Saturday, January 26, 2013

Petition the White House to Relax Phone Unlocking Rule

I was really surprised when I read an NBC News story with the headline, "Unlocking cellphones becomes illegal Saturday".  But found the All Things Digital link below that says as long as we have the carrier's permission, we can still unlock our phone legally.  It's so nice to take our phone overseas and be able to use it by just inserting a local SIM card.

The practice of unlocking cellphones without carrier permission so you can use a device with another network will be illegal starting on Jan. 26.

The new law, which applies to devices purchased after today, came about &in October when the Library of Congress’ Register of Copyrights, which determines exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), ruled that unlocking cellphones and tablets without carrier permission should be illegal.

I have signed a petition on the White House web site for the removal of this ban, see link below.
  I don't understand why carriers lock the phones anyway because we can't jump to another carrier without compensating the carrier.  The goal is to gather 100,000 signatures by February 23rd.  They are way short of signatures at this time.

From both of these articles, it appears AT&T has changed its policy from 90 days to the entire term of the contract before they will unlock your phone.  This is terrible for those of us who travel overseas.

Here is a copy of the Library of Congress ruling: