we need more clarification
so i understand it is illegal to unlock phones 'without carrier permission/' so do the websites that sell unlock codes obtain them with 'carrier permission?' if take a phone to a small shop that unlocks and they buy a code online who is the criminal? me? the shop keeper? the web site owner?
i have been reading a lot of article i the last few days and most seem to indicate people unlock there own phones they originally purchased from a carrier. having worked at several business in different cities that unlock phones i know this is very very un common. the overwhelming percentage of phone unlocked are those purchased second hand from ebay, craigslist, pawn shops, flea markets other second hand shops for the purpose of either exporting or use on a cheap prepaid company. i have only very rarely helped an original purchaser. what this means is almost no chance for the handset owner themselves getting 'permission from the carrier'
what is needed is a way for small shops to get a wholesale agreement with at&t, t-mobile, etc to request permission on behalf of customers and legally unlock phones.