White House favors cellphone unlocks

The White House affirmatively responds to a petition to make phone unlocking legal

Victor Barreiro Jr.
Updated 3:52 PM, Mar 05, 2013

The White House responds positively to a petition to make phone unlocking legal. The White House responds positively to a petition to make phone unlocking legal.

MANILA, Philippines - White House support for the unlocking of cellular phones and tablets may read like a dream, but a recent update on the White House blog makes it ring true.

The White House has affirmatively responded to a petition on the We The People page of the White House website. The petition, which was signed by 114,322 people, asked for support to make unlocking cellular phones legal.

On the We The People blog, R. David Edelman, White House senior adviser for Internet, innovation and privacy, said the White House agreed with the petitioners on making legal the ability to unlock cellphones and tablets.

Edelman's post explains, "if you have paid for your mobile device, and aren't bound by a service agreement or other obligation, you should be able to use it on another network. It's common sense, crucial for protecting consumer choice, and important for ensuring we continue to have the vibrant, competitive wireless market that delivers innovative products and solid service to meet consumers' needs."

According to Edelman, the Obama Administration would be ready to support ways of addressing this issue," including legislative fixes in the telecommunications space that emphasize 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."

While this announcement may not have any immediate implications for the Philippines' grey market, it does bring some semblance of legitimacy to unlocking a phone, as long as users don't pirate apps or other data. - Rappler.com

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