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  • The White House: "It's Time to Legalize Cell Phone Unlocking"


    Back in February, more than 114,000 people signed a White House petition to make unlocking cell phones manufactured after a certain date legal again in the United States. The White House has officially responded, and with great news!

    The White House agrees with the 114,000 people that want to make unlocking cell phones legal. In fact, they think consumers should be able to do the same with their tablets:

    Originally Posted by :
    Thank you for sharing your views on cell phone unlocking with us through your petition on our We the People platform. Last week the White House brought together experts from across government who work on telecommunications, technology, and copyright policy, and we're pleased to offer our response.

    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. 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.

    This is particularly important for secondhand or other mobile devices that you might buy or receive as a gift, and want to activate on the wireless network that meets your needs -- even if it isn't the one on which the device was first activated. All consumers deserve that flexibility.

    ...

    The Obama Administration would support a range of approaches to addressing this issue, including narrow legislative fixes in the telecommunications space that make it clear: neither criminal law nor technological locks should prevent consumers from switching carriers when they are no longer bound by a service agreement or other obligation.

    We also believe the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), with its responsibility for promoting mobile competition and innovation, has an important role to play here. FCC Chairman Genachowski today voiced his concern about mobile phone unlocking (.pdf), and to complement his efforts, NTIA will be formally engaging with the FCC as it addresses this urgent issue.

    Finally, we would encourage mobile providers to 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.
    To read the rest of the official response to the petition trying to make unlocking cell phones legal, you can head over to the official petition page via this link.

    It would appear that the petition, created by Sina Khanifar, has made a solid impact. Huge props to Sina, whom we've been working with for a long time - since the days of TheMotoGuide.com!

    All cell phone owners in the United States will have benefits to gain from this... Customers 1, carriers 0.

    Sources: Whitehouse.gov
    This article was originally published in forum thread: The White House: "It's Time to Legalize Cell Phone Unlocking" started by Anthony Bouchard View original post
    Comments 30 Comments
    1. Scotty Manley Silberhorn's Avatar
      Scotty Manley Silberhorn -
      Hopefully this will be the beginning giving more freedom to customers. If we pay for something and its ours, we should be able to have full control over it.
    1. regkilla's Avatar
      regkilla -
      Is everyone happy now?
    1. PokemonDesigner's Avatar
      PokemonDesigner -
      Thank god this is going well. That was ridiculous. It's our property to do with what we want.
    1. Smekerit's Avatar
      Smekerit -
      Vrery Happy !
    1. csglinux's Avatar
      csglinux -
      Good progress :-)
    1. bisayakid07's Avatar
      bisayakid07 -
      Should we celebrate?
    1. Simon's Avatar
      Simon -
      Definitely a good thing
    1. ProfessorJack's Avatar
      ProfessorJack -
      It's quite simple for me in my thinking
      Is if I'm not able to unlock/jailbrake
      Then I will not buy any apple product

      I've noticed most of my settings are keep up in the cloud
      So if you take your device out of JB you can still use most of the setting tweaks
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      I remember the good old days of modmymoto! I only bought Motorola cell phones during that time. Modding them with programs like RSD, XVI32, P2K Tools etc. You could make MP's (monsterpacks) that had themes and mods all squeezed into a file....good times!! The SLVR L7 and RIZR Z3 were definitely my favorites to mod! Then the iPhone came out and a lot of people left moto modding and came over to Jailbreaking Either way it's awesome to be able to personalize your phone!
    1. Zmaster's Avatar
      Zmaster -
      Am i wrong or this is only about carrier unlocking and not jailbreaking?
    1. Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
      Anthony Bouchard -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zmaster View Post
      Am i wrong or this is only about carrier unlocking and not jailbreaking?
      This is only about carrier unlocking.
    1. Rcworship's Avatar
      Rcworship -
      This must be about jailbreaking too, since tablets were mentioned. It would appear to follow logically...
    1. LearningMan's Avatar
      LearningMan -
      I really don't understand what everybody seems to have a case of the *** over to begin with. Most phones sold by the major carriers are subsidized. When these subsidies have been fulfilled, a phone can be freely unlocked. At least with an iPhone, which is the focus of this board, it's as easy as requesting it from your carrier, confirmation that your contract has been fulfilled, and releasing it to be unlocked by iTunes. I've done it twice.

