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. Please click for more information, or scroll down to pass the ad, or Close Ad.
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
APC Free White Paper
Optimize your network investment &
Enter to win a Samsung Galaxy Note

www.apc.com
Apple/Mac
Fiercely productive scanners
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
White House Petitions FCC To Allow Phone Unlocking
White House Petitions FCC To Allow Phone Unlocking

By Barry Levine
September 20, 2013 1:05PM

    Bookmark and Share
Some carriers have raised concerns -- citing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act -- that unlocked cell phones could carry copyright-protected software between service providers. But the movement to make unlocking legal again has received widespread support including from the White House, the FCC and Congress.
 



Unlocking a cell phone, currently illegal, may become legal again. The Obama Administration has sent a petition to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requesting such an action, and there is support in Congress and at the FCC.

The petition, which came from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in the Commerce Department, asks the FCC to "require a provider of certain commercial mobile services, upon request, to unlock any wireless device" in order that the device owner "may use that device in conjunction with another lawfully obtained commercial mobile service."

The petition added that giving consumers greater freedom to choose among mobile service providers and use wireless devices that they acquire legally from other private owners would increase competition and "enhance consumer welfare."

In addition to the NTIA petition, a bipartisan bill has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to similarly change the law about unlocking phones, and it has received support from companies in the wireless industry.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Locking phones for use with specific carriers has been employed to make movement by customers between carriers harder to do, because it meant getting a new phone as well as signing up for a new service. Unlocking involves using a program to remove software blocks preventing the device from being used on a competing service. In some cases, however, unlocking a phone does not make it completely portable between carriers because of technical incompatibilities.

In January, a federal copyright office in the Library of Congress refused to renew an exemption for cell phones in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act after the exemption expired, thus making phone unlocking illegal and subject to civil and criminal penalties. The agency said the issue was that unlocking a phone required getting around copyrighted software in order to acquire the unlocking codes, and the copyright-protected software was owned by the carriers. A petition to reinstate unlocking was filed through a White House online forum and acquired more than 114,000 signatures.

While some carriers have raised concerns that unlocked phones could carry copyright-protected software between service providers, the movement to make unlocking legal again has received widespread support.

Tip of Iceberg?

The Consumers Union, for instance, has praised the NTIA proposal, in part because it also includes the unlocking of tablets. The public interest group Public Knowledge has similarly been supportive, but has also called for a more far-reaching modernization of copyright laws. And the CTIA, a wireless industry association, has expressed support for the House bill.

In addition to giving consumers new flexibility in determining their relationships with carriers, unlocking would also give new life to the secondhand phone market. Some carriers will now unlock a phone under certain rules, such as for the original owner, but the proposed new rules would enable anyone who owns a phone to unlock it.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Daniel:

Posted: 2013-09-21 @ 12:11pm PT
Free phones every two years doesn't exist. You pay for them behind the scene with by submitting yourself to costlier carrier plans. T-Mobile charges you for you phone but when it's paid off your bill goes down. Att charges more for the same phone/plan and the price will not go down after having the same phone for two years.

Anonymous:

Posted: 2013-09-21 @ 11:31am PT
Unlocking your phone is not illegal, and never has been illegal. Show me a single court case where someone has gotten into trouble for it. There are none because, as your property, unlocking your phone is a right.

Klimmer:

Posted: 2013-09-21 @ 8:21am PT
Finally, the Whitehorse and Congress agree on something that helps the consumer. However, getting a "free" phone or "discounted" phone every couple of years may become a thing of the past.

keugene:

Posted: 2013-09-20 @ 4:03pm PT
So what if they don't like it...they spend 10's of millions of dollars buying congress to get what they want....to control the market (collusion, monopoly) etc and don't give a dam about their customers.....so i say the government shouldn't peition anything... they should flex their muscles.



APC has an established a reputation for solid products that virtually pay for themselves upon installation. Who has time to spend worrying about system downtime? APC makes it easy for you to focus on business growth instead of business downtime with reliable data center systems and IT solutions. Learn more here.


 Apple/Mac
1.   Samsung Tech Experts Talk Patents
2.   Phones Annoy Patent Trial Judge
3.   Apple vs. Samsung: Latest News
4.   Hey Siri, Can You Hear Me Now?
5.   Finding Apple-Samsung Jury Hard


advertisement
Phones Annoy Patent Trial Judge
Disrupting Apple-Samsung proceedings.
Average Rating:
Finding Apple-Samsung Jury Hard
Locals have strong opinions on case.
Average Rating:
Kill Switch Could Save Users $2.6B
Carriers, however, are not impressed.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Google's Street View Software Unravels CAPTCHAs
The latest software Google uses for its Street View cars to read street numbers in images for Google Maps works so well that it also solves CAPTCHAs, those puzzles designed to defeat bots.
 
Canadian Teen Arrested for Heartbleed Hack
One week after the OpenSSL Heartbleed vulnerability was unveiled, Canadian authorities have made the first arrest -- a London, Ontario teenager -- connected to exploiting the security hole.
 
IBM Offers Security, Disaster Recovery as SoftLayer Service
New disaster recovery and security services for SoftLayer clients are being added by IBM. Big Blue said the new capabilities will speed cloud adoption by alleviating concern over business continuity.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Vaio Fit 11A Battery Danger Forces Recall by Sony
Using a Sony Vaio Fit 11A laptop? It's time to send it back to Sony. In fact, Sony is encouraging people to stop using the laptop after several reports of its Panasonic battery overheating.
 
Continued Drop in Global PC Shipments Slows
Worldwide shipments of PCs fell during the first three months of the year, but the global slump in PC demand may be easing, with a considerable slowdown from last year's drops.
 
Google Glass Finds a Home in Medical Education, Practice
Google Glass may find its first markets in verticals in which hands-free access to data is a boon. Medicine is among the most prominent of those, as seen in a number of Glass experiments under way.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Google Releases Chrome Remote Desktop App for Android
You're out on a sales call, and use your Android mobile device to grab a file you have back at the office on your desktop. That's a bit easier now with Google's Chrome Remote Desktop app for Android.
 
Amazon 3D Smartphone Pics Leaked
E-commerce giant Amazon is reportedly set to launch a smartphone after years of development. Photos of the phone, which may feature a unique 3D interface, were leaked by tech pub BGR.
 
Zebra Tech Buys Motorola Enterprise for $3.45B
Weeks after Lenovo bought Motorola Mobility’s assets from Google for $2.91 billion, Zebra Technologies is throwing down $3.45 billion for Motorola’s Enterprise business in an all-cash deal.
 

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 | Small Business | 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 | XML/RSS Feed

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.