Group of Bipartisan Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Permanently Enable Cell Phone & Wireless Device Unlocking

Earlier this week, a group of bipartisan lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced the Unlocking Technology Act of 2015. The bill, sponsored by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.), and Jared Polis (D-Colo.), expands and improves on cell phone unlocking legislation signed into law last year by allowing consumers to permanently unlock all their mobile devices and media in ways that do not infringe on existing copyrights. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act currently forbids Americans from jailbreaking a tablet to run 3rd-party apps, regardless of whether there is any actual copyright infringement.

"This bill reflects how the American public views ownership of their electronic devices," said Lofgren. "It’s simple – you should be free to unlock the mobile devices and media you legally purchase. If consumers are not violating copyright or other law, there's little reason to hold back the many benefits of unlocking. It’s time we allow people to permanently use their devices without interference."

"Everyone should be free to use their personal property as they see fit and choose their preferred technologies without penalty," said Massie. "This bill rolls back excessive and out-dated prohibitions on otherwise lawful innovations that promote marketplace competition. I look forward to advancing this bipartisan effort with Reps. Lofgren, Polis, and Eshoo."

"Unlocking a cell phone or smart device gives consumers the freedom to choose the mobile technology and service that best suits them,” said Eshoo, Ranking Member of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee. “It also unlocks potential and puts competition and consumer choice on equal footing in the vibrant mobile marketplace. This bipartisan legislation ensures consumers have this option—permanently. It’s a win for consumers, it’s a win for competition, and it’s a win for our mobile economy.”

"Consumers who are not under contract should be able to unlock their cell phones or tablets," said Polis. "We should not have laws on the books that prohibit consumer choice and stifle competition in the marketplace. I am pleased to introduce this bill with Representatives Lofgren, Massie, and Eshoo which will permanently restore consumers' freedom to switch wireless carriers."

Find more information on the legislation.

More News

News Article
Group of Bipartisan Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Permanently Enable Cell Phone & Wireless Device Unlocking
Earlier this week, a group of bipartisan lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced the Unlocking Technology Act of 2015. The bill, sponsored by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.), and Jared…
News Article
EU / U.S. Announce new Privacy Shield
On Tuesday, July 12th, EU Justice Commissioner, Vera Jourova, and U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, presented the Privacy Shield, which replaces the Safe Harbor Agreement that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) invalidated in October…

Question about PayPal government relations and public policy?