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Genachowski to investigate smartphone unlock ban

Smartphone fans around the country have been in an uproar ever since a ban was placed on a user's ability to unlock their own mobile phone on January 26. Apparently, the ban didn't put limits on carriers being able to unlock their devices, but individuals cracking their phone to operate on other networks was forbidden.

The FCC has now promised to investigate whether the ban is harmful to market competitiveness. The FCC also plans to see if the executive branch has the authority to change the law.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski told TechCrunch, "[The] ban raises competition concerns; it raises innovation concerns."

Prior to the ban going into effect, customers were allowed to unlock their smartphones, allowing users to switch carriers and keep the device they had already purchased. Smartphones were exempted from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which has a provision placing a ban on the circumvention of copy protection schemes.
 
Now, smartphone owners who use unauthorized methods to unlock their devices open themselves up to potential legal penalty.

Genachowski said, "It’s something that we will look at at the FCC to see if we can and should enable consumers to use unlocked phones."

Source: TechCrunch



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RE: Duh.
By Motoman on 3/1/2013 1:29:04 PM , Rating: 2
All lobbying should be illegal. Including that from unions...which, by the way, should also be illegal.

There should be no way for money to exchange hands from interest groups or individuals to elected officials...either as cash, gifts, services, whatever. Funds donated to campaigns can only be spent on actual campaign expenses...that's it.

If we did this, there might be a chance that you'd actually elect people into Congress that are concerned about the welfare of their constituents. People who aren't corrupt, and won't be party to corruption elsewhere in the government.

We can always dream.


RE: Duh.
By Jeffk464 on 3/1/2013 1:35:19 PM , Rating: 2
Good luck, the vary special interest groups you are talking about will absolutely not let that happen.


RE: Duh.
By Motoman on 3/1/2013 3:16:12 PM , Rating: 2
Of course not. You know why? Lobbying. Which is the very mechanism that purchases congresscritters and legislation in the first place.

The cycle would have to be broken outside of that vicious circle...like, from the judiciary, or maybe somehow from the executive. Because congresscritters aren't going to vote themselves out of payola.


RE: Duh.
By EricMartello on 3/1/2013 5:34:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The cycle would have to be broken outside of that vicious circle...like, from the judiciary, or maybe somehow from the executive. Because congresscritters aren't going to vote themselves out of payola.


People would need to make a lot of noise about this and really pressure their elected representatives to do something. At the end of the day, lobbyists tend to press for legislature that allows them to make more money so the laws are not directly affecting peoples' lives.

Nobody spends millions to lobby for a law that would make it illegal for women to drive, even though you could, because there would be no return on that money spent (aside from fewer collisions; but then big insurance would be opposing this). Industry groups do spend a lot of money to buy laws that require "licensing" for industries that really shouldn't have that burden.

Hair stylists, for instance, need to be licensed because handling a pair of scissors or hair clipper is something only a trained professional should be able to do.

Dieticians also need to be licensed even though the underlying "diet industry" is largely based on a combination of snake oil and pseudo-science.

These are the kinds of laws that lobbyists typically pay for because it lets them control their market, manage profits and keep new startups from getting a slice of the pie. Large corporations lobby for similar reasons and have a full-time staff devoted to this.


RE: Duh.
By Jeffk464 on 3/1/2013 8:46:02 PM , Rating: 2
sounds about right


RE: Duh.
By Dorkyman on 3/1/2013 2:15:43 PM , Rating: 2
Lobbying should be illegal? Why? Whenever there are two or more people involved, there's going to be politics.

Saying "no lobbying" is like saying "it will be sunny every day and rain only at night." Ain't gonna happen.


RE: Duh.
By Motoman on 3/1/2013 3:14:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Lobbying should be illegal? Why?


Because of what I said before:

quote:
There should be no way for money to exchange hands from interest groups or individuals to elected officials...either as cash, gifts, services, whatever.


Lobbying does nothing but corrupt the politics that, as noted, will always be there. The only upside in lobbying is fattening the wallet of the politician and promoting the desires of a corporation or special interest group, whether or not such desires are consistent with the welfare of the country.


RE: Duh.
By Solandri on 3/1/2013 6:57:39 PM , Rating: 2
I think lobbying is fine. But if you can't vote, you shouldn't be able to lobby. If a company thinks a law is bad, it tells its employees how bad it will be for their jobs, and they will call their representatives to complain about it. If a union things a law is bad, it tells its members, who will call their representatives to complain about it.

No hiring lobbyists either. It's supposed to be one person, one vote. Not one dollar, one vote.


RE: Duh.
By Motoman on 3/2/2013 9:53:29 AM , Rating: 2
...what you've described is outlawing lobbying.

An individual constituent picking up the phone and calling their congresscritter with their concerns isn't lobbying. It's your congresscritter doing their job.


RE: Duh.
By Reclaimer77 on 3/2/2013 1:04:52 PM , Rating: 2
And who the fuck is going to enforce this ban? The same people who sit by and watch our Politicians break every law and piss on the Constitution on a daily basis?


RE: Duh.
By Reclaimer77 on 3/1/2013 2:37:19 PM , Rating: 2
So taxation without representation?

I would like to believe a middle ground could be reached. Not all lobbying is harmful. Some protect our rights, like the NRA/gun lobby.


RE: Duh.
By Solandri on 3/1/2013 7:05:49 PM , Rating: 2
That's the flip side of removing corporate influence from government. Eliminate corporate taxes. Pass or firm up laws which prohibit (or make or make it difficult for) someone to live vicariously through a corporation (i.e. the company pays their living and travel expenses). All taxes should fall directly on the voters, so they can see in their paychecks exactly how much of the economy the government takes up. No more hiding taxes in the increased cost of goods and services by shifting it to corporations.

Lobbying by the NRA or ACLU is unnecessary. If there's a bill they're concerned about, they just have to send out a bulletin to their members (super-easy now with the Internet). And the members who feel it is important enough will call their representatives to complain/support.


RE: Duh.
By JediJeb on 3/1/2013 10:16:35 PM , Rating: 2
That would be the ideal way to do things. Only allow lobbyists to lobby the population, not the politicians directly.


"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard











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