The White House agrees: You shouldn't go to jail for unlocking cell phones

“”If you have paid for your mobile device, and aren’t bound by a service agreement or other obligation, you should be able to use it on another network,” writes R. David Edelman, a White House advisor. “It’s common sense, crucial for protecting consumer choice, and important for ensuring we continue to have the vibrant, competitive wireless market that delivers innovative products and solid service to meet consumers’ needs.”

…Edelman’s statement ends by calling for “narrow legislative fixes” that would make it clear: unlocking your cell phone isn’t a crime. In addition to legislation, the White House also calls for the FCC to play a role. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski released a statement (PDF) this morning saying that his agency is “looking into whether the agency, wireless providers, or others should take action to preserve consumers’ ability to unlock their mobile phones.””

What would the FCC need to be involved with? If federal law prevents you from unlocking your phone, then repealing the law ought to suffice. After all, it’s not technical limitations that thwart phone unlocking.

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