Is IMEI Swapping Legal?

Let's say for the sake of argument I found a program which could set the IMEI number on a phone to whatever I like. I'd like to set it to one of my currently activated Ting devices and (theoretically) bring service to this other phone. *Queue Frankenstine Theme music with me in my lab laughing manically*. Ting sounds like it's encouraging this type of behavior and after all they setup the Ting Army hoping to push phones to their limit. However I'm not sure this practice is actually legal. As a member of the Ting Army I want to hack & learn, but I don't want to run the risk of being prosecuted for carrying out a ‘volunteer mission’. I of course own both phones (One purchased from Ting directly, and one purchased on Ebay used with a CLEAN ESN) and have no intention of writing the IMEI to multiple phones to transparently have multiple phones in service (which I’m not even sure is possible yet.)

Can someone, officially from Ting give me a green light of holy protection (and why it’s ok), or downright clear denial of this pursuit?

Lastly, if it’s denied how is it any different from the donor phone thread here that's currently sticky'd? (The whole idea of a donor phone for that matter would be just like this right?, Isn’t the ESN, IMEI, MEID all synonymous?)

0

Comments

5 comments
  • 0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I'm curious. Other than the "fun hacking" value (surely a nice dollop), is there a practical goal you're trying to achieve?

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Bruce, that article is about unlocking SIMs, rather than the donor phone serial number overwrite process.  Someone did ask the question about the legality of serial number hacking in the comments, but it looks like Ting didn't give an answer there.  Kurt, the "Hacks" section of the forum is full of information about that process, and Ting has said in a few threads in there that they don't care, but no one seems to have any solid information about the legality.  I found this thread about that specific question:

    https://help.ting.com/entries/21446737-Figuring-Out-What-Is-Legal-with-ESN-Stuff

    And the fact that Ting even kept a thread about which phones worked as donors was a pretty specific statement that they have no problem with it.

    https://help.ting.com/entries/21842356-Donor-Phone-Success-Tracker

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • @Henry Yen: This is an effort to get an iPhone 4s to take over a profile from an LG Marquee, so far I've had no luck actually modifying the IMEI with the current version of iOS installed on the device.

    @Rocky Hinten: True Enough! Thank you Rocky for all the information.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Interesting, thanks.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.