Success! Petition to make unlocking phones legal meets goal

Success! Petition to make unlocking phones legal meets goal
With a little over two days to spare, the voice of the people reaches its goal. We have been telling you about a petition started that would force the government to take a look at the law making unlocking carrier-locked phones illegal, and early this morning the petition reached the 100,000 signature mark, which means the White House must respond.

When we reminded you last night all about the petition (and shared the link in a few phone-related Google+ communities), it still needed just under 11,000 signatures to reach its goal, and now that goal has been met. This is especially impressive because this petition was one of the first to be launched after the White House raised the required number of signatures on a petition from 25,000 to 100,000 in an effort to avoid another petition like the one asking the government to build a Death Star.

Now that the petition has reached its goal, the White House is required to respond, although we don't know when exactly that will happen. This is the first step in the process, but now that we've gotten the attention of the government, it's time to push harder. That means contacting your local congressmen and senators, and urge them to change the law that makes unlocking a phone that you legally purchased from a carrier illegal. 

Thanks to everyone who signed, and shared the petition!

Story timeline



56. Reluctant_Human

Posts: 914; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

A bit unrelated but I like this petition system. I might start using it for other constructive reasons. Such as for docking senators pay whenever they don't vote on an issue or don't show up to avoid the issue. If i missed work as much as them I wouldn't have a job. Also, to put a restraining order from God so they stop using his name in their behave and in every political speech known to man.

55. technut

Posts: 205; Member since: Aug 03, 2012

Signed, fingers crossed!!

40. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

here is the responnce from the white house: "we can't help you at this moment as making the penny disappear is more important".

39. speckledapple

Posts: 902; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

I joined that. Fun.

33. ximacloudx

Posts: 13; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

Making a comment on everyone talking about people not being able to afford phones without subsidies, when the iPhone came to Virgin Mobile I had plenty of customers where I work spend the $600 to get it, because if you do the math ($55 a month over two years versus $100 for the least expensive contracted plan), you still save money a couple hundred dollars. If we can get consumers to think this way instead of looking at the price of phone and thinking its worth $200 instead of $600, then we can stop the hold the carriers have over everyone.

27. yowanvista

Posts: 341; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

Why even buy carrier locked crap devices? Why not simply buy international versions without the locked bootloaders/bloatware like people from the rest of the world? I guess Americans feel sooo special with their nonsensical carriers.

29. gwuhua1984

Posts: 1237; Member since: Mar 06, 2012

Not everyone has the money to put down for a full priced phone. I've bought nothing but international phones all this time back since when AT&T was still Cingular, jumped on T-Mo right away because of Katherine Zeta Jones. Love the unlocked devices, but dishing out so much money right away is really tough on the wallet. If I did't mind the carrier branding on the phone, then I would get a phone from carriers, at least it's more like monthly payments.

30. yowanvista

Posts: 341; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

Yeah but you pay the hard price of not having long terms updates, you don't even fully own the device while on contract. That's the catch here.

31. gwuhua1984

Posts: 1237; Member since: Mar 06, 2012

Very true and that's one reason I still stick with unlocked phones, but for the people who doesn't have the money to put upfront won't even have a phone at all without subsidies. No phone, no point caring for updates.

32. ximacloudx

Posts: 13; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

What's frustrating is even if I have an unlocked phone, I still would pay the same price as someone who signed a contract. I'm essentially paying to cover other people's subsidies if I bring my own device. What's even more frustrating is when a new and amazing phone comes out (i.e. when the HTC One did), there's no way I can acquire it because the only carrier where I live is Verizon, and I can't used unlocked GSM phones on a CDMA network. Even if I had the money to buy it unlocked, I can't use it with my current plan.

49. Droid773

Posts: 49; Member since: Dec 22, 2012

Im Tmobile user international version does not work on high speed data, Att does. before I had att yes I love international phones. Tmobile still refarming their network which will work with any unlocked phone.

19. legend1

Posts: 104; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

freedom at last

13. vvelez5

Posts: 623; Member since: Jan 29, 2011

Good news. But the White House does not make laws and though the White House does have to respond we might just get a "the law has been passed" kind of statement. Like the post said we need to contact our congressmen and senators to pressure them to enact legislation to change this silly law. Remember, signing your name on an internet petition is not enough. Go ahead and email your congressman and both of your senators.

22. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

I say just repeal DMCA. It's useless legislation anyway.

