Last month, a petition was created on the White House’s ‘We The People’ website that demanded the White House ask Congress to rescind its decision to make unlocking cellphones illegal.
After 114,000 signatures were collected on the petition, the White House invited experts on telecommunications, technology and copyright law to come over to the White House and talk about the issue.
The official White House response was issued today stating that the Obama Administration believes that consumers should be able to unlock their cellphones without risking criminal penalties.
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. 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 great, Obama thinks you should be able to unlock your cellphone, especially if you’ve bought it secondhand… but what happens now?
Well, the White House says they would support a range of approaches to addressing the issues, such as legislative fixes. They also state that the FCC can play an important role in getting the unlocking ban overturned.
Sounds like it will be a long road before this gets overturned, but at least the ball is rolling.
Source: White House.