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The White House responds: phones and tablets should be unlockable

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The White House responds: phones and tablets should be unlockable
The system looks like it's working. We the people signed a petition on We The People. We wanted our voices heard on the topic of being able to legally unlock our carrier-locked cell phones, and the White House has responded. And, interestingly, the White House fully agrees with our complaints, and wants to go a step farther and make sure that tablets are free to be unlocked as well.

The White House response said that a group of experts in "telecommunications, technology, and copyright policy" was pulled together last week to discuss the issue, and there was agreement that consumers should be able to unlock phones and tablets as they wish. 
And, the response gives a few options for how the laws can be changed to make this happen. One possibility is to change the law so it is clear that "neither criminal law nor technological locks should prevent consumers from switching carriers when they are no longer bound by a service agreement or other obligation." The White House also said that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) would be working with the FCC in its efforts to change the laws, as stated by the FCC chairman last week. 

Lastly, the response included a call to wireless carriers to "ensure that their customers can fully reap the benefits and features they expect when purchasing their devices." That's a pretty broad thing to as of carriers, but we have heard that some carriers are already helping users to unlock devices at the end of their contracts, but that was part of the original DMCA agreement, requiring "carrier permission" to unlock your device. 

To go along with the response, the White House is asking people to fill out a survey on the topic, so be sure to do that. 

source: We the People

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Story timeline
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  • The White House responds: phones and tablets should be unlockable
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