Petition to reverse ban on cellphone unlocking needs your sig!

Derek Khanna (the GOP staffer who got fired after penning an eminently sensible paper on copyright policy) sez, "The White House Petition to reverse the decision to ban unlocking cellphones is at 72,000 signatures, but it needs to get to 100,000 signatures by February 24, 2013. On Friday Representative DeFazio tweeted in favor of reform - read the article about new prohibition on unlocking your own cellphone here."


  1. OK, that’s lame, and I signed, but why 100,000?
    I thought it took 25,000 signatures to get a response.  Does 100K signatures do anything that 25K signatures doesn’t do?

    1. They made the requirements higher in response to getting so many frivolous petitions at the 25K mark.  It’s yet to be seen if the 100K mark will help the situation, only time will tell.

      Thank you for signing!

  2. I’d rather the ban wasn’t overturned … yet.  

    If it stays in place, the fecal matter will impact the wind device.  Enough people might sit up and take notice of the root of the problem.

    1. Trotskyism is a dangerous business. Foregoing available reforms to enhance the contradictions and bring the system into crisis is very high-risk, crises can break in surprising directions.

      Or maybe I’m just getting old…

  3. DeFazio is one of the good ones. One of the very few Democrats who can be called progressive or actually liberal.

  4. I thought the new law only prevented you from unlocking a phone that is under active contract. (i.e one that’s been subsidized by the carrier). If you want an unlocked phone you can still pay full price for one, right? Or you can wait until the contract is up and then get it unlocked. If that understanding is correct then I don’t see what the problem is. If we expect to be able to move our phones to whatever carrier we want whenever we want then we may as well start getting used to paying $600+ for cutting edge hardware.

        1.  Yes and no. As usual for Intellectual Property issues, it’s more complex that it would seem. The bigger implication of this issue is the question of what consumers get to do with devices that they have purchased.

          Ignoring that larger issue, I fully support that phone companies need to be able to protect their investment (subsidized hardware). However, that’s part of what early-termination clauses are for. Phone companies have used the increasing cost of phones as a reason for increasing ETFs over the last few years. If there’s an ETF, there doesn’t need to be a lock on the phone, aside from forcing exorbitant roaming fees.

  5. Could somebody explain this to me?  Because here in Cincinnati there are stores that openly advertise they will unlock your phone for you.  Most are Cricket stores, which, I would think, would have a corporate policy on advertising illegal services.  Am I completely missing the point?

    1. it’s a new law so the providers like cricket, t mobile have to adapt to it or go under the bus. There are still ways to switch your phone but It makes it much less convenient to sign up for a low cost prepaid service.

  6. I’d sign the petition, but I’d have to register, which I won’t do.  I don’t like having to register for this comment system, either.  BB seems to be an advocate for anonymity on the net, so … hmm.

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