White House Petition for Unlocking Cell Phones


This site doesn’t normally get into political forays; however, for this I will wade into the mess.  I have an opponent of locked cell phones, big time.  I found the following story which describes an online petition to call for unlocking cell phones.

According to current law…. According to petition literature, a statute under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act prohibits consumers who have bought mobile phones after January 26 th to unlock their phones for use on a different network; unless they have permission from the carrier. Users could be subject to violating federal laws if they unlock their phones even after their service contract expires. Not all phones are subject to the statute; there are a number of models that are unlocked and can be activated by different carriers.

More than 100,000 people have signed an online petition calling for unlocking cell phones saying the practice is unfair.

Opponents say the law reduces consumer choice and reduces the resale value of the phone. More than 114,000 have signed a petition to change the law.  It’s a petition that is now being backed by the White House. A White House adviser says the administration is now looking into drafting legislation that will allow consumers to unlock their phones if they’ve paid for it and aren’t bound by a service agreement.

Here is a copy of the petition:


Make Unlocking Cell Phones Legal.

The Librarian of Congress decided in October 2012 that unlocking of cell phones would be removed from the exceptions to the DMCA.

As of  January 26, consumers will no longer be able unlock their phones for use on a different network without carrier permission, even after their contract has expired.

Consumers will be forced to pay exorbitant roaming fees to make calls while traveling abroad. It reduces consumer choice, and decreases the resale value of devices that consumers have paid for in full.

The Librarian noted that carriers are offering more unlocked phones at present, but the great majority of phones sold are still locked.

We ask that the White House ask the Librarian of Congress to rescind this decision, and failing that, champion a bill that makes unlocking permanently legal.

Created: Jan 24, 2013






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