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USA: Legalize Phone Unlocks

In a country where Kinder Surprise eggs are illegal and you can buy weapons in the supermarket, the very bright government ( well, I shouldn’t really judge as my country is run by morons as well ) decided that the one thing to make illegal that would SAVE THE COUNTRY FROM TERRORISTS or something like that was phone unblocking. Apparently, back in October of last year, the Librarian of Congress decided to remove cellphone unlocking from the exceptions of the DMCA list, thus making it illegal. The decision came into play on January 26 of this year, thus forcing users to stick with the given carrier even after their original contract had expired. That seems a bit stupid to me, but then again a lot of things seem stupid and not very well thought out. I get it that there are people to profit from this, but it is entirely unfair towards the customer, and in the end it is the customer dishing out the cash from which the profiting ones survive.

Seeing how the people have very little power ( contrary to popular belief ), the only thing they could do was an Online Petition to overturn said decision. The petition didn’t ask for much and it offered alternative: they could either re-add cellphone unlocking to the exceptions of the DMCA, or create a specific legislation which legalizes it entirely.

In the statement from the White House, Senior Advisor for Internet, Innovation and Privacy – David Edelman – declared that his and the White House support for the online petition, which received over 114.000 signatures. One of the more notable lines were: “… neither criminal law nor technological locks should prevent consumers from switching carrier when they are no longer ound by a service agreement or other obligation.”. According to what Edelman says, the FCC and the NTIA are hard at work at seeing this come to fruition. In this case as in many, only time will tell what comes to develop.

About Alexandru Becheru

He is a technology enthusiast and experienced writer.