The White House responds: phones and tablets should be unlockable

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. 

Story timeline



1. Nokianhero

Posts: 26; Member since: Mar 04, 2013

Nokia is always making phones unlock able, it is standard for lumia!

9. OptimusOne

Posts: 694; Member since: May 22, 2012

and where did you get that? out of your ass?

10. menny07

Posts: 89; Member since: Dec 13, 2012

^the above *nods head* Lesson: Don't be an ignorant fan boy :)

13. Nokianhero

Posts: 26; Member since: Mar 04, 2013

No its standard for nokia. Now other phonemanufactures wants to copy!!

17. _PHug_

Posts: 482; Member since: Oct 11, 2011

This new Nokia bit is hilarios

18. procopiojose

Posts: 132; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

nokia can add free escort service with their phones but it will still not sell.. period.. (gets money and run to a nokia store)

22. Omarc07

Posts: 574; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

@ nokia hero so is sony they sell all there phones unlocked online


Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

Now if we the people can ask congress to make changes on things that really affect our lives with a petition! Your voice does count when you exercise the right to use it.

6. Droiddoes unregistered

Came in to post just this. We will let them strip away our liberties and freedoms one by one, but we'll be damned if they try and f*ck with our gizmos and toys.

8. ZeroCide

Posts: 814; Member since: Jan 09, 2013

Maybe we can petion for those back to. Starting with internet freedom.

14. XPERIA-KNIGHT unregistered

LMFAOO!!! Hell yea bro:

3. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I still don't really see this as an issue.

7. ZeroCide

Posts: 814; Member since: Jan 09, 2013

Ask your iphone it may explain then you will believe.

11. OptimusOne

Posts: 694; Member since: May 22, 2012

ask siri

12. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

Of Course you don't.

4. technut

Posts: 205; Member since: Aug 03, 2012

It's nice to be heard for a change. Thanks phonearena for bringing up the petition!

5. ZeroCide

Posts: 814; Member since: Jan 09, 2013

Horray for petioning!!!!

15. XPERIA-KNIGHT unregistered

Well Michael, thanks for writting those articles and informing us on the matter. God bless

16. Just_a_boy

Posts: 183; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

The U.S. market is bigger than our in Brazil, but all phones sold here are Unlocked, even those sold on contract. Is law here give the consumer the right to choose, and the carriers are obligated to make the portability in 24 hours if the consumer want to change from carrier.

19. yyuu1000

Posts: 260; Member since: Jul 26, 2012

Get a nexus device I tell you the nexus 4 is great

20. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

Great. They heard us. Now it will take another ten years to put it into law again that all phones should be unlockable. Of course, let's not forget all the additional pork that will be added to the bill.

21. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011


23. thachlel

Posts: 75; Member since: Apr 20, 2012


25. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

I would say that any non-subsidized product be unlockable.

26. Reluctant_Human

Posts: 913; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

Your locked into the contract not the phone. The phone is an incentive. If you get a free hat for going to a baseball game are you obligated to wear it throughout the game and keep it for life?

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