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admin | Category: Phone Book Lookup | 06.02.2016
The data comes from Darren Kingman, who works for a UK phone unlocking site called Mobile Unlocked, which helps people unlock their phones, an activity that is not so illicit in other areas of the world. Phone unlocking is the act of freeing your phone from restrictions put on it by mobile carriers.
The top carriers have long allowed consumers to unlock devices and take them to another network at the end of a contract term - commonly, two years - though the process varies by company and can be quite painstaking. The ruling surprised many telecom observers, outraged phone users, and finally landed on the White House's agenda thanks to an online citizen petition that gathered 114,322 signatures, more than the 100,000 needed to spur a response. Unlocking then became a top 2013 policy matter for new FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, a former CTIA chief for whom it presented an opportunity to distance himself from his former industry. In November, he sent a letter to the CTIA demanding the carriers voluntarily agree to unlock phones for customers in good standing to ensure phone users still have that option. On Thursday, the agreement was announced and the five carriers pledged to unlock devices after the customer's contract is fulfilled, including pre-paid ones within a year of purchase.
The agreement was welcomed by Sina Khanifar, one of the organizers of the White House petition, although he and public interest groups would still like a permanent change to the copyright law and more flexibility for consumers to unlock their phones before their contracts end - possibly without having to ask the carriers' permission first. Verizon is the only carrier whose phones generally come unlocked at the beginning of a contract. While Wall Street has paid little attention, the unlocking saga was a black eye for the wireless industry which was perceived to be on the wrong side of consumers' rights. Inside the carriers, executives grumble that the ordeal was largely self-inflicted as lawyers from the CTIA were the ones to stir up the issue at the Library of Congress. Despite opposition from the Commerce Department, the CTIA convinced the Library of Congress that the exemption was no longer warranted.
CTIA has pushed back on the notion that it acted without direction from its members, but Jot Carpenter, vice president for federal affairs, acknowledged that the legal battle spun into a major policy debacle unexpectedly.
In the case of the ongoing story about lawmakers making unlocking cell phones illegal as of Jan 26th, we have an update from the White House on the issue.


So it's anyone's guess what ultimately will become of this and whether the White House's response will make any kind of difference toward the new law. In a statement today, the Obama administration announced its view that, as a matter of telecommunications policy, consumers should be able to unlock their legally purchased cell phones for purposes of switching from one wireless carrier to another. Both the Librarian of Congress and the Register of Copyrights value our colleagues in the administration and the thoughtful discussions we have had with them on this issue. The question of locked cell phones was raised by participants in the Section 1201 rulemaking conducted between September 2011 and October 2012 by the Register of Copyrights, who in turn advises the Librarian of Congress.
As designed by Congress, the rulemaking serves a very important function, but it was not intended to be a substitute for deliberations of broader public policy. Prior to the ban that went into effect on January 26, users were free to unlock their devices for whatever reason they wished.
Going all the way back to the first stories in the Bible, this age-old theory has been proven time and again.
Further proving that talking about, and illegalizing, unlocking has boosted its popularity, Kingman explained that his traffic has only increased in the United States. Cellular agreed to "clearly notify" customers when their devices are eligible for unlocking and to process unlocking requests within two business days, said wireless industry group CTIA. They argued that new, unlocked phones were widely available and that the carriers' unlocking policies were already flexible. The White House's statement is a response to a petition that collected a total of 114,000 signatures, breaking the 100,000 signature barrier needed to garner a response. We also agree with the administration that the question of locked cell phones has implications for telecommunications policy and that it would benefit from review and resolution in that context. The rulemaking is a process spelled out by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in which members of the public can request exemptions from the law to enable circumvention of technological protection measures. It requires the Librarian of Congress and the Register of Copyrights to consider exemptions to the prohibitions on circumvention, based on a factual record developed by the proponents and other interested parties.


Copyright Office has recognized many times, the 1201 rulemaking can often serve as a barometer for broader policy concerns and broader policy action.
In October 2012, the Librarian of Congress eliminated the 2006 phone exemption to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act that made cell phone unlocking legal. Consumers often get new devices at a heavily subsidized price in return for committing to longer contracts. It helps sustain the subsidy business model of the industry, in which consumers get steep discounts to buy pricey devices like Apple Inc's iPhone in exchange for higher monthly fees. AT&T and T-Mobile use similar technology standards, while another type is used by Sprint and Verizon. What may come as a surprise, the White House agrees with those in favor of making unlocking cell phones legal. In the case of cell phones, the request was to allow circumvention of technological protection measures controlling access to copyrighted software on cell phones. The officials must consider whether the evidence establishes a need for the exemption based on several statutory factors.
FCC chairman, Julius Genachowski, mentioned that he’s not quite sure of his authority in this situation, but he did say that he will try to use his platform to reverse the decision.
And since it became illegal earlier this year, phone unlocking has almost doubled in popularity.
The FCC will begin their investigation on whether this law is actually harmful to market competitiveness and thus hindering innovation.



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