House Passes Weakened Phone Unlocking Bill
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that will make it legal once again for consumers to unlock their devices. The passage is a muted victory, however, because language was added to the bill that weakens it. "The new language specifically excluding bulk unlocking could indicate that the drafters believe that phone unlocking has something to do with copyright law," said Public Knowledge. "Consumers should be able to unlock their phones without fear of liability, and for many of them, this bill will restore that ability. But as it stands, H.R. 1123 represents the need for further change to the DMCA, as represented in HR 1892, the Unlocking Technology Act sponsored by Rep. Zoe Lofgren." It is unknown if the Senate will consider the bill. Separately, the NTIA and the FCC have mandated that wireless network operators make it easier for consumers to unlock their devices. The largest carriers plan to implement several unlocking policies beginning in March, with other policies to fall into place throughout the rest of the year.
Houses Passes Bill that Could Cripple FCC's Net Neutrality Rules
The U.S. House of Representatives today passed bill HR 2666, which could interfere with the FCC's ability to enforce net neutrality provisions.
TracFone Settles with FCC Over Locked Phones
TracFone has reached an agreement with the FCC concerning its policies for unlocking handsets. In February of this year it became mandatory for all carriers to unlock customer handsets and to properly disclose their unlocking policies to customers.
Senate Votes to Uphold ZTE Ban in Defense Bill
The Senate approved legislation that would see the ban against ZTE remain in place. The chamber on Monday voted in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a bill passed by the Senate every year.
Bill Would Compel Companies to Break Encryption
A new bill introduced by members of the House and Senate would force smartphone makers to crack encryption on devices any time law enforcement asks. A draft of the bill, submitted by Senators Diane Feinstein of California and Richard Burr of North Carolina, says tech firms "must provide in a timely manner responsive, intelligible information or data, or appropriate technical assistance to obtain such information." Feinstein and Burr have been threatening such legislation since last year, but the notion has taken a new direction ever since the FBI asked Apple to help decrypt an iPhone and Apple refused.
AT&T Sues Former Employees Over Stolen Unlock Codes
AT&T this week sued three former workers, alleging they aided in the theft of cell phone unlock codes. Kyra Evans, Nguyen Lam, and Marc Sapatin, who all worked at AT&T's Bothell, Wash., site, are accused of installing malware on AT&T computers that was used to obtain hundreds of thousands of unlock codes.
I'll keep holding my breath
They say its because there's such a selection of unlocked phones out there but that's a lie too, what store can i walk into and just buy an unlocked device that isn't a $600 exclusive edition but can actually use our bands?
So yeah, I'll keep holding my breath for the carriers to stop forcing me to break the law to unlo...