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It said it agrees with the 114,000+ people who signed the petition

The White House has responded to a petition that asks for cell phone unlocking to be legalized, and the Obama administration seems to think it's a good idea.

A petition on We the People called "It's Time to Legalize Cell Phone Unlocking" collected over 114,000 signatures. When any petition on this site accumulates over 100,000 signatures, the White House is expected to respond to it -- and as promised, it has done so.

"The White House agrees with the 114,000+ of you who believe that consumers should be able to unlock their cell phones without risking criminal or other penalties," said the official White House response.

"In fact, we believe the same principle should also apply to tablets, which are increasingly similar to smart phones. And if you have paid for your mobile device, and aren't bound by a service agreement or other obligation, you should be able to use it on another network. It's common sense, crucial for protecting consumer choice, and important for ensuring we continue to have the vibrant, competitive wireless market that delivers innovative products and solid service to meet consumers' needs."

The Obama administration further added that it would support various corrections to the situation, including new legislative rules in telecommunications stating that technological locks and/or criminal law can stop consumers from switching carriers when they're not bound by a contract.

The White House response added that the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will join the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in looking into the matter of cell phone unlocking.

The FCC said it would investigate the ban on cell phone unlocking last week. More specifically, it plans to investigate whether the ban is harmful to market competitiveness and whether the executive branch has the authority to change the law.

The White House made mention that mobile providers should "consider what steps they as businesses can take to ensure that their customers can fully reap the benefits and features they expect when purchasing their devices."

Source: The White House



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This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By CZroe on 3/5/2013 10:08:23 AM , Rating: 2
I meant to point out that the conversation keeps getting changed to "carriers should unlock after contractual terms" when it supposed to be a discussion on the legality of doing it yourself. I guess I kinda did that myself. Even the White House's response went to that. :(

You should be able to do it legally whenever you want with whatever means available (exploit, carrier unlock, hardware). Perhaps the carrier doesn't have to make a carrier unlock available until certain terms are met, but it still shouldn't be illegal to DIY when there are plenty of good reasons that don't involve ditching contractual obligations.


"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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