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Obama Admin Claims To Support Cellphone Unlocking But TPP Leak Shows Opposite

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When you buy something from someone you own it, right? Not if President Obama has his way on cellphones. And by his way, I mean the telecom monopolies that pull his strings’ way. Cellphone unlocking, which allows owners to alter the phone they purchased and use it with other carriers should they so desire, is a front line issue on the fight for rational copyright laws. Telecom companies want the practice of unlocking a cellphone to lead to prosecutions and imprisonment because free competition somehow means government granted monopolies.

While the Obama Administration has publicly backed cellphone users rights to unlock their cellphones  – the information published by Wikileaks on the Trans-pacific Partnership (TPP) tells a different story.

The leaked treaty draft shows that while the White House was championing restoring free market principles to phones, the U.S. proposed that the TPP lock in the process that allowed the Librarian of Congress to rule this technology as illegal through international law. This would make potential reforms like H.R. 1892 impossible.* It should be noted that Canada did submit an amendment proposal that could allow unlocking, but neither the United States nor any other country supported it.

Surprise. The reason the Obama Administration wanted its TPP positions to be a secret is because they are lying to the public about them. The Most Transparent Administration in History© strikes again.

The leaked TPP documents show the Obama Administration going even further than other countries in promoting corporate power over consumers.

In particular, the legislation would ensure that jailbreaking—which is installing a different operating system, or altering the existing operating system, on your phone, tablet, or e-reader—would also be illegal without permission from the Librarian of Congress (making a permanent fix impossible,). What type of nation would arrest 23 million people for installing a different operating system, or altering an existing one, on their own device?

To recap, the Obama Administration is negotiating behind the scenes – in a “trade” deal – that if you buy a cellphone you should neither be able to use it with other carriers nor use software on it not approved by the carrier. And if you do either of those things, you could face fines and jail time.

Taste the freedom.

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.