This Week in Tech: House to consider cellphone unlocking

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The decision was based on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which bans people from circumventing a "technological measure" to gain access to a copyrighted work.

Supporters of cellphone unlocking argue that legalizing the practice would boost competition and provide more choices for consumers. The cellphone industry notes that many phones already come unlocked.

Goodlatte's bill, which is co-sponsored by subcommittee Chairman Howard Coble (R-N.C.) and ranking member Mel Watt (D-N.C.), would overturn the library's decision but would not amend the underlying copyright law. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has introduced companion legislation in the upper chamber.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and other lawmakers have sponsored a more aggressive bill that would amend the DMCA to permanently legalize cellphone unlocking.

The House Homeland Security Committee's emergency preparedness subpanel will examine how social media and technology are playing a role in response and recovery to disasters at a Tuesday morning hearing.

Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez will speak at a forum on mobile device security on Tuesday morning.

Goodlatte will discuss legislation to combat abusive patent litigation at a Capitol Hill event on Tuesday at noon. Goodlatte has circulated a draft bill on the issue.

Later in the afternoon, John Holdren, the director of the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy, will testify before the House Science Committee on the Obama administration's plans for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. Officials from NASA and the National Science Foundation will also testify.

The Senate Commerce Committee's Technology subcommittee will hold a hearing on Tuesday afternoon to examine the "state of wireless communications."

Steve Largent, the president of wireless trade group CTIA, will testify, along with representatives from the Competitive Carriers Association, Comcast, Cisco, the Consumers Union and the Phoenix Center.

Lawmakers are likely to discuss the structure of the upcoming auction of spectrum licenses, among other issues.

Meanwhile, former National Security Agency and CIA Director Michael Hayden and former White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt will speak at Kaspersky Lab's conference on Tuesday. Kaspersky Lab CEO Eugene Kaspersky will also participate in a panel at the conference on the threat that cyber weapons pose to computer security.

The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee will hold a Wednesday morning hearing to examine ways to reduce duplication and improve federal information technology. Steven VanRoekel, the U.S. chief information officer, will testify, along with the top technology officials from other government agencies.