U.S. Senator Proposes Bill To Make Cellphone Unlocking Legal Again

illegal iPhone unlock

As of January 26th, it is now illegal for you to unlock your smartphone if you want to use it on another network. Carrier unlocking has been legal in the U.S. for years, but in October the Library of Congress ruled that unauthorized unlocking is a crime.

The Obama Administration has already voiced its opinion that citizens should be allowed to unlock their smartphones without risking criminal penalties, and a senator from Oregon just introduced a bill that would making unlocking legal again.

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) announced on Twitter Tuesday that he has created the Wireless Device Independence Act to ensure citizens can unlock their devices.

Wyden’s bill would attempt to amend Section 1201(a)(1)(B) of title 17 of the United States Code which deals with the circumvention of copyright protection systems.

The Obama Administration said that it would support a range of approaches to address the issue, including legislative fixes. A few other U.S. lawmakers are trying to rush bills out as well. Rep. Anna Eshoo from California plans to introduce her own bill in the House of Representatives soon, too.

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  • Koban4max

    I hope people aren’t dumb enough to understand what impeachment is…or recall.

  • technochick

    Bills like this are the wrong tact. it’s an affront to the very idea of IP rights and it really only benefits companies that are selling unlocks to unwitty folks that don’t know and aren’t told they just killed all service from the manufacturers for letting someone tamper with their phone.

    what we need is to just have no more locks at all. buy it unlocked, it stays unlocked. to that end, I posted a petition myself calling for the whitehouse to do this very thing. http://wh.gov/G7Ut
    as well as this one http://wh.gov/G7GL regarding carriers not discounting for buying full price, bring own device etc.

  • WireBender4279

    I have never understood the “locked” device idea. If I was a wireless provider I would welcome someone stupid enough to want to use “my” device on another network as long as that “dupe” paid his monthly contract to “me.” It would save “me” bandwidth and be free money, a win-win for “me.” I am sure the technology exists to “brick” the device if that payment is not made.

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Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Social Media Editor. Hailing from Roswell, New Mexico, but now spending his days in Phoenix, Arizona, he wastes most of his time eating burritos and reading Spanish romance novels. Twitter: @bst3r.

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