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

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    Default 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:

    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!

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

    Last edited by Anthony Bouchard; 03-04-2013 at 12:53 PM.

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