Users to Hit Samsung With FFC Complaint For Locking Bootloaders

August 9, 20121 Comment

The law. We all must abide by it, even massive, international corporations. However, due to the vaguely worded nature of many laws and the will of most people to bend those interpretations to their benefit, the law can get a little mixed up. This is especially true with corporations, which will analyze and define the words of a law to their benefit however and whenever they can. One company being accused of this very action is Verizon, who have been locking down bootloaders on their devices by calling it a threat to their wireless network.

Samsung to be hit with FFC Complaint for locking bootloaders

The specifics are pretty standard. Verizon believes they have interpreted a law correctly while many of its users believe that they haven’t. Thus, a complaint to the FCC has been written up to bring Verizon’s interpretation into question. How successful it’ll be is anyone’s guess. The reason behind the complaint is Verizon’s accused failure of not complying with the FCC’s rules on using their C Block—aka LTE—network. It states:

“Licensees offering service on spectrum subject to this section shall not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of their customers to use the devices and applications of their choice on the licensee’s C Block network…” 47 C.F.R. §27.16(b). The Code of Federal Regulations lists two exceptions to section (b), the applicable of which states “[i]nsofar as such use would not be compliant with published technical standards reasonably necessary for the management or protection of the licensee’s network….” 47 C.F.R. §27.16(b)(1). Further, section (e) states “[h]andset locking prohibited. No licensee may disable features on handsets it provides to customers, to the extent such features are compliant with the licensee’s standards pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section….” 47 C.F.R. §27.16(e).

So the argument is then presented that Verizon’s locking bootloaders on several HTC, Samsung, and Motorola devices infringes on the C Block network rule of not prohibiting users to use their devices as they want. It’s a cogent argument, but as it points out in the complaint—the law is vaguely worded. The real question is did Verizon get the interpretation right, or does the complaint more closely resemble the actual law.

You can judge for yourselves in the source link, which is a copy of the complaint on Google Docs.


Comments (1)

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  1. I’m in this thing, up to my ears; there are times when it gets over my head, the survival instinct
    Propels me above the surface, again & again.

    Hope Samsung gets a good size hicky on its head.



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