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Articles Tagged:

president

140

President Trump says US companies can trade with Huawei

The ongoing Huawei drama has been fascinating to watch, as one of the world's largest technology companies is slowly eaten away by trade bans. Huawei lost the ability to use Google services on its Android phones, had its revenue forecasts slashed, and started working on an alternative to Android. Today might be the beginning of the end of Huawei's troubles, as President Trump announced today that "U.S. companies can sell their equipment to Huawei."

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InBrief
9

HTC loses Jason Mackenzie, a longtime top-level executive

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Obama Administration Backs Away From Legislation That Would Give Law Enforcement Access To Encrypted Data

Since the Snowden leaks began back in 2013, there has been a justifiable increase in public scrutiny of the US federal government's attitudes towards surveillance and information access. So when President Obama voiced the opinion that encrypted files should be accessible to law enforcement (presumably via some kind of backdoor or exclusive decryption method), privacy advocates joined security experts in a nationwide groan. Thankfully the administration seems to have changed its tune nine months later.

According to a report by Reuters, White house spokesman Mark Stroh said that the administration is no longer looking to introduce encryption-weakening legislation to Congress.

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Ugly FCC Certification Labels On The Back Of Your Gadgets Are On Their Way Out, Thanks To A New US Law

Consider devices like the HTC One, or any of Sony's recent Xperia flagships, or the Moto X with its wood and leather options. These are gadgets with decades of engineering inside of them, but which have nonetheless been painstakingly designed to look gorgeous on the outside. And nothing spoils that quite like a big honkin' FCC-required ID and safety label hiding on the metal finish. Manufacturers can try to make it blend into the phone's default color, or hide it behind a battery cover or on a bezel. But we know it's there, taunting us, like a zit on a teenager the night before the prom.

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25

US House Of Representatives Passes The Same Phone Unlocking Bill As The Senate, Now It's All Up To Obama

...and he's totally down with it.

So, technically using software to unlock digital carrier blocks on your phone in the US is a violation of everyone's favorite draconian copyright legislation, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Unlocking your phone yourself could be seen as breaking a "technical measure," akin to cracking a DRM package (which, in most cases, is illegal). The Library of Congress can grant specific exemptions, like it already does for rooting and jailbreaking, but the latest one in 2012 was passed over without renewal. A bill to re-instate legal unlocking by consumers passed the Senate earlier this month, and now the House of Representatives has also passed the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act.

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27

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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11

FCC To Investigate Cell Phone Unlocking Ban, Unsure If It Has Any Authority To Enforce Any Change

The President still hasn't weighed in on what he plans to do about the cell phone unlocking ban (he's been a little busy with that sequester business that's gonna cost some people their jobs), but FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is a little closer to the situation. Speaking to TechCrunch, the communications head said the organization plans to "look into" the issue and decide whether action should be taken and, if so, what action there is to take.

While Genachowski doesn't sound ready to start pummeling carriers just yet (though it wouldn't be the first time), he admits that the ban is worrisome (and it is!), saying the "ban raises competition concerns; it raises innovation concerns."

On the subject of pursuing any course of action: "It’s something that we will look at at the FCC to see if we can and should enable consumers to use unlocked phones." Those words "can" and "should" are the two major hurdles that the FCC has to get past, though.

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40

Now That The President Has To Respond To The Phone Unlock Petition, Let's Talk About What He (And You) Can Actually Do

In October of 2012, the Library of Congress elected not to renew DMCA exemptions that explicitly allow end users to unlock their cell phones at will, thus ending a six year tradition. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move. The quest to do something about it began almost immediately. And by "almost immediately" I mean "nearly three months later and at almost the very last minute."

Still, regardless of when the outrage gained steam, the fact is it did. Quite a bit of steam, in fact. Despite the White House raising the bar for online petitions to 100,000 signatures (after the previous bar of 25,000 resulted in an entertaining, if frivolous response about why the President won't build a Death Star), you did it!

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