White House petitions FCC to require carriers to unlock mobile devices

Several months after calling for legislation to unlock cellphones, the White House filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday asking that all wireless carriers be required to unlock all mobile devices so that users can easily switch between carriers.

The proposal from the administration’s tech policy arm follows up on President Obama’s response last spring to furious complaints from online activists after the Library of Congress made the practice illegal in January when an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act expired. The activists posted their complaint on the White House’s protest forum and collected over 114,000 signatures on their petition to overturn the Library of Congress decision.

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