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NYC and SF to Meet with Phone Makers Over Thefts

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Jun 5, 2013, 12:57 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

Officials from the cities of New York and San Francisco today announced that they plan to meet with leading makers of smartphones later this month to discuss how to curb cell phone thefts. According to San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, 1.6 million cell phones are stolen each year from Americans. The city officials will meet with Apple, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft on June 13, when they intend to enlist the companies' help by asking them to devise ways to quickly deactivate stolen devices so they will no longer work. U.S. network operators have already created a registry of stolen cell phones together with the Federal Communications Commission that is used to prevent them from accessing network services. Last month, New York Senator Charles Schumer reintroduced a bill that would make it illegal for people to alter the IMEI or other identifying numbers of devices. All these steps have been taken in an effort to reduce thefts and robberies of cell phones by drying up the secondary market for the stolen goods.

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Jun 5, 2013, 1:16 PM

This won't do much

They can blacklist the IMEI, but then the thieves just have to plug it in and change the IMEI. And no Mr. Schumer, the thieves don't give a hoot if it is "illegal" to change the IMEI on a phone they stole.
The only real way to get this done is with a constantly changing authentication key. Like a subdermal biometric implant that transmits data to / from the phone that would be required for each and every use of the device. Other methods will fail, unl...
The average phone thief does not know how to do this. In fact, the average phone thief probably isn't educated beyond high school.

They're trying to curb petty criminals - not go again some mega-phone syndicate that cracks phones by the thousand...
I don't quite follow the logic.

The laws against theft - or murder, for that matter - don't "stop" anyone from committing those crimes if they're intent on doing so. Should we get rid of those laws?

That's not the point. The point is to give law...
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