Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Mobile Tech
DDoS Protection Powered By Verisign
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
100,000 Petition White House for Right To Unlock Phones

100,000 Petition White House for Right To Unlock Phones
By Adam Dickter

Share
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Share on Google Plus

In their petition to President Obama, created Jan. 24, the same day the rule change took effect, opponents of the change warn that without unlocked phones "Consumers will be forced to pay exorbitant roaming fees to make calls while traveling abroad. It reduces consumer choice, and decreases the resale value of devices that consumers have paid for in full."
 


Should it be against the law to unlock your own cell phone to switch carriers?

More than 100,000 people who have signed a petition to the White House don't think so.

But the Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington, does, and in October he decided to exercise his office's right to determine that consumers must get permission from carriers (good luck with that) before doing so, effective Jan. 24.

Modified Exception

In Billington's view, unlocking one's own phone should no longer be considered an exception to the Digital Media Copyright Act (DMCA), passed by Congress in 1998 and signed by President Bill Clinton. The DMCA, among other things, makes it illegal to circumvent a technological access control, such as a phone's ability to access wireless networks.

The new rule modifies the exemption on phone software or firmware to apply only within 90 days "if the operator of the wireless communications network to which the handset is locked has failed to unlock it within a reasonable period of time following a request by the owner of the wireless telephone handset" and applies only when the operator of the new network consents to the unlocking and access.

The ruling notes that the amendment was modified from what proponents, who include several top carriers and carrier associations wanted because "In order to align the exemption to current market realities, it applies only to mobile phones acquired prior to the effective date of the exemption or within 90 days thereafter."

In their petition to President Obama, created Jan. 24, the same day the rule change took effect, opponents warn that without unlocked phones "Consumers will be forced to pay exorbitant roaming fees to make calls while traveling abroad. It reduces consumer choice, and decreases the resale value of devices that consumers have paid for in full.

"The Librarian noted that carriers are offering more unlocked phones at present, but the great majority of phones sold are still locked."

The White House should either ask the Librarian to rescind the decision or push its own "legalize unlocking bill," petitioners say.

The Executive Branch responds to all petitions that gather more than 100,000 signatures, so we'll soon find out where the president stands. As of Thursday afternoon, signatures totaled 104,486.

CTIA-The Wireless Association, the industry trade group supporting carriers, heavily backed the Librarian's change. In a Jan. 26 blog post, association vice president and counsel Michael Altschul argued that a phone still in contract is the same as a car that has not been fully financed.

Same as a Car

"That's all that is happening here: consumers who pay the full price for a phone can take that phone to the carrier (or carriers) of their choice," Altschul said. "However, if a carrier subsidized the price of the phone in exchange for the consumer's agreement to use the phone on that carrier's network, the consumer can only transfer the phone to a new carrier once the terms of the contract (or the carrier's unlocking policy) have been satisfied."

But Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, dismissed that rationale.

"The LOC's rule was a blatant example of kowtowing to lobbyists, not a valiant attempt to thwart cellular evildoers," King told us. "It isn't so much that the rule is unenforceable but that enforcement would be an unnecessary strain on already overstressed police departments and also spotlight just how idiotic the rule actually is."
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 Mobile Tech
1.   HTC One M8 Windows Phone Unveiled
2.   Verizon Tops in Mobile Networks
3.   Sprint Out with Data Guns Blazing
4.   Best Buy Leaks Moto 360 Watch Info
5.   Google Buys Contextual Image Startup


advertisement
Android 'Fake ID' Puts Millions at Risk
Users: stick to apps from Google Play.
Average Rating:
Researchers Tout Battery Breakthrough
Lithium anode could triple capacity.
Average Rating:
HTC One M8 Windows Phone Unveiled
Can be POS device for small business.
Average Rating:


advertisement
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Chinese Hackers Nab Info on Millions of U.S. Patients
A group of Chinese hackers has stolen the personal information, including names and Social Security numbers, of about 4.5 million patients at hospitals operated by Community Health Systems.
 
Premier FBI Cybersquad in U.S. To Add Agents
After helping prosecutors charge Chinese army officials with stealing trade secrets from major companies and by snaring a Russian-led hacking ring, the premier FBI cyber-squad is getting a boost.
 
Apple Opens iCloud Data Center in China
Treading lightly, Apple acknowledged it has started to store encrypted iCloud personal data of some Chinese users on servers in mainland China, operated by the state-owned China Telecom.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Compression, Deduplication Come to Violin Concerto 2200
Violin Memory has announced that data deduplication and compression capabilities are now available on its Concerto 2200 solution. Typically, users will experience deduplication rates between 6:1 and 10:1.
 
Cisco Axes 6,000 Employees in Restructuring Plan
Faced with declining profits, Cisco is laying off up to 6,000 employees in the months ahead -- a whopping 8 percent of its global workforce. That's in addition to the 4,000 jobs Cisco cut last year.
 
Web Slows, Have Internet Routers Reached The Limit?
If you encountered problems connecting to the Internet on August 12, you weren't alone. Networking experts blame the wide-scale slowdown on outdated routing systems that are reaching their limits.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
HTC Debuts Windows Phone Version of One M8 Smartphone
HTC is bringing the Windows Phone mobile OS to its flagship One M8 device -- the first time any mainstream flagship smartphone has been offered with a choice of operating systems.
 
Verizon Earns Top Rating in Mobile Network Comparison
A new report says Verizon Wireless was the top-performing U.S. cellphone service provider in the first half of 2014, on a nationwide and state-by-state basis, as well as in metro areas.
 
Sprint Comes Out with Data Guns Blazing
As its new CEO promised, Sprint has rolled out a new aggressively competitive price plan. The shared data plans promise twice the high-speed data and at lower prices than AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.