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...
Build Apps 5x Faster
For Half the Cost
Enterprise Cloud Computing

On Force.com
Mobile Tech
24/7/365 Network Uptime
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
February 21, 2013 4:44PM

    Bookmark and Share
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:



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.


 Mobile Tech
1.   Amazon 3D Smartphone Pics Leaked
2.   Zebra Buys Motorola Enterprise Biz
3.   CTIA Caves, Offers Kill Switch Plan
4.   Report: Amazon Phone To Feature 3D
5.   Review: Galaxy S5 Features Useful


advertisement
BlackBerry Drops T-Mobile After Spat
Moving on to other carriers after snub.
Average Rating:
Android Wear on Tap for Wearables
OK Google, what's really new here?
Average Rating:
Will Nadella Launch an Office for iPad?
New Microsoft CEO may act this month.
Average Rating:


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

Network Security Spotlight
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.
 
How To Beat the Heartbleed Bug
Heartbleed headlines continue as IT admins scramble for answers no one has. Early reports of stolen personal data, including 900 social insurance numbers in Canada, are starting to trickle in.
 
After Heartbleed, OpenSSL Calls for More Support
The president of the OpenSSL Foundation says more support is needed from companies and governments that use its software so that it can better spot and fix flawed pieces of code such as Heartbleed.
 

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
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 million, Zebra Technologies is throwing down $3.45 billion for Motorola’s Enterprise business in an all-cash deal.
 
CTIA Caves, Volunteers Kill Switch Plan
After bucking against the concept of a smartphone kill switch, the CTIA just announced the “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment” to thwart smartphone thefts in the U.S.
 

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.