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Petition to legalize cell-phone unlocking tops 100,000 signatures

White House now required to comment on call for reversing DMCA interpretation

By Paul McNamara on Thu, 02/21/13 - 9:04am.

The White House will now have to explain why it believes unlocking your cell phone is a crime. I just received a press alert from Derek Khanna, a former House Republican staffer who is leading an effort to get the government to reverse its interpretation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that criminalizes the unlocking of a cell phone.

This screen capture shows that the required 100,000 signatures have been gathered on a White House petition seeking to reverse the ban.

petition

"As you may know, unlocking cellphones is now illegal under the DMCA," Khanna writes. "This is an issue that has exploded online as it has engaged millions of Americans on both the left and right. Our White House petition to reverse this decision has now accumulated over 100,000 signatures -- this is the threshold at which the White House will respond. At this rate, with still three days to gather signatures, this petition will have the second highest amount of signatures of any petition on the White House website."

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It's difficult to imagine any politician, Republican or Democrat, stepping up to publicly defend this violation of personal property rights.

But it's not difficult to imagine this all getting swept under the rug.

Khanna and his fellow advocates for reform have set up a new website -- www.fixthedmca.org - for those interested in following developments and/or helping the cause.

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