Mobile Technology

White House Petition to Allow Phone Unlocking Reaches Threshold

Gets 100,000 signatures


The people —  over 100,000 people, that is –  have spoken, and they want it to be legal again to unlock cellphones in the United States. A "We the People" petition on the White House website calling on government to make it legal to unlock phones again has passed the 100,000 -signature threshold,  requiring the White House to respond.

Unlocking a phone, which requires a software alteration, allows the phone to work on other carriers if you put in a new SIM card or want to take the phone to another carrier for service. But in October 2012 the U.S. Copyright Office and Library of Congress decided to remove phone unlocking as an exemption under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). On Jan. 26, it went into effect, making it illegal to unlock a phone.