CELL PHONE UNLOCKING BECOMES LEGAL

August 18, 2014 The Unbiased Writer

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Earlier this month, President Obama signed a bill into law that again made it legal for consumers to unlock their cell phones in order to take them to a carrier that best suits their financial needs. It marked the very first time a ‘We the People‘ petition led to a legislative change. A major win for consumers, the decision marks an important milestone for We the People — which has generated more than 15 million users and 22 million signatures on over 350,000 petitions since it was created four years ago. Last January, internet activist Sina Khanifar started a ‘We the People‘ petition that asked the government to make cell phone unlocking legal- a process that allows a phone to be used on any compatible network. The petition came in the wake of a decision by the Library of Congress that ended an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and made it illegal for consumers to unlock their cell phones. Over the next 30 days, 114,000 people from across the country signed the petition — crossing the signature threshold needed for an official White House response. After careful deliberation, The White House Administration came out in strong support of making it legal for consumers to unlock their devices. Over the following weeks and months, the White House worked with the FCC and wireless carriers to reach voluntary agreements to provide consumers with additional flexibility. The result: legislation passed both Chambers unanimously this past month in the form of the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act. Thoughts? Be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section!

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