Congress looks to legalize unlocking cell phones and digital media

Unlocked iPhone

Many Americans were upset when the United States government criminalized the act of unlocking cell phones. Lawmakers are finally starting to see things from a consumer point of view, and the latest proposal, dubbed the Unlocking Technology Act of 2013 (click link for full PDF), looks to legalize not only the unlocking of cell phones, but also of digital media that the consumer has purchased.

Representative Zoe Lofgren from California has proposed the bill with bipartisan support in the House of Representatives. The point of the bill is that Rep. Lofgren believes that the consumer should have full access to their own device as long as they are not violating copyright laws.

“Americans should not be subject to fines and criminal liability for merely unlocking devices and media they legally purchased. If consumers are not violating copyright or some other law, there’s little reason to hold back the benefits of unlocking so people can continue using their devices.”

While many in the technology sector will agree with Rep. Lofgren, it is yet to be seen whether the rest of the government will agree. Do you think it is a good idea to legalize the unlocking of cell phones? What about the unlocking of digital media for personal use? Sound off in the comments section below, and tell us what you think of the proposed Unlocking Technology Act of 2013.

Source: The Verge, Zoe Lofgren

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