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Carriers to Help Government Block Service for Stolen Phones

Article Comments  22  

Apr 9, 2012, 8:54 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper
updated Apr 9, 2012, 8:55 PM

The nation's top four wireless network operators have agreed to work with the Federal Communications Commission to build and maintain a database of stolen cell phones IDs. The database would be used by the network operators to deny voice and data services to stolen devices registered on the list. The impetus behind the drive to create the database is to make it difficult to use stolen phones, thereby reducing the resale value of stolen phones, and ultimately curbing the theft of mobile devices. The FCC plans to have a meeting on April 9 with U.S., state, and local government officials, including the police commissioners from major cities such as New York City, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. The goal is to protect consumers from the growing incidences of smartphone and data theft.

more info at Wall Street Journal »



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Apr 9, 2012, 9:04 PM

I'm surprised it has taken this long.

I remember many years ago at AT&T this kid came in trying to activate a Blackberry. After looking up the IMEI it looked like it was still activated on a corp Lockheed Martin account. I remember at the time just shaking my head. He was asking me how to unlock the Blackberry and I explained to him that I couldn't because it was controlled by the BES.

Anyway, long story short kids are still gonna steal phones and light them up as burners on prepaid. Hopefully they institute some policy that they won't just sell SIM cards to non active devices. Or unless they do it through the back end where as they will disable IMEIs associated with the blacklist. That would be pretty sweet.

Then again, I guess this won't be a problem on the CDMA carrie...
T-Mobile already does this in the backend for phones that are not "paid for" (bought on a 2yr, but someone bailed on contract without paying ETF or balance on EIP), they deny the IMEI any service on their network, so it can be done quite easily.
Anyone who is going to steal a cell phone is going to steal a cell phone, whether or not the value is any less than what it should be.
Stores will still give the same amount of cash as they do for phones with ESN's, broke or not broke.
Nothing will ...
Back when their was only the A Side & B Side carriers (Analog Phones), they had a system to block lost or stolen phones. Both carriers could see if the phone was lost or stolen nation wide. I am surprised that they didnt keep that in place.
I'm glad that they are saying it is being done 'in collaboration with law enforcement' so apparently there will need to be at the very least a police report or signed affidavit before this is done....because otherwise it will be a nightmare for custom...
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