Derek Khanna: Unlocking Your Cell Phone Shouldn't Be a Crime


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In testimony today before the House Judiciary Committee regarding H.R. 1123, the "Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act," Derek Khanna makes the case for why unlocking your cell phone should not be a crime.

This important issue affects innovation, small businesses and ultimately impacts millions of ordinary consumers within the United States. Over the course of our campaign on this issue, the sheer ridiculousness of banning unlocking became more clear as we began to hear from more affected parties and gradually began to realize the real and measurable impact that this unlocking prohibition has had upon innovation and consumer choice….

As of November 24, 2003, wireless companies have been required to offer wireless number portability for consumers. If the phone unlocking issue is evaluated seriously and legislation actually resolves this issue and restores a free market (while protecting freedom to contract), then legalizing phone portability may have a comparable impact as mandating number portability. Permanently legalizing users unlocking and the technology to enable unlocking could be the most beneficial change in mobile policy in over nine years.