Bipartisan bill to re-legalize cellphone unlocking introduced in Senate

Bipartisan bill to re-legalize cellphone unlocking introduced in senate

We should have known that it wouldn't take long for someone in congress to take up the fight to re-legalize cellphone unlocking. Those championing the effort on the floor of the Senate are Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) , Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) who introduced the Wireless Consumer Choice Act this afternoon. After the Librarian of Congress declared that unlocking a cellphone violated copyright law under the DMCA (that's Digital Millennium Copyright Act) activists kicked into high gear in an attempt to prevent or reverse the decision. Consumer advocates quickly collected 100,000 signatures on a petition, forcing the White House to take a position on the matter. To the relief of many, including the globe trotters and ROM fanatics here at Engadget, President Obama backed our right to circumvent carrier locks -- within reason, of course. This is after FCC chairman Julius Genachowski voiced concerns that the ban could hamper competition and innovation.

Anna Eshoo, a Democrat from California, is pushing a similar bill in the House of representatives, but its the bipartisan senate version that seems to be garnering the most attention. In a statement Blumenthal called the legislation "common sense, crucial for protecting consumer choice and important for ensuring healthy competition in the market." Obviously this is just the beginning of a long long journey and all the sponsors can do is hope and pray their sad little scrap of paper will one day become a law.

Update: It turns out that there's another bill that has been introduced in the Senate as well, penned by Oregon senator Rob Wyden.