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AT&T’s customers aren’t the only ones who hated the carrier’s draconian phone unlocking policies. AT&T is now suing three ex-employees for taking part in a massive scheme to unlock thousands of AT&T phones from the inside.

Consumers are legally allowed to request that their carrier unlock their phones — once they’ve been paid off in full — so that the phone can then be connected to a competing carrier’s network. AT&T, however, is known to have the strictest rules of all major carriers for honoring the unlock requests.

This created a profit motive to enable easier unlocking, and a company called Swift Unlocks, which AT&T is also suing, made a business of unlocking AT&T phones.

AT&T claims Swift Unlocks paid AT&T employee Marc Sapatin $10,500 and Kyra Evans $20,000 to install unlock software in the carrier’s systems while they worked at an AT&T call center in 2013. AT&T claims a third employee, Nguyen Lam, participated, but does not allege he was paid.

The carrier, the nation’s second largest, says the defendants created a software program that allowed an external server to issue unlock permissions to AT&T phones.

AT&T believes many more people were involved. It claims that 50 “John Doe Defendants” helped develop the unlocking software.

(Read the full lawsuit here.)

Hat tip: Ars Technica

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