Obama administration hints at allowing unlocked phones

The US Federal Communications Commission’s [FCC] chairman, Julius Genachowski, issued a statement recently, asserting that “The Copyright Office of the Library of Congress recently reversed its longstanding position and stated it is a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for consumers to unlock new mobile phones, even those outside of contract periods, without their wireless providers’ permission, and that consumers are subject to criminal penalties if they do.”

Genachowski added that the FCC will be “examining this issue” to determine whether or not it should take action, suggesting to Congress that it should also “consider a legislative solution.”

But in a follow up to a petition [signed by over 114,000 Americans] to the President Obama, R. David Edelman, senior advisor for Internet, Innovation, & Privacy, declaring the White House’s stance is that “neither criminal law nor technological locks should prevent consumers from switching carriers when they are no longer bound by a service agreement or other obligation.”

According to Edelman “In fact, we believe the same principle should also apply to tablets, which are increasingly similar to smart phones. And 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 that delivers innovative products and solid service to meet consumers’ needs.”

So while nothing will imediately happen, a battle could be brewing sometime in the future.


About ebraiter
computer guy

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