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White House petition started to make unlocking phones legal

Posted: , by Michael H.

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White House petition started to make unlocking phones legal
As we mentioned earlier, the exemption to the DMCA which allowed for jailbreaking/rooting of phones also allowed for users to unlock devices that they bought from a carrier. But, that second provision is set to expire this Saturday, which will effectively make it illegal for someone to unlock their phone even after a device is off subsidy and is paid in full. Now, if you want to change that, a petition has been created to force the White House to respond to the issue.

Unfortunately, because of the recent petition asking the government to build a Death Star, the White House Petitions website has raised the threshold of signatures needed from 25,000 to 100,000. As of this writing, the current petition has hit 1,370 signatures in its short time online, so there is a long way to go before the White House would be forced to respond, but the petition will remain active until February 23rd, so that is the deadline for the signatures, not Saturday. 

If you would like to be able to legally unlock your carrier-locked phone after this Saturday, you'll probably want to go to the source and sign the petition. And, spread this link around of course. 

source: We The People (White House Petitions) via The Next Web

Story timeline

This story is part of: Cell phone unlocking law(6 updates)

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posted on 25 Jan 2013, 00:04 1

1. blackice214 (Posts: 165; Member since: 03 Jan 2013)


posted on 27 Jan 2013, 12:51 1

23. tuminatr (Posts: 861; Member since: 23 Feb 2009)

umm even though Obama said he would address petitions on we the people he has mostly blown it off

posted on 20 Feb 2013, 18:05

24. som (Posts: 768; Member since: 10 Nov 2009)

This is the website to unlocking cell phone.


posted on 25 Jan 2013, 00:11 2

2. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 4321; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)

A season to rejoice geeks.

posted on 25 Jan 2013, 00:14 1

3. wendygarett (unregistered)

Off topic, what does the unlocked phone means... Is it means I bought from att and decided to put vzw Sims into the phone?

posted on 25 Jan 2013, 10:07 1

17. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2720; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Carriers often lock phones onto their own networks in the US. Unlocking makes the phone able to be used on other compatible carriers. AT&T phones could be unlocked for use on T-Mobile. Only some Verizon phones can be used on other carriers, most don't use SIM cards, because Verizon's 3G network is CDMA, not GSM

posted on 25 Jan 2013, 00:22

4. Joshing4fun (Posts: 1237; Member since: 13 Aug 2010)

Does this mean it will be illegal to root your photo too?

posted on 25 Jan 2013, 10:08 1

18. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2720; Member since: 26 May 2011)

No. Please read the original article linked at the beginning of the article for all of the info.

posted on 25 Jan 2013, 00:24 4

5. XPERIA-KNIGHT (unregistered)

Definitely gonna check this one out, because the reasons why someone would want to "unlock" their phone from their current carrier, is really quite simple.........the carrier is not offering people what that person needs and therefore causing the consumer to look else where while at the same time that customer is wanting to hold on to what they paid for (their smartphone).....

So stopping someone from unlocking their phone is really a personal issue between the carrier and the consumer.....Its like saying "although we are not providing you with what you want and need on our service, we still will not give you the option to go else where if you please"

My suggestion to that specific carrier would be to check and see WHY that customer is leaving and SEE what and where, he or she is leaving to go to....... for what reason he or she is going there for.

If the carrier can Find that out and maybe make an attempt to change their current service to help fit that customers needs they will probably also find out, in a good way, if he or she still chooses to leave or not....

posted on 25 Jan 2013, 00:27

7. wendygarett (unregistered)

I assume you had answered my answer #3, no?

posted on 25 Jan 2013, 01:08 1

11. CheapSocks (Posts: 21; Member since: 07 Nov 2012)

it basically means people will have to go to the carrier and pay out the butt to get it unlocked for whatever reason, such as going overseas, switching carriers, etc. Just more ways the US makes consumers pay more for less.

posted on 25 Jan 2013, 00:26 2

6. techspace (Posts: 1036; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)

people should stop buying locked phones,they should not think that the locked phones are cheap, they end up paying a lot of money through those monthly plans, you can save more money with the unlocked phones......and you can take the phone with you to any country

posted on 25 Jan 2013, 12:48 1

20. Giggity (Posts: 147; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)

Plus, you won't have to stare at those obnoxious carrier logo all the time (i.e: the Death Star)

posted on 25 Jan 2013, 14:38 1

21. nghtwng68 (Posts: 104; Member since: 26 Nov 2009)

Very good points cheapsocks and techspace!
My last 6 phones were all unlocked and I dictate to the carriers control over my rate plan. Yet, when the carriers offer such pleasing deals at discount rates to us consumers, it's obvious how you canl give in and not know another way. US customers are at the whim of the carriers control on rate plans and phones.

posted on 25 Jan 2013, 00:33 2

8. XPERIA-KNIGHT (unregistered)

welp i just created an account you guys and signed the petition........I suggest you do the same for the freedom we deserve.... much love

posted on 25 Jan 2013, 00:39 3

9. XPERIA-KNIGHT (unregistered)

o and by the way, thanks Michael for making this article much appreciated :)

posted on 25 Jan 2013, 01:20

12. bvalde09 (Posts: 188; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)

Michael Im not sure but I think they should be an article saying how much this will impact commerce around the globle. There are people who actually sell unlock codes. Would they be criminal? Would I be a criminal if I decide to buy the unlock code from them.? I understand that sounds stupid but Its just more stupid what are they doing

posted on 25 Jan 2013, 03:11

13. idroidequis (Posts: 103; Member since: 23 Jan 2013)

What a troll this will only hurt the cellphone industry as a whole. People these days look for every chance to bash each other. Get out of my gene pool please I dont need people like you to delude my world.

posted on 25 Jan 2013, 08:08

16. ajac09 (Posts: 1482; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)

petitions dont guarantee the government will approve 9 times out of 10 they just give you the standard reply and move on.

posted on 25 Jan 2013, 10:11 2

19. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2720; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Only moving on and doing nothing guarantees the government won't do anything.

At least a petition guarantees a response, and a possible dialogue from there. Don't forget what people did to SOPA/PIPA when we mobilized.

posted on 26 Jan 2013, 10:27

22. cripton805 (Posts: 1485; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)

Does anyone else find it funny that they use "We the people".

Like if we were going to secede from the US.

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