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White House: Cell Phone Unlocking Should Be Legal

Monday, 4 Mar 2013 | 7:38 PM ET
BlackBerry Z10 and iPhone 5 smartphones
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
BlackBerry Z10 and iPhone 5 smartphones

An Obama administration adviser says the White House believes smartphone and tablet users should be allowed to unlock their phones and use the devices on the network of their choosing.

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In a blog post entitled "It's time to legalize cell phone unlocking," R. David Edelman, White House adviser on Internet, innovation and privacy, responded to a petition about the issue by saying the administration feels consumers should be allowed to unlock their phones without civil or criminal penalties, especially if the phones were purchased secondhand or as gifts.

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Edelman says the administration's opinion on the matter also goes for tablets, since they are becoming similar to smartphones.

(Read More: Mobile Giants Forced to Reckon With Emerging Markets)

He says the White House will work with the Federal Communications Commission to address the issue and will also support new legislation.

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