White House: Unlocking Phones Shouldn’t be Illegal

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(The Hosting News) – The idea of unlocking cellphones has been controversial – at least in the minds of wireless providers who have often pushed back against the idea.

Consumers, on the other hand, would like to have the ability, making their respective devices available to work on a multitude of networks and not just from the initial carrier in which they received the phone.

Meanwhile, the White House recently responded to a petition to legalize the unlocking of cellphones – something that was officially made illegal on January 26th via the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

“The White House agrees with the 114,000+ of you who believe that consumers should be able to unlock their cell phones without risking criminal or other penalties. 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,” stated R. David Edelman, a Senior Advisor for Internet, Innovation & Piracy at the White House.

He continued, “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.”

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski also chimed in regarding the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s stance, saying it brought up “serious competition and innovation concerns.”

Despite the law, some mobile providers do allow phone unlocking on a request basis once client contracts have been fulfilled.

Tech giant Apple offers an already unlocked version of its iPhone 5, allowing consumers to connect to whichever network providers they wish without initially signing a contract to receive the device.

White House: Unlocking Phones Shouldn’t be Illegal

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