White House Denounces Cell Phone Unlocking Ban
The White House decided Tuesday to publicly denounce the ban on unlocking cell phones after an online petition against the ban surfaced Monday.
Last month it became illegal to unlock cell phones to make them work on other wireless carriers by adjusting software and changing the SIM card.
The ban was created after changes were made to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which made it illegal for consumers to unlock mobile devices.
Consumers found guilty of illegally unlocking mobile phones can face up to five years in prison.
The online petition against the ban on the White House website received over 114,000 signatures.
White House Senior Adviser for Internet, Innovation and Privacy R. David Edelman wrote a blog post titled, “It’s Time to Legalize Cell Phone Unlocking.”
“The White House agrees with the 114,000 of you who believe that consumers should be able to unlock their cell phones without risking criminal or other penalties,” Edelman said.
Edelman said that legalizing the unlocking of cell phones is simply common sense.
“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,” he said.
The Obama Administration has taken the side of consumers, arguing that if they paid for the device they should be able to unlock their phones.