03/04/2013 02:50 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

BREAKING: Locking You Up For Unlocking Your Phone? White House Responds to 114,000 Consumer Petition

The White House called Republican activist Derek Khanna just hours after his appearance on Democracy Now! to say they are reversing its position on the ban against cell phone unlocking, which can subject users to up to five years in prison. Khanna talks to Amy Goodman minutes after receiving the call from David Edelman, White House senior advisor on Internet policy. Khanna helped spearhead an online petition against the ban, which has drawn more than 114,000 signatures, gathering wide support from several political corners and prompting an investigation by the Federal Communications Commission.

In late January, it became illegal for cellphone users to unlock their phones for use on a different carrier. "It's a very weird law or regulation that now makes it illegal for us do this really commonplace technology with our own devices," says Khanna, a former Republican staffer.

Watch the 10-minute interview with Derek Khanna on Democracy Now! before he got the call (includes complete transcript).

Click here to read the White House response.

Share this interview and join discussion about this issue on the Democracy Now! Facebook Page and share with a friend!