FCC to Investigate Mobile Phone Unlocking Ban

After the Library of Congress imposed a US-wide ban on cell phone unlocking, the online community has been furious. A White House petition to lift the ban has reached 100,000 signatures, mandating the Obama administration to offer an official explanation.

Meanwhile, in an interview with TechCrunch, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Julius Genachowski said his office will investigate whether the can is harmful to economic competitiveness and if the executive branch has any authority to modify the law.

The ban on unlocking smartphones was put into effect last January, following six years of exempting cell phone unlocks from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that bans “circumvention” of copy protection schemes. Today, cell phone users in the United States are not allowed to modify software on the devices or they are faced with stiff legal penalties.

Genachowski said he was not sure about what authority he has. But if he finds any, according to TechCrunch, it is likely he will exert his influence to modify–if not reverse–the decision.

“It’s something that we will look at at the FCC to see if we can and should enable consumers to use unlocked phones,” he said.

Source: TechCrunch

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