      If you want to buy and unlocked phone to begin with, you can, at full retail price.

      I'm not sure what I'm missing here. If you guys think you are going to get unlocked iPhones for $199 out of the 'chute, you are sadly mistaken. Your beloved Apple is going to get their money, one way or another. You guys are headed down the path of unsubsidized phones and only being able to buy them at full retail to begin with.

      Be careful what you wish for.
    1. iM1sf1t's Avatar
      iM1sf1t -
      Or you can buy an on contract iPhone 5 from Verizon and it will come unlocked...
    1. Dometic's Avatar
      Dometic -
      We need a petition to bring back unlimited data
    1. MoDaLoT's Avatar
      MoDaLoT -
      We prevailed!!!!
    1. Feanor64's Avatar
      Feanor64 -
      Quote Originally Posted by LearningMan View Post
      I really don't understand what everybody seems to have a case of the *** over to begin with. Most phones sold by the major carriers are subsidized. When these subsidies have been fulfilled, a phone can be freely unlocked. At least with an iPhone, which is the focus of this board, it's as easy as requesting it from your carrier, confirmation that your contract has been fulfilled, and releasing it to be unlocked by iTunes. I've done it twice.

      If you want to buy and unlocked phone to begin with, you can, at full retail price.

      I'm not sure what I'm missing here. If you guys think you are going to get unlocked iPhones for $199 out of the 'chute, you are sadly mistaken. Your beloved Apple is going to get their money, one way or another. You guys are headed down the path of unsubsidized phones and only being able to buy them at full retail to begin with.

      Be careful what you wish for.
      exactly
    1. spazturtle's Avatar
      spazturtle -
      Quote Originally Posted by LearningMan View Post
      I really don't understand what everybody seems to have a case of the *** over to begin with. Most phones sold by the major carriers are subsidized. When these subsidies have been fulfilled, a phone can be freely unlocked. At least with an iPhone, which is the focus of this board, it's as easy as requesting it from your carrier, confirmation that your contract has been fulfilled, and releasing it to be unlocked by iTunes. I've done it twice.

      If you want to buy and unlocked phone to begin with, you can, at full retail price.

      I'm not sure what I'm missing here. If you guys think you are going to get unlocked iPhones for $199 out of the 'chute, you are sadly mistaken. Your beloved Apple is going to get their money, one way or another. You guys are headed down the path of unsubsidized phones and only being able to buy them at full retail to begin with.

      Be careful what you wish for.
      You still have to pay for the contract so why should they care?
    1. jme2712's Avatar
      jme2712 -
      More like customers: 1 carriers: 5 million
    1. daytonaviolet's Avatar
      daytonaviolet -
      i disagree with you. The subsidized price should only affect the 18mo commitment data plan and not the unlock/lock status of my iphone. if i buy a subsidized iphone for $199, i promise to commit to the 18mo data plan. but i would like my current iphone (which is the latest and greatest) to be unlocked so i can travel to other countries and use my current iphone


      Quote Originally Posted by LearningMan View Post
      I really don't understand what everybody seems to have a case of the *** over to begin with. Most phones sold by the major carriers are subsidized. When these subsidies have been fulfilled, a phone can be freely unlocked. At least with an iPhone, which is the focus of this board, it's as easy as requesting it from your carrier, confirmation that your contract has been fulfilled, and releasing it to be unlocked by iTunes. I've done it twice.

      If you want to buy and unlocked phone to begin with, you can, at full retail price.

      I'm not sure what I'm missing here. If you guys think you are going to get unlocked iPhones for $199 out of the 'chute, you are sadly mistaken. Your beloved Apple is going to get their money, one way or another. You guys are headed down the path of unsubsidized phones and only being able to buy them at full retail to begin with.

      Be careful what you wish for.