We first reported back in January on the ridiculous nature of a new ban that made the unlocking of cell phones illegal. It came as no surprise that the majority of the public agreed in our dislike of the ban and a grassroots movement took off with people taking to the internet to gain support. Activists wasted no time by collecting over 100,000 signatures on the WeThePeople petition platform, which dictates that the Obama administration offer an official explanation.
The Federal Communications Commission will head up an investigation which will determine if the ban hurts innovation and economic competitiveness. According to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, the investigation will also uncover if the department has any power to reverse the current law. Genachowski’s exact words as told to TechCrunch were:
“It is something that we will look at at the FCC to see if we can and should enable consumers to use unlocked phones.”
The unlocking of phones was previously protected from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s by the Library of Congress until the exemption was overturned last year. While it remains legal to unlock phones purchased before January 2013, devices acquired after that date are now covered under the ban.