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Phone unlocking ban could hit you in the wallet

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Sounds like making it illegal to put Linux on a new computer you bought simply because it came with Windows pre-installed.  :huh:

I actually welcome fools like him and decisions like his for two reasons:

First - it's so totally and obviously removed from reality (and the technology underneath) that it brings into question the entire role of government in regulating things like this. Making a 'decision' like this is the perfect "Now I've got you, ya sonavabitch!" opportunity to start people yelling and pushing for change. Once that starts it's only a matter of time before a few elected types read the writing on the wall and break rank with the "paid-for" politicos. Most politicians, being constitutionally gutless and blatantly self-serving, soon cave - and then - the ball starts rolling.

Second: Sweetheart deals need darkness. Once you turn the lights on cockroaches they tend to scurry. So too with legislation and 'executive directives' that depend on public ignorance or indifference to be allowed to continue. So the more ridiculous, unfair and stupid a decision is, the more likely it is to engender public outrage and bring about its reversal.

Yup! I looooove it when those in power start to think they can do whatever they want and then make the mistake of pushing it too far...

What I hate is when they do something less ridiculous or craven - but it's not enough to make people notice or care. :-\

Phone unlocking ban sparks consumer ire; White House petition
After unlocking your phone became a crime on Saturday, a petition at the White House website is gaining steam to reverse the decision.

The Congressional Librarian (agreeing with the CTIA, the wireless industry association) felt that phone unlocking should not be legal because the wireless carriers already have very liberal unlocking policies, and that unlocked phones can be bought directly from phone manufacturers.

 Under the law, the penalties for unlocking a subsidized wireless phone without carrier consent can be severe. If convicted, an offender can be fined up to $500,000 or imprisoned up to five years for the first offense. An offender can be fined up to a million dollars and/or go to prison for up to ten years for each subsequent offense.
--- End quote ---

If you BUY it, it's YOURS. Use it as a butt-plug if you like. But making it illegal to use something that you bought however you want to use it? Really, really bad precedent.

Just because the carriers are being somewhat nice today is no reason to assume that they'll be nice tomorrow. If they don't want to allow unlocked phones on their networks, then they can go ahead and watch how consumer backlash works.

But $500k and 5 years? HOLY MOTHER!

Any thoughts about the punishment being commensurate with the "crime"? (Not that it is a crime, but that it is treated as a crime - same goes for several other "crimes".)

Why is it that The Onion is less of a news parody than a predictive news program?

"subsidized wireless phone" is the key here.


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