The Senate Just Unanimously Passed an Cellphone Unlocking Bill

Last week, we wrote in Wired about the Unlocking Bill—a bill that the Internet demanded from Congress 17 months ago. A bill that Sina Khanifar, iFixit, the EFF, Public Knowledge, Derek Khanna, and a small group of other activists all helped to shepherd through Washington. A bill that—after countless hours of debates, rewrites, and haggling—had a shot of becoming a law.

Cellphone unlocking

Well, that bill has just passed by unanimous consent through Senate.

Take a moment to consider that: unanimous. We’d forgotten that politicians could be unanimous on anything. That the Senate made this decision is a testament to all the people who threw their support behind unlocking reform: the 114,000 netizens who demanded change, the freedom fighters over at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and at Public Knowledge, and the Congressmen who took our calls and listened to our collective plea.

This is typically the part in our right to repair advocacy articles where we ask you to do something—like sign a petition or write a government official. But there’s nothing you need to do! You’ve already done your part, and Congress responded. Now lawmakers just need to reconcile the House and Senate bill and then give President Obama something to sign.

Senator Leahy’s Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act (soon to be a law), is an amazing example of how the Internet can rise together, demand change, and get it. And we’re so humbled to have been a part of that.