Posts tagged with: unlocking
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    For the past couple weeks, we've been following the very swift progress the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act has been making on its way to becoming law in the US. First the Senate passed the bill, and a week later the House gave its own approval. That just left a presidential signature needed before the Act would become law, and today President Obama's delivering just that, restoring smartphone unlocking rights to Americans. What does this law do? It used to be that the process of carrier-unlocking phones was granted a special exemption from the DMCA, which otherwise ...

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    A little over a week back, proponents of a free and open smartphone landscape got some promising news, as the latest bill with its eye on restoring consumer rights in regards to phone unlocking passed in the US Senate. While unlocking had previously been allowed under an exemption to the DMCA, the Library of Congress failed to renew that option, and now Congress was looking to force the Library to reconsider that decision. Today we get the latest news on the bill's progress, as the House of Representatives approves the legislation. With both the House and Senate behind it, all that's left ...

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    Last week saw the US make some big progress towards giving smartphone owners back the ability to unlock their handsets as they please. And while we very much look forward to the day when that right will once again be insured, right now many carriers already do a decent job at unlocking phones when asked. Sure, they often impose a variety of conditions that need to be fulfilled before they'll grant those requests, but if your phone is eligible, unlocking can be as close as a phone call away. By the looks of things, though, T-Mobile is interested in streamlining that process even further, ...

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    Right now in the US, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act prevents unauthorized unlocking of smartphone hardware for operation on another carrier. In the past, unlocking had been awarded a specific DMCA exemption, but after that rule failed to be renewed, the practice returned to illegality. Ever since, there's been talk from multiple branches of government suggesting that a change of law needs to happen, firmly establishing the legitimacy of unlocking. We've discussed some of these efforts in the past, but now it looks like real headway is finally being made, as the Senate passes the ...

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    Is the FCC finally becoming... cool? It's always put up a bit of a fight with carriers, but recent news has really started making it seem like it's no longer just another cog in an industry-friendly machine, and more an agency that truly has the public's back. A little earlier this month we told you about the arrival of a speed test app that may be used to hold carriers accountable for delivering the performance they advertise, and today we hear the agency's new head making it clear that carriers need to get their acts together when it comes to unlocking our phones. Tom Wheeler only just ...

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    There's been a major shift in the public perception of the DMCA's treatment of smartphone carrier unlocking this month, and following a statement by the White House that it supported changing the existing law, we started hearing about legislation aimed at doing just that. It quickly became a hot-button topic with Congress, and we told you about one such proposal, the Wireless Device Independence Act. Now there's a new one gaining traction, the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, but is it really the victory we need? The nice thing about the Wireless Device Independence ...

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    AT&T released a statement this morning on its Public Policy Blog, in response to the recent grass-roots efforts seeking legislative action to remove the DMCA prohibition on carrier-unlocking smartphones. AT&T contends that such action isn't necessary, as the current situation permits carriers to unlock phones at their customers' request, which AT&T says it's more than happy to do. The problem is, that totally ignores a significant, legitimate class of users looking to unlock phones. AT&T says that it will happily unlock phones for "any customer whose account has been active ...

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    March is sure shaping up to be a great month for proponents of smartphone users' rights in the US. First we saw the chair of the FCC talk about supporting work towards once again legalizing end-user smartphone unlocking, and earlier this week we heard the White House throw its weight behind efforts to accomplish the same goal. In its statement, the White House mentioned seeking legislation to free unlocking from the oversight of the DMCA, and now we're learning about the first such bill to propose those changes, introduced before Congress as the Wireless Device Independence Act. Democratic ...

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    Unlocking and Rooting. They're two words that we throw around all the time, and sometimes it seems like they're used as synonyms.  They aren't the same thing, but it's not hard to see why there may be some confusion. Let's tackle unlocking first, since that's what usually comes first in the process. What is Unlocking? When we're talking about "unlocking and rooting" your phone or tablet, the "unlocking" part has to do with unlocking the bootloader. If you don't remember, we talked about the bootloader in our last episode of Android Power User. If you haven't guessed, the bootloader comes ...

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