The White House, which already supported smartphone unlocking, has asked the FCC to follow suit by establishing rules that would let consumers unlock their mobile devices without permission from carriers. 

Earlier this year, the Librarian of Congress declined to renew a copyright-law exemption that had legalized unlocking, which means the practice becomes a crime starting January 26. FCC rules would overrule the Librarian’s decision. Here’s the official White House petition to the FCC (PDF).