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Comments on news posted 2012-04-10 14:37:20: Wireless carriers have started working with the U.S. government to build a database of stolen wireless phones that will be maintained by the carriers themselves. ..

page: 1 · 2 · 3 · next

BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Ok , that is just messed up.

We are from the government and we are here to help !

Anyone else thinking this has to do with a false sense of security ? I mean really , an international stolen phone can still be used ! Let's track those too ! Or how about just using I don't know, a prepaid phone paid for with cash ?

Are we really to blind to see the crap that is happening in the name of we are here to help ?
--
"It's always funny until someone gets hurt......and then it's absolutely friggin' hysterical!"


hurleyp

join:2000-06-20
Ottawa, ON
Reviews:
·Rogers Hi-Speed

3 recommendations

Isn't there one already?

There already is a database of stolen phones. It's called ebay.com

--
"I reject your reality and substitute my own."


silentlooker
Premium
join:2009-11-01

911 is still not blocked

The fun part of having stolen phone is you can dial 911. Guess who gets the blame for it :P


vpoko
Premium
join:2003-07-03
Boston, MA
reply to BosstonesOwn

Re: Ok , that is just messed up.

I'm usually the first to rail against government sticking their nose where it doesn't belong - and they do quite a bit of it regardless the political persuasion of those currently in office - but this doesn't bother me at all. Phones already have unique serial numbers and require connection to a network; I don't see how blacklisting stolen phones is harmful. As for international phones stolen and subsequently activated in the US, I wouldn't think that it's nearly as common of a problem as domestic phones being stolen. Just because we can't get this system to 100% effectiveness doesn't mean we shouldn't get it to 98%.


vpoko
Premium
join:2003-07-03
Boston, MA
reply to silentlooker

Re: 911 is still not blocked

Not once you've called and removed the phone from your account. Then it's just a deactivated phone calling 911.


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
Yep. All phones compatible with nearby signals have to be able to dial 911 per FCC mandate.


vpoko
Premium
join:2003-07-03
Boston, MA
I realize that, but once the phone is no longer associated with your account it is no longer your problem.


Tomek
Premium
join:2002-01-30
Valley Stream, NY

IMEI change

They do that all over Europe. Stolen phones get blacklisted, but thieves change IMEI number and viola! works.

Worst is verizon with stolen phones, they simply re-activate them -_- for anybody who requests it.
--
Semper Fi


silentlooker
Premium
join:2009-11-01
reply to vpoko

Re: 911 is still not blocked

said by vpoko:

I realize that, but once the phone is no longer associated with your account it is no longer your problem.

So who gets blamed for 911 if it's no longer associated with the owner? The phone company or FCC?


djdanska
Rudie32
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-21
San Diego, CA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
They can still track the phone on the network, regardless if it's allowed service or not. With a t-mobile or at&t phone, chances are they are dialing w/o a sim (then won't show the previous users phone # or anything) or a new sim (with the new users info).
--
The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult. The day he forgives himself, he becomes wise.
Alden Nowlan

primeomega

join:2004-03-11
De Pere, WI

Just wait...

Stolen phones now, every phone in a few years....


vpoko
Premium
join:2003-07-03
Boston, MA
reply to silentlooker

Re: 911 is still not blocked

No one gets blamed unless the person dialing gets caught (and obviously isn't calling for a bona fide emergency).


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to Tomek

Re: IMEI change

said by Tomek:

Worst is verizon with stolen phones, they simply re-activate them -_- for anybody who requests it.

Verizon actually blacklists ESNs. AT&T doesn't care.


pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD
reply to BosstonesOwn

Re: Ok , that is just messed up.

My anti-government reputation is well known but i would expect the government to do its part to enforce laws against stealing things, fencing stolen property, etc.
--
"Net Neutrality" zealots - the people you can thank for your capped Internet service.


ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Brighton, MA
reply to vpoko

Re: 911 is still not blocked

I can call 911 just fine on 10+ year old sprint cell phone. It is most definitely not activated anymore


vpoko
Premium
join:2003-07-03
Boston, MA
For the love of god, can you read the rest of the thread? I didn't say it wouldn't work, I said the police wouldn't come looking for you if the phone wasn't associated with your account.


ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Brighton, MA
Reviews:
·RCN CABLE
·Comcast
said by vpoko:

I said the police wouldn't come looking for you if the phone wasn't associated with your account.

if you are in need of police assistance they have to try to find you.


vpoko
Premium
join:2003-07-03
Boston, MA
reply to primeomega

Re: Just wait...

said by primeomega:

Stolen phones now, every phone in a few years....

Every phone what? They can already get the subscriber info related to a phone from the carrier at a moment's notice. It's fine to have conspiracy theories, but at least try to think them through.


vpoko
Premium
join:2003-07-03
Boston, MA
reply to ArrayList

Re: 911 is still not blocked

E911 requires phones to give the caller's location within 300 meters latitudinally and 300 meters longitudinally. A phone not attached to an account will still do that, but it will not give associated subscriber information because there is no associated subscriber.

I'm sorry, my last post used poor wording. The police *would* try to find you, but the person whose phone was stolen and is now being used to call 911 wouldn't get in trouble for it.


MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1

1 edit
reply to BosstonesOwn

Re: Ok , that is just messed up.

Really has nothing to do with safety, it's about slowing down phone theft, seems like a valid law to me, make cell phones less attractive to thieves.

Just make it publicly searchable so valid third party used phone sales on ebay and elsewhere can continue, I buy and sell a lot of phones for easier upgrades, and we'll need a way to confirm the IMEI isn't blocked before we sell or purchase the devices now.

This may make the prices go up on used phones as stolen phones leave ebay, but it was never my intention to buy stolen phones just used ones, so that's fine, it would make me feel better to know I wasn't getting stolen property, which really can't be identified now, Verizon does block stolen ESN's i know.


inteller
Sociopaths always win.

join:2003-12-08
Tulsa, OK
reply to fifty nine

Re: IMEI change

bull shi they only blacklist ESNs that are attached to an account with money owed.
--
"WHEN THE LAUGH TRACK