White House

Apple Pay gets major backing from US Government

As Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke at the President Obama’s Summit on Cybersecurity on Friday, the White House announced that Apple Pay will be enabled for federal payment cards, including Social Security and veterans benefits that are issued via debit cards.

The news represents a major vote of confidence for Apple Pay and Apple in general. While it shouldn’t be considered a proper endorsement from the White House, it is still a major win for Apple.

President Obama signs bill making it legal to unlock your phone again

The White House announced this morning that President Obama will be signing the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act today. The bill restores the copyright exemption that allows customers to unlock their phones, regardless of carrier restrictions.

The bill was first unanimously passed by the Senate a couple of weeks ago, and then agreed upon by the House of Representatives earlier this week. And with the President signing it into law today, it has become once again legal for users (and vendors) to unlock their phones…

Apple joins ‘SupplierPay’ initiative to speed up payments to small businesses

Apple has joined Coca-Cola, IBM and other major companies as an early adopter in the new White House ‘SupplierPay’ program. The initiative is aimed at accelerating payments from these larger firms to smaller businesses in their supply chain.

The program is a private-sector extension of QuickPay, another federal initiative designed to ensure small contractors are paid within 15 days of submitting an invoice. This helps them avoid borrowing money, increasing their chances to succeed…

Leaked document shows White House in favor of banning unlocking, jailbreaking

The last we heard, things were looking good in the fight to reform out-of-date policies on device unlocking here in the US. Last week, the FCC chairman sent a letter to the CTIA saying he’d like to see changes made before the holidays. But don’t get your hopes up just yet.

According to information recently leaked by WikiLeaks, the White House—despite publicly supporting unlocking—has been secretly negotiating a treaty with other countries and special interest lobbyists that would make this and other processes illegal by international law…

Obama Administration vetoes ITC’s US sales ban on Apple products

Huge news out of Washington this afternoon, as reports are coming in that President Obama has stepped in and vetoed the ITC’s decision to place a US import ban on a handful of Apple’s older iOS devices. The ban came after the International Trade Commission found some of Apple’s products infringed on 2 Samsung cellular patents.

The ruling was handed down on June 4, and exclusion orders were sent to the White House, giving Obama’s Administration 60 days to veto the ban based on “public policy.” And that 60-day deadline would’ve ended soon, but it looks like the President has heeded to the requests of Verizon, AT&T and others to overturn the ITC’s decision…

Legislation to legalize cell phone unlocking looms

After the White House last week weighed in on the still illegal cell phone unlocking in the United States, drawing responses from carriers, The Library of Congress and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden announced on Twitter yesterday his proposal of a new bill dubbed the Wireless Device Independence Act to ensure that owners of mobile phones are allowed to bypass copy protection and unlock their devices without being scrutinized as criminals.

Arguing “it’s a freedom issue”, the Senator confirms the bill seeks to amend a section of the United States Code covering the circumvention of copyright protection systems. A few other lawmakers voiced their support for unlocking as well, having announced plans to introduce legislation to make the practice legal again…

The White House responds: cell phone unlocking should be legalized

With the United States Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski promising last Thursday to look into cell phone unlocking, the federal government is now expressing concern about the recent criminalization of the controversial topic, with the White House finally making known its official stance on cell phone unlocking.

R. David Edelman, a Senior Advisor for Internet, Innovation, and Privacy  for the White House, Monday published the official response stating the government stands in support of those wishing to unlock their cellphones once they have fulfilled the terms of the contract. Unlocking your iPhone, as you know, basically frees your handset from the clutches of your carrier so you can take it to any wireless company’s network…