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White House will respond to cell phone unlocking petition that earns 100,000 signatures

News by Andrew Kameka on Thursday February 21, 2013.

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A WhiteHouse.gov petition seeking to reform U.S. laws on unlocking cellular phones to use on another network has reached the required 100,000-signature threshold necessary to earn a response from the Obama administration.

The "Make Unlocking Cell Phones Legal" petition needed a few thousand signatures yesterday to reach its goal of 100,000 supporters, and the petition has reached 100,588 as of the time this post was published. Crossing that milestone ensures that the administration of President Barack Obama will review the petition and deliver an official response. It does not guarantee any action or result other than the matter being forwarded to policy experts and an explanation of the administration's opinion on the matter.

A San Francisco resident started the WhiteHouse.gov petition on January 24 to request that the White House ask the Library of Congress to reverse a recent decision that restricts unlock smartphones to use a device on another network. Changes made to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act stipulate that a phone purchased after January 2013 can only be unlocked with permission from the carrier. Even if a customer pays full price for a smartphone on AT&T and is not under contract with the carrier, the customer cannot legally have the phone unlocked for use on T-Mobile or when traveling abroad unless AT&T agrees. The petition creator argues this "reduces consumer choice, and decreases the resale value of devices that consumers have paid for in full."

source: WhiteHouse.gov

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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