36. BadAssAbe

Posts: 509; Member since: Apr 22, 2011

If they say something like "the law has been passed" then the whole website is pointless.

48. vvelez5

Posts: 623; Member since: Jan 29, 2011

Well duh, It's happened before. My favorite one was the petition signed for Texas to secede from the union and the White House responded with something along the lines of Texas cannot secede from the union. Remember this is a petition to the white house and all it does is that it will require a response from the white house if it reaches it's number of signatures. They don't have to agree with you. I'm just playing devil's advocate the white house could very well ask congress to repeal the law. But remember presidents cannot introduce bills into congress only a member of congress can. But of course a member of congress can submit the bill for the president.

52. BadAssAbe

Posts: 509; Member since: Apr 22, 2011

So makes one wonder how powerless 100,000 people really are

54. vvelez5

Posts: 623; Member since: Jan 29, 2011

Powerless? No. But 100,000 people signing their name on an internet document that required barely any work at all is close to powerless. Now let's say those 100,000 people each went to their state capitol and had a protest to this law. That would get congress and the media talking.

12. aldridhl

Posts: 77; Member since: Feb 12, 2011

Thanks everyone for speaking up!!

9. Diego!

Posts: 880; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

Yes, we can! xD

8. jsdechavez

Posts: 818; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

I'm ok with locked phones. The network subsidizes the handset when you get one. You might even get your phone for free. It's fair business if they make sure the device is used on their network while still in contract. So subscribers, it's either you sign up for the contract or get a sim-only plan and an unlocked, unsubsidized phone. I think people would be more responsible and practical in spending once this becomes the norm. I mean, most people say in the US won't be spending $600-900 for an unlocked iPhone every time a new one comes out, right?

14. greathero1

Posts: 584; Member since: Jun 13, 2008

We all are okay with locked phones but the issue most of have is that after you have satisfied the terms of your contract it should not be illegal to take that phone elsewhere. Same if you pay an ETF because of poor service and take the phone elsewhere. Once the terms and obligations have been satisfied, the phone should be yours plain and simple.

20. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

I'm not ok with them. If I buy a phone off contract, either I have to pay more for an unlocked phone, or fight with the carrier to unlock my recently purchased off contract phone. There is no excuse that can reasonably be made for why carriers need to lock their devices.

17. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

A) that would be fine if I could buy a new phone off contract and take it to any carrier. But I can't, so given the fact that I can't do that, they need to unlock these phones even if I am still locked to specific carriers due to hardware limitations. B) As stated above, good luck buying a phone OFF CONTRACT and getting them to unlock it for you. If the carriers are afraid of losing money because of this, which they are not, then let them axe the subsidization model. Personally, I would rather buy my phones straight from the manufacturer, that way I have a say so in the future about how my phones are made. IE, SD cards and removable batteries. Next, it would lower the price of the hardware to begin with, you would see new devices having a 600 dollar MSRP, no, they would have 2-400 dollar MSRP's because that's what average people can afford. Therefore, if they still want to make money on new hardware. Then if the hardware makers want to still move equipment, they will have to lower prices so normal(not us tech geeks) people can justify buying a new phone every two years. Doing away with subsidization is a win-win for the consumer. It makes our voices(unlocked BL's and phones, etc) heard and give us the ability actually PICK the phones we want. We shouldn't have to worry about (_insert carrier of choice_) getting X phone. No, we can just go to best buy/Amazon/etc and buy the phone we want, for a decent price(think nexus like pricing) and here is the best part, IF I GET PISSED AT CARRIER X I CAN LEAVE. It's these lobbies from ATT,Verizon, Tmo, Sprint..... That keep us beholden to them. SCREW THE CARRIERS AND THEIR STUPID SUBSIDIZATION.

43. jsdechavez

Posts: 818; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

Agree. It you buy it off-contract it should be free. If you buy it on-contract it should be unlocked when the contract expires.

38. JC557

Posts: 1927; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

It's a slippery slope, let the corporations get away with s**t now, let them get away with s**t forever.

5. aokde

Posts: 186; Member since: Jul 09, 2012

why not make a petition to lower the votes needed for a petition :D?

7. RaKithAPeiRiZ

Posts: 1488; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

yo dwag ...we heard you like petitions we decided to make a petition for your petition

21. vvelez5

Posts: 623; Member since: Jan 29, 2011

It used to be 25,000 I believe then they changed it because so many causes reached that limit easily.

4. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I honestly think people are overreacting on this one.

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