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FCC chairman Wheeler in favor of legalizing unlocking cell phones

June 20th, 2013 at 12:15 AM
FCC Chairman Wheeler Cellphone Unlocking

At the risk of stating the obvious, the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission thinks that it should be legal to unlock your cell phone. Ars Technica reports that new FCC chairman Tom Wheeler told the Senate Commerce Committee during his nomination hearing this week that he would like to see the current ban on unlocking cell phones overturned. What’s more, he criticized the Library of Congress’s decision last fall to deny consumers the right to unlock their phones and bring them to different carriers and said it was an example of overreach.

“Who knew the Library of Congress had this far of a reach?” he said. “I am a strong supporter of intellectual property rights. At the same point in time, I believe that when I as a consumer or you as a consumer, or anyone have fulfilled our commitment and we’ve paid off our contract, that we ought to have the right to use that device and move it across carriers as we see fit.”

Back in March four senators introduced a bipartisan bill to make it legal to unlock your cell phone after finishing out your contract with your wireless carrier, although we haven’t heard much about the legislation since it was unveiled.

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