A petition against a phone unlocking ban that was introduced last month has now received more than 100,000 online signatures, the threshold petitions must reach to get an official response from the Obama Administration. The petition calls for the White House to make cellphone unlocking legal again, without having to go through a carrier.
Back in October 2012, the Librarian of Congress decided that the process of unlocking a cellphone via a third-party should be removed from the exceptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, thereby making it illegal for owners to perform the process themselves.
The rule came into affect on January 26. Cellphone owners can ask their carrier to do it for them, but if they say no, there’s little the owner can do about it anymore. As you might expect, this has left a large number of cellphone owners upset.
It took less than a month for 100,000 people to sign the petition against the new rule, which argues that “customers will be forced to pay exorbitant roaming fees to make calls while traveling abroad. It reduces consumer choice, and decreases the resale value of devices that consumers have paid for in full.”
Now that the petition has reached that 100,000 milestone, the Obama Administration must respond to it. If we’re lucky, the new law will be overturned, and we can go back to unlocking our devices however we choose to — as we could prior to January 26. Unfortunately, all we can do now, however, is wait.