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
Is your endpoint data protected?
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
White House Petitions FCC To Allow Phone Unlocking

White House Petitions FCC To Allow Phone Unlocking
By Barry Levine

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

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.



Get Powerful App Acceleration with Cisco. In a world where time is money, you need to accelerate the speed at which data moves through your data center. Cisco UCS Invicta delivers powerful, easy-to-manage application acceleration for data-intensive workloads. So you can make decisions faster and outpace the competition. Learn More.


 Mobile Tech
1.   Screen Troubles Briefly Slow iPhone 6
2.   Bounty Offered for Oculus Rift Bugs
3.   Glass Adds Voice Access to Contacts
4.   Samsung, B&N Partner on Nook Tablet
5.   Acer Desktop Box Rides Chrome Wave


advertisement
HTC One M8 Windows Phone Unveiled
Can be POS device for small business.
Average Rating:
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:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Find Malicious Android Apps Can Hack Gmail
A new study shows that a weakness in the Android mobile operating system can be used to steal sensitive, personal info from unwitting users. Gmail proved to be the easiest app to attack; Amazon, the hardest.
 
UPS Stores in 24 States Hit by Data Breach
Big Brown has been breached. UPS said that about 105,000 customer transactions at 51 of its UPS Store locations in 24 states could have been compromised between January and August.
 
Cost of Target Data Breach: $148 Million Plus Loss of Trust
The now infamous Target data breach is still costing the company -- and its shareholders -- plenty. In fact, the retailing giant forecast the December 2013 incident cost shareholders $148 million.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Acer's New Desktop Box Rides the Chrome OS Wave
Filling out its Chrome OS line, Acer is following the introduction of a larger Chromebook line earlier this month with a new tiny $180 desktop Chromebox and also a smaller Chromebook.
 
Feds OK $2.3 Billion IBM-Lenovo x86 Server Deal
IBM and Lenovo are celebrating U.S. approval of their x86-based server deal, having cleared some major security hurdles. The deal makes Lenovo a major player for enterprise data centers.
 
Three New Lenovo PCs Aimed at Business Users
With businesses wanting computing solutions that do more for less money, Lenovo has unveiled three new desktop PCs that it says offer solid computing at a budget-minded price.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Screen Shortage Briefly Puts Brakes on iPhone 6
RAM? Check. Antenna switch? Check. Screen? Oops. Parts suppliers for Apple have found themselves facing a shortage of screens for the new iPhone 6 as next month's release date for the new smartphone looms.
 
Bounty Offered to Coders for Oculus Rift Bugs
Coders who find bugs in software for the Oculus Rift VR immersive headset could receive a reward of at least $500 under Facebook's White Hat bounty program. Facebook acquired Oculus in March.
 
Google Glass Adds Voice Access to Phone Contacts
The latest update to Google Glass will let users access their top 20 phone contacts with voice commands alone. A user can then choose a phone call, Google hangouts, e-mail or text messaging.
 

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.