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.
Carriers Have to Unlock Eligible Phones Beginning Today
Wireless network operators are now required to unlock customers' phones once the phones are paid off or no longer under contract. Today's change follows an agreement forged between the FCC, the CTIA Wireless Association and carriers in December 2013.
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.
Republicans to Let NSA Keep Spying On Your Calls
Republicans recently introduced a bill in the Senate that will extend the NSA's ability to collect and store phone call data through December 2020. As it stands today, the law (part of the Patriot Act) is slated to expire June 1.
Patriot Act Expires, NSA Phone Data Collection Ends
The Patriot Act expired today and with it the NSA's authority to collect Americans' phone records in bulk. Members of the Senate deliberated over the Act furiously on Sunday as some wanted to extend its powers and others wanted to kill it altogether.
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...