Petition for legalization of phone unlocking earns enough signatures for White House responseAlex Wagner - Senior News Editor
Remember that recent change to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act that removed the exception that allowed consumers to unlock their cellphones without carrier consent? The move didn't sit well with a lot of folks, and in response, someone created a White House petition asking that the decision be reversed or that a bill be created to permanently make unlocking legal. This morning that petition hit the 100,000 signature mark, which means that the White House must now issue a formal response to the petition. The petition was created on Jan. 24 and needed to get 100,000 signatures by Feb. 23. As of this writing, it's sitting at 101,021.
It's worth pointing out that just because a petition earns 100,000 signatures, there's no guarantee that the action that it's seeking will actually go through. Still, it's good to see that this petition managed to hit the 100,000 mark just days before its deadline, and it'll definitely be interesting to see how the White House responds. As it stands today, the DMCA says that mobile phone owners can only get their phone unlocked by their carrier, meaning that going another route for an unlock (like through an unlocking service or website) is technically illegal. It's unlikely that the police will knock down a random Joe's door just because he unlocked his phone without his carrier's permission, but many folks would still like to see the DMCA exemption allowing unlocked phones to be reinstated. Where do you all stand on this matter? Would you like to see the DMCA exemption return or are you perfectly fine with just going through your carrier for an unlock?