White House Backs Petition in Support of Mobile Phone Unlocking

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    As of late January, it became illegal in the United States to unlock newly purchased mobile phones without carrier authorization. The decision, which came from the Librarian of Congress declining to issue an exemption for such activity under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, serves to restrict U.S. customers from shifting service to other carriers or using their devices abroad with local SIM cards.

    A "We the People" petition addressing the issue was quickly started, with the petition exceeding the 100,000 signatures required to receive a response from the White House. Less than two weeks after the petition period closed, White House advisor R. David Edelman has now issued an official response pledging support for the freedom to unlock not only mobile phones, but also tablets.
    The response outlines a range of possible next steps to address the unlocking issue, including "narrow legislative fixes" to directly address the issue, working with the Federal Communications Commission on policies, and encouraging mobile phone carriers to loosen their restrictions against unlocking where needed.

    In a press release, the Library of Congress defends its original decision, noting that it has a relatively narrowly defined role in deciding on exemptions based on the evidence presented to it by parties involved in the proposals. It notes that broader discussions of public policy need to be carried out at other levels and that such discussions can be sparked by the Library of Congress's decisions as occurred in this case.

    Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

    Article Link: White House Backs Petition in Support of Mobile Phone Unlocking
  2. ka-spot macrumors 6502a

    May 23, 2012
    Sofia, Bulgaria
  3. Tiger8 macrumors 68020

    May 23, 2011
  4. five04 macrumors member

    Dec 11, 2003
    Charlotte, North Carolina
    Nice that they responded, but I doubt it'll actually mean anything will get done.
  5. britboyj macrumors 6502a

    Apr 8, 2009

    Or, go with Verizon or Sprint and the thing is ALREADY SIM-unlocked! (It's what I did, and why AT&T lost me as a customer. 20 years of service and you won't let me unlock my phone while I'm in-contract? No dice.)
  6. Troneas macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2011
    At the alternatives section.
    "And if you have paid for your mobile device, and aren't bound by a service agreement or other obligation, you should be able to use it on another network."

    I thought the law only stipulates that you couldn't unlock it if you were in a contract agreement, which would be the same as this.

    how does this position change the status quo?
  7. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
  8. camnchar macrumors 6502


    Jan 26, 2006
    SLC, Utah
    It does seem like common sense, but when has common sense ever driven politics?
  9. baryon macrumors 68040


    Oct 3, 2009
    If you are a carrier and you have to force people to use your service because otherwise they would leave, that just means you're a crap carrier. How about getting people to stay with you because they actually enjoy it, rather than making it illegal?

    Sure, if you sign a 24 month contract, you'll have to pay that off. But what the hell does that have to do with locking you into that network? If you've paid off the 24 monthly payments, you own the device in full. And even before you've paid it off, why do you have to keep using that single carrier? You're paying monthly, aren't you, and you'll keep doing so for 2 years.

    It's like buying a car on credit and only being allowed to drive it on certain roads, before or even after you've paid off the entire price.
  10. abhishake macrumors regular

    Jul 14, 2005
    Glad to see this petition thing work for once.
  11. Menge macrumors 6502a


    Dec 22, 2008
    The bolded part is where users will get screwed. If you paid for your device, you should be able to use it anywhere, anytime. Enforce the service agreement or other stuff with termination/usage fees, not by locking the device down.

    It's my personal belief that operators should sell only unlocked devices and if they want to lock the user down, do so via contracts and ETFs. THEN the user will be able to freely choose where his money goes.
  12. jontech macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2010
    Can't the President just make a phone call on this one?
  13. joecool99 Suspended


    Aug 20, 2008
    wow, like the government doesn't have anything better to worry about: :confused:

    - education
    - energy independence
    - immigration reform
    - ..... thousands more

    * leave the customers/consumers alone and let them do with their phones as they please!
    you worry about real issues! bunch of idiots!
  14. razmanugget macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2008
    They give us phone unlocking, but say "no" to the Death Star. Seems fair... not.
  15. taptic macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2012
    Now that the White House wants it, I'm wondering if it's a good thing.... xD
  16. ArchAndroid macrumors regular


    Aug 26, 2012
    London, England
    Your government is big enough to deal with more than one thing at a time; it is polyvalent.

    Plus, what could the ministers who specialise in technology and communications do about the above topics which are so far from their field of expertise? :confused:
  17. Coleman2010 macrumors 68000

    Oct 9, 2010
    Conservatives are the ones backing making unlocking illegal. Serving their corporate masters.
  18. second.exodous macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2009
    Now if they can only force every carrier in the US to use the SAME sim card I'd be happy.
  19. taptic macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2012
    Energy independence..... ha. The U.S. is floating on oil, and we want to make electric cars.... :p
  20. impulse462 macrumors 68000


    Jun 3, 2009
    Seems pretty ridiculous to me that even after people have paid off their contract, they still want to make unlocking illegal. Talk about power-hungry.
  21. 8281 macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2010
    If you think Democrats are immune from the influence of corporate money (especially regarding defense contracts and the jobs that depend on them), then I've got some news for you.
  22. JAT macrumors 603

    Dec 31, 2001
    Mpls, MN
    Yayy. This would matter a lot more if there was more tech uniformity among USA carriers. While they are moving to it, we aren't there, yet. Plus, they are becoming much more friendly about unlocking, anyway.

    Real world, this basically boils down to people need it to take their phone on a trip. Sometimes. So...good news. Just not that important.
  23. UnfetteredMind macrumors 6502


    Jun 6, 2012
    Of course not, this is the government we're talking about.
  24. Codyak macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2012
    You're definitely right but this one really was all republican. The decision was by an 83 year old Reagan appointee. :rolleyes:
  25. ILikeTurtles macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2010
    I know this is shocking, but the President really has no power to do anything on his own accord.

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