White House Petition On Legalizing Unlocking Of Mobile Phones Tries To Pass 100,000 Signature Threshold

Mike Masnick | Techdirt | February 11, 2013

Last month, we wrote about how the White House had bumped up the number of signatures it requires to get on "We the People..." petitions from 25,000 to 100,000 before it is "required" to respond (though, its response rate on qualifying petitions has been dismal). Around the same time, we also talked about how unlocking your mobile phone, so it could be used on other carriers, was switching from being legal to being illegal, thanks to the Librarian of Congress choosing not to renew an exemption to the DMCA's anti-circumvention rules for unlocking mobile phones.

While the reasoning for not renewing the exemption was that many carriers now allow unlocking anyway, that's not true across the board, and there are plenty of limitations. Just the fact that you need to ask permission to do what you want with a device you legally purchased and own should be troubling enough. Lots of people were reasonably angered by this story, and a petition sprung up on the White House site, urging the President to reinstate the exemption...