Monday saw a statement from the Obama administration saying it would support “narrow legislative fixes” to make unlocking cellphones legal again. Now several lawmakers have announced plans to introduce such legislation.
According to a report from The Hill, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy and Chair of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights Senator Amy Klobuchar have confirmed they will introduce bills in support of the legalization of cellphone unlocking.
“I intend to work in a bipartisan, bicameral fashion to restore users’ ability to unlock their phones and provide them with the choice and freedom that we have all come to expect in the digital era,” Leahy said in a statement.
The Judiciary Committee handles copyright issues, so they would likely have jurisdiction over any bill introduced to legalize cellphone unlocking.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), chairs the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, and says she plans to introduce a bill this week.
The decision to make unlocking cellphones was made by the Library of Congress last October. The policy took effect in January.
The White House’s statement was in response to a petition with over 100,000 signatures. The Library of Congress issued a statement saying that “the question of locked cell phones has implications for telecommunications policy and that it would benefit from review and resolution in that context.”