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. The Senate passed the bill on July 15. With both arms of congress approving the bill, it is up to President Obama to sign it into law. Unlocking phones became illegal in early 2013 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 regarding unlocking up to the Library of Congress. If Obama signs the bill into law immediately, it will be legal to unlock cell phones only for a period of about 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. The NTIA and the FCC have each separately 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.
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.
Senate Passes USA Freedom Act
The Senate today passed the USA Freedom Act, which moves to curtail how the NSA collects and stores American call records. The Patriot Act expired on Sunday and with it the NSA's authority to collect call records en masse.
AT&T Wants Congress to Pass Net Neutrality Laws
AT&T today claimed in full-page newspaper advertisements published around the country that it wants Congress to take charge of net neutrality. The company suggests an "internet bill of rights" is in order.
Congress Wants Prepaid Phone Buyers to Provide ID
A new bill introduced to Congress would require everyone who buys a prepaid phone or SIM card to provide identification, including name, address, and date of birth. The "Closing the Pre-Paid Mobile Device Security Gap Act of 2016", or H.R.
Senators Revise Anti-Encryption Bill, Opposition Mounts
Senators Diane Feinstein of California and Richard Burr of North Carolina have circulated a revised draft of the Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016. The bill would require tech companies to "provide in a timely manner responsive, intelligible information or data, or appropriate technical assistance to obtain such information or data." If passed into law, it would largely negate the benefits of using encryption on mobile devices, which are meant to protect personal information.
Of course it matters...
The "unlocking policies" the carriers, and their shill the CTIA, have come up with are scams for the carriers forcing you one way or the other to take out service with them in order to unlock a handset. Unless of course you are the 5 percent of users who know you need your device unlocked before your contract runs out. Most people don't and haven't, and wont keep service with the old carrier in order to unlock it either so they take the phone home and keep it, prolly unused in a drawer or they agree to the reaming and trade it in for the $16 they are told it is worth.
I am all for this bill, but...
Since carriers don't make mo...