President Obama to Unlock Cell Phones

Published On July 30, 2014 | By Tom Huskerson | News and Analysis

Obama Returns To Washington After Primary NightA bill making  it legal to unlock cell phones so they can be used on any service provider’s network has arrived at the White House. President Obama is expected to sign the legislation.

The House passed the legislation after the bill passed the Senate last week.  The bill reverses a decision by the Library of Congress that made cell phone unlocking illegal. Unlocking a cell phone was actually legal until a decision by the Library of Congress in 2012 declared that such unlocking was a copyright infringement.

A petition on the White House website demanding the action collected 114,000 signatures thus prompting action.

When it comes to technology legislation or any legislation, it is rare to get action of any kind. But it seems that the both Republicans and Democrats saw a common ground and common sense on this issue and the bill was passed.

Led by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and his counterpart in the House Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) the two men took action on the petition.  Both men believed that the issue was a basic consumer demand that made sense in the marketplace. Although there were several versions of the bill with some lawmakers attempting to use the bill to instigate broader copyright reform the bill finally passed.  

The White House has not said when the president will sign the bill.

Public Knowledge Staff Attorney Laura Moy said in a statement. The bill will “make it easier for consumers to switch from one provider to another, improving competition in the wireless market. It will improve the availability of free and low-cost secondhand phones for consumers who cannot afford to purchase new devices, and it will keep millions of devices out of landfills.”

Breaking It Down

Imagine buying a car and the car company puts a lock on the gas cap so that you can only buy gas from them. Well that’s what the cell phone companies have been doing! This was a rip off and the corporations know it. The deal worked pretty well in the beginning. You get a free cellphone if you sign up for their service. OK. But you can’t use that cell phone if you move to a different carrier.OK. But did anyone notice how the cell phone market changed? The first thing that happened was that cell phones got better and smarter. They could do more. And the carriers stop giving away the best cell phone for free. They instead gave you discounts on the best phones. You got the phone and they added a little to your bill each month until it was paid for. You signed up for their service, you paid for the phone but you still could not take it to another carrier. Wait; discount or no discount, didn’t you pay for that phone? Its yours! Why can’t you use it on another service? Because the cell phone companies were forcing you to buy another phone! Now guess what? You got a phone sitting in your closet, in the glove compartment of your car or in your desk drawer (that’s where mine is)  that is perfectly fine but it won’t work. Why? Because the cell phone companies forced you to buy another phone! Well it looks like the president is putting an end to that and justly so. How many phones are the corporations going to force the American consumer to buy? Its gone on for too long! We have a right to use the cell phone we paid for on any service we choose. After the cell phone companies have bled us for two years we have a right to move to a pre-paid or no contract service if we choose. Yeah, now its our choice.

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About The Author

Tom Huskerson Bio Born in Richmond Virginia Tom Huskerson is a military veteran who settled in California after his discharge. He attended Santa Barbara City College where he began his writing career as a campus reporter. He worked as an intern news reporter for the Santa Barbara News-Press writing feature stories before moving on to San Francisco. At San Francisco State University Tom studied broadcast communications and began to focus on the Internet. He completed his graduate thesis on Internet advertising. Tom was the first student to ever focus on the Internet as a graduate student at San Francisco State University. After graduation he went to work for Zona Research in California’s Silicone Valley. As a research associate Tom supported senior analyst writing on the latest developments in the Internet industry. During the dot com boom Tom worked for several web businesses as a market researcher and analyst. As a writer and researcher Tom has authored various technical works including a training program for Charles Schwab security. Other projects included professional presentations on workplace violence and hiring security contractors. Tom has returned to focus on writing both fiction and non-fiction works and blogging for a travel website. He has published two books of short stories and completed two novels. Tom is the owner of Scribe of Life Literature and EbonyCandle. Most recently Tom has launched the blog African American Cyber Report. The blog is the result of his desire to inform the African American community of the dangers and benefits of the cyber age. In his blog Tom reports on information security, new and analysis, scams and hoaxes, legal happenings and various topics that arise from the age of information. Tom believes that technology is a necessary tool for black people and they should know what is happening. Tom writes believing that techno speak is for the professional and that valuable information can be communicated using plain language. As a result he has embraced the motto, Less Tech, More Knowledge.

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