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White House responds to petition, says cell phone unlocking should be legalized

Posted by Jason Diaz Categories: Cell Phones

White House Petition Legalize Unlocking

It started as a petition needing only 100,000 signatures requesting that the White House make an official response to the right of cellphone owners to lawfully unlock their cellphones. The Library Of Congress deemed unlocking one's cellphone illegal in October 2012; a ruling that would take affect in the new year. Now, the White House has officially announced that they too agree with the 114K petitioners. It recommends that cellphones be unlocked as long as the customers first meet their carrier's contractual agreement. The White House has even included tablets to the list of devices. Consequently, the Library of Congress has agreed and support the review their policy, which was strongly urged by the FCC.

"The White House agrees with the 114,000+ of you who believe that consumers should be able to unlock their cell phones without risking criminal or other penalties. In fact, we believe the same principle should also apply to tablets, which are increasingly similar to smart phones. And if you have paid for your mobile device, and aren’t bound by a service agreement or other obligation, you should be able to use it on another network. It’s common sense, crucial for protecting consumer choice, and important for ensuring we continue to have the vibrant, competitive wireless market that delivers innovative products and solid service to meet consumers’ needs."  - White House Administration

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Obama’s BlackBerry Likely Won’t Be A “Presidential BlackBerry”

Posted by Patrick Phelps Categories: Handhelds, PC / Laptop

He may soon be the 44th President of the United States, but security concerns and record-keeping laws mean that is unlikely to become the first e-mailing president.

When the President-elect is sworn in 64 days from now, we expect that his advisers will insist that he hand over his favorite little gadget, his BlackBerry. Not only are there serious concerns about e-mail security (if it’s connected to the internet, it can be hacked), he also faces the Presidential Records Act, which means that all correspondence must be put in the official record and is ultimately subject to public review and possible subpoenas. Although he could, theoretically, craft an Executive Order allowing BlackBerry use — or e-mail in general — there are plenty of aides who can deal with electronic communication for him, likely making presidential BlackBerry use unnecessary.

Obama is, however, sending a clear signal that he is venturing into new, uncharted territory; for the first time, the weekly Democratic radio address has been released as a web video on YouTube (up top) — it will also continue to air on the radio and the President-elect plans to publish these weekly updates through the transition and then from the White House. We’re hoping this will encourage more Americans to take an active, well-informed role in the political process — and rumor has it that in those future presidential videos there will be one previously absent device gracing the historic presidential desk: a laptop computer. Only time will tell.

Read More | MSNBC

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