Articles Tagged:

ntia

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Now We're Getting Somewhere: U.S. Senator Introduces Bill To Allow Carrier Unlocking Phones For Interoperability Purposes

Two days ago, the White House announced its support for carrier unlocking handsets. The administration promised an FCC/NTIA investigation as well as a willingness to "work with Congress" on legislation to fix the problem. So, we can probably count on the President's support of the new Wireless Device Independence Act, introduced last night by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). The bill, which is only three pages long, has a simple goal: amend the DMCA such that it explicitly allows the unlocking of cell phones, obviating the need for a tri-yearly exemption.

The following language would be added to the DMCA's section on anti-circumvention policies:

 

SEC.

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White House Officially Responds To Cell Phone Unlock Petition: "We Agree"

We've been waiting on this for a couple weeks now and the White House has finally come through with its response to the cell phone unlock petition. The short version, for the tl;dr crowd is simple: "The White House agrees." Citing not just smartphones but tablets as well, the Executive branch of the U.S. government states, in no uncertain terms, that there should be no reason that carriers should block a customer from switching carriers once contractual obligations are fulfilled.

The White House also pointed out that it kind of already supported this (sorta) by way of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is itself an agency of the Department of Commerce under the Executive branch.

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