basically the Obama administration wants to decriminalize unlocking phones, which we're all for, and have asked the FCC to make the necessary changes. They want the ban to be lifted, which was put back into place in January of this year and caused this whole mess. Currently as long as you're in good standing with your carrier, if you simply ask nice they'll usually allow this and issue an unlock code. However, it isn't always as easy as it seems, and that is why many result to third party ways to unlock their devices.
Hopefully we lean more details soon, so everyone can continue unlocking the devices they own, to use on the carrier they'd like.