The Obama administration has recently filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission asking that all wireless carriers be required to unlock all mobile devices according to The Washington Post. The move comes several months after The White House backed a “We the People” petition that successfully garnered more than 100,000 signatures calling for cell phone unlocking to be made legal.
The “We the People” petition was started after an October ruling by the Library of Congress Copyright Office which ended an exemption within the Digital Millennium Copyright Act which formerly allowed cell phone unlocking. As of January 26, 2013 it became illegal for US mobile phone users to unlock newly purchased cell phones without express permission from their cell phone carriers. According to the recent petition from The White House’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, permitting unlocked devices, including both smartphones and tablets, would increase both competition and consumer choice. The following was mentioned regarding the matter:
"Americans should be able to use their mobile devices on whatever networks they choose and have their devices unlocked without hassle," said Lawrence Strickling, assistant secretary of the NTIA.
Source: The Washington Post