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. Today the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee agreed to advance the bill to the Senate. 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. Unlocking phones became illegal when the Library of Congress allowed an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to expire. The bill still falls under the purview of the DMCA and leaves the ultimate decision up to the Library of Congress. If enacted immediately, it will be legal to unlock cell phones only for a period of 14 months before the policy must be reviewed once again by the Library of Congress. The wording of the bill mandates the policy be reviewed once every three years. Separately, the NTIA and the FCC have mandated that wireless network operators make it easier for consumers to unlock their devices. Most of the largest carriers have already begun putting policies in place that allow customers to unlock their devices once terms of their agreement are met.
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.
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.
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.
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.