VPNReviewz Joining Forces With UsenetReviewz, EFF, And Others, On Device Jailbreaking Issue

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DMCA regulations allow criminal and civil liabilities when a person "jailbreaks" a digital device such as cell phones, tablets and other portable devices. VPNReviewz has joined UsenetReviewz and the EFF in support of new legislation that will allow unlocking these devices.

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People should be able to use the things they purchase in any manner they see fit. If a person likes a particular cell phone, they should be able to use that phone with any provider they choose

VPNReviewz CEO, Michael Maxstead, announced today that his website would be joining the Electronics Frontier Foundation, (EFF,) UsenetReviewz, and many others in an effort to get newly introduced legislation passed that would allow consumers to get the benefits that come with unlocking such devices. Maxstead said, “Presently, the DMCA has highly restrictive prohibitions where such devices are concerned. Users are locked into a single carrier, creating archives and back-ups of digital media is illegal, and independent technicians are increasingly being locked out of systems they need to access for car, device, other electronic system repairs.”

He explains that a method called “Jailbreaking,” is often used to allow a digital device to use different carriers, third party software, and allow security researchers access to back-end systems to assess vulnerabilities. “DMCA regs say that jailbreaking a device is illegal and stiff fines and penalties can be imposed.” Under the current DMCA laws, a person can be fined up to $500,000, get 5 years in prison, or both. Criminal penalties can double for repeat offenders. Also, there are allowances for civil suits of up to $2,500 per violation, with the plaintiff able to recover any profits made by the accused. Civil penalties can triple for repeat offenders.

Earlier this year, the EFF submitted a petition with no less than 100,000 signatures to the White House demanding action be taken on this issue. In response to the petition, Representative Zoe Lofgren authored and introduced H.R. 1892, The Unlocking Technology Act, which seeks to help alleviate some of the discord between manufacturers and consumers on this subject. Maxstead said, “People should be able to use the things they purchase in any manner they see fit. If a person likes a particular cell phone, they should be able to use that phone with any provider they choose, regardless of point of purchase of manufacturer.”

According to Maxstead there have been other issues that affected much larger audiences in different ways. “There have been cases where security researchers have found vulnerabilities and infections, but because bypassing the DRM, (Digital Rights Management,) is illegal, they went unreported,” He said. “A rootkit virus was unknowingly distributed by Sony BMG between ’05 and ’07,” the CEO claimed, “but because of the DMCA restrictions, the findings weren’t reported in a timely manner.” According to the CEO, copy-protection software used on some Sony BMG media contained a rootkit infection that managed to infect “At least 562,000 computers and devices before it was finally exposed.”

Maxstead then said, “In spite of the support that has been garnered so far, govtrack.us reports only a 2% chance of the bill ever making it out of the House Judiciary and the Ways and Means committees.” Then continued, “This is why we have partnered with UsenetReviewz.com, and joined the EFF in their efforts to lobby for this bill.” VPNReviewz has partnered with UsenetReviewz in the past in support of EFF projects and goals. “We will be alerting our readers about the bill and helping them to find ways to let their Congressmen and women know that they support this.”

In his closing remarks he quietly said, “The editors, administration, and staff of VPNReviewz and UsenetReviewz would also like to take a moment to send our deepest sympathies and condolences to the victims of the tornadoes in Oklahoma in the past week. Your determination inspires all of us.”

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