One month, 114,000 petitions and countless bashing blogs later, opposition against the cell phone unlocking ban has gained support from the Obama administration according to USA Today
Since the announcement of the cell phone unlocking ban, which became effective Jan. 26, more than 114,000 enraged consumers and organizations, including some electronics recyclers, have added their two sense on the issue.
Their frame of mind, as well as that of the recent supporter, the Obama administration, is “If you bought a phone then you own it.”
This particular ban was set up to protect the investment of cell phone carriers in their subsidies. When a person purchases an unlocked phone not directly from the carrier or unlocks the phone themselves, the device is able to be used on their preferred carrier. The phone no longer has to be barred into a contract with a specific provider.
Under the cell phone unlocking ban, it is a violation to purchase an unlocked phone from any source other than the phone carrier or unlock a phone manually for use without the carrier’s permission. The consequences being a hefty $500,000 fine and up to five years of jail time for first time offenders.
Click here to read more about the cell phone unlocking ban and its potential affect on electronics recyclers.
In response to the 114,000 petitions against the ban, R. David Edelman, senior adviser for Internet, innovation and privacy at the White House, drafted a response:
“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 also expressed this principle should apply to tablets, which are becoming increasingly similar to smartphones.
The major road block in the road to reversing the ban is The Library of Congress, which is a primary overseer of copyright laws and implementer of the ban. They give their full support to the mobile industry in favor of the ban.
While the new ally of reversing the ban, the Obama administration, sees the issue as one of competition and not copyright, “Congress is the only institution that can make a real and lasting change so that unlocking your phone without your carrier’s permission isn’t considered illegal by anyone,” according to CNET News.