Petition Motivates White House to Respond to Phone Locking
The White House today issued a formal response to a petition regarding cell phone unlocking. "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 Obama administration via the White House web site. Last year, the Library of Congress revoked an exemption that allowed consumers to unlock their cell phones. Beginning January 26, it became illegal for U.S. citizens to unlock their cell phones, even when not under contract, without carrier permission. "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." Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski threw his hat into the ring, as well, saying today, "The FCC is examining this issue, looking into whether the agency, wireless providers, or others should take action to preserve consumers' ability to unlock their mobile phones. I also encourage Congress to take a close look and consider a legislative solution."
Phone-Unlocking Bill Clears Congress, Goes to Obama
The U.S. House of Representatives today unanimously passed bill S517, which makes it legal once again for consumers to unlock their cell phones.
Congress Gives Unlocking Bill Another Shot
Lawmakers on Monday agreed to a revised bill to make it legal for people to unlock their cell phones. Senator Patrick Leahy and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley introduced the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act last year in order to restore consumers' ability to unlock their phones.
Phone-Unlocking Bill Advances to Senate
The full Senate will vote on a bill that aims to reestablish the legality of unlocking cell phones. The bipartisan proposal was agreed to in broad terms last month.
Unlocking Cell Phones Is Once Again Legal
President Barack Obama today signed into law a bill that makes it legal for Americans to unlock their cell phones. The bill was passed by the Senate and House of Representatives last month.