Unlocking laws for mobile phones may be lifted

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 7:17pm

(CORRECTION: In the video story posted above it quotes “14 hundred thousand signatures” it is actually “114 thousand signatures”)

The Obama administration says it will lift the new law against mobile phone “unlocking.” A petition circulated on the White House website drawing 114,000 signatures on this topic.

The ban makes it a crime for consumers to “unlock” cell phones. After ones contract ends, unless you have permission from your provider you are legally not allowed to unlock your phone; if you want to switch providers. Cell phone companies make specific software for their devices that only cater to their own network, so phones become obsolete if you want to switch services. Which makes companies money, of course —but it also makes people very upset. So Washington is taking action.

AT&T issued this statement to KETK:
 

“We will unlock your device once you've fulfilled the terms of your service agreement and meet other requirement. If you bring us an unlocked device that will work on our network, we we'll provide you a SIM and set up your service."

Unlocking also allows consumers to resell their phones for use on another carrier after their contracts expire, and to use second-hand phones on the carrier of their choice. It Is illegal without permission from their carrier, due to copyright laws.

In response to the petition, the Obama administration announced Monday that it believes phone unlocking should be legal. The FCC will also push to change these actions.

Some East Texans say they are happy will be happy to see the ban lifted. April Sisco from Bullard says, "If you buy the phone and you're unhappy with your service provider you should have the freedom to switch service providers."

While others say, they can just sell their phone online and they don’t really mind if the law changes or not, however copyright laws do play a factor in those sales, Brett Morey is visiting Tyler from California he says, "I put them on E-bay and sold them for more money than I bought them, because they were able to be jail broken and used in other markets, free enterprise system is what makes that happen."
 

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