Wireless Device Independence Act Could Legalize Smartphone Unlocking


March is sure shaping up to be a great month for proponents of smartphone users’ rights in the US. First we saw the chair of the FCC talk about supporting work towards once again legalizing end-user smartphone unlocking, and earlier this week we heard the White House throw its weight behind efforts to accomplish the same goal. In its statement, the White House mentioned seeking legislation to free unlocking from the oversight of the DMCA, and now we’re learning about the first such bill to propose those changes, introduced before Congress as the Wireless Device Independence Act.

Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon brought forth the legislation, which amends the DMCA to allow “a wireless telephone handset, or other wireless device that can connect to the Internet originally acquired from the operator of a wireless telecommunications network or retailer to connect to a different wireless telecommunications network.” It offers few stipulations on such unlocking, such as being the legitimate owner of the device and not attempting to access a wireless network without authorization, but is largely nonrestrictive.

We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but between the White House’s support for such legislation and some early signs of support from members of Congress in both parties, this one might just have a shot at passing.

Source: Scribd
Via: Android Police

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck

Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen’s first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he’s convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he’s not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits

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