You're free to unlock it as soon as you fulfill that contract
You must have missed the news: that changed. Now you are not free to do so, because distributing the tools or knowledge needed to do that is a DMCA violation. It's OK, I'm sure being trapped in a freezer since 2011 was rough for you.
can't you already do TTY over amateur radio?
You can get Internet access of amateur radio if you want, there are plenty of people doing digital stuff. Here's the problem: you cannot do any commercial. That means that you cannot even browse Google, since it would transmit advertisements over an amateur band. A secondary issue is that everyone has to be licensed to transmit on amateur bands, and so most people would never be able to use it. Also problematic is the callsign requirement, which would make it much harder to use things like Tor. There are also regulations that make cryptography useless on amateur bands.
The problems with citizen-run communications are mostly regulatory. There are technical issues, but they pale in comparison to the regulations standing in our way.
For the next two years you bitch and moan because you can't unlock the phone and switch carriers.
Oh, I'm sorry, I must have missed the technical problem with unlocking the phone. When last I checked, it was a legal problem, which is the point of the petition.
See, we "bitch and moan" because we bought a phone, and then the government told us we are not allowed to do what we want with the phone. Then people like you come in and say, "Well the carrier gave you a discount because of X, Y, Z" and we think to ourselves, "Yes, we bought it at the price the carrier offered to us. So what?"
You know, in market systems, when someone sells something at a given price and you buy it at that price, you are generally free to do whatever you want with it afterwards. If you do not want a market system, then stop pretending to have one and just create a government-run cell network like other countries have.
What we have now is this:
So what exactly is gonna differentiate this from a mid-level to high-end gaming rig?
The lock-down, the retention of control over your system by Sony, etc.
not be snatched away as if it's their right to tell us what we can use our own hardware for
Do you even have to ask?
You just need to obtain confidence that your counterparty is not double spending in some manner
Which is not secure, at least not under the definition of security that is commonly used in digital cash.
For example, your counterparty may have some secure hardware that is capable of remote attestation.
EMV (chip-n-pin) cards have used them for many years
These are usually used in conjunction with an online payment processor, which changes the security model in fundamental ways. The security goal of these cards is to prevent unauthorized use of legitimate credentials; the legitimate user of those credentials is not the adversary. With double-spending, the legitimate user of the card is the adversary.
breaking the hardware? Doesn't happen
Faking the hardware can happen and Bitcoin will only stop it if you are online. What are you going to do to stop someone from producing a card that looks just like the "real thing" but which does not actually stop them from double spending? If you are going to introduce a central authority that issues these cards, why would you even bother with Bitcoin? You can get a more secure digital cash protocol that uses a central authority to issue the currency units, which actually supports secure offline transactions (regardless of the hardware someone uses).
The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow