NPR : News

Filed Under:

FCC To Examine Federal Ban On Unlocking Cellphones

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski says his agency will investigate whether a federal ban on unlocking cellphones is "harmful to economic competitiveness."

Genachowski made the comments during a event hosted by the technology site TechCrunch.

As Bill reported in February, a law that went into effect this year makes it illegal for Americans to unlock — or reprogram — new cellphones. Frustrated, a White House petition to rethink that law garnered more than 100,000 signatures.

TechCrunch adds:

"For six years, the Library of Congress exempted cell phone unlocks from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which bans "circumvention" of copy protection schemes. The decision was reversed during the last round of triennial reviews.

"Now users who dare to modify software on the devices they own are subject to legal penalties.

"Genachowski isn't sure what authority he has, but if he finds any, given the tone of the conversation, it's likely he will exert his influence to 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.'"

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

'It's A Surviving Tool': 'Native' Tells Satirical Stories Of Life In Israel

NPR's Kelly McEvers talks to author Sayed Kashua, an Israeli-Palestinian whose satirical weekly columns in Haaretz newspaper are collected in his new book called Native.
NPR

What The Heck Is Natural Wine? Here's A Taste

Natural wines can be off-putting at first: perhaps darker than usual, a little fizzy or cloudy. Some find them charming, others unsophisticated. Here's a guide to this trending, quirky style of wine.
NPR

Jim Gilmore, Who Was Campaigning For President, Isn't Anymore

He had the resume — swing-state governor, veteran, ex-party leader — but there's a good chance you had no idea he was running. Judging by vote totals, Iowa and New Hampshire may have missed it too.
NPR

Colonialism Comment Puts Facebook Under Scrutiny

A Facebook board member lambasted a decision by regulators in India, the social network's second-largest market. He thereby sparked new scrutiny of Facebook's intentions in that country.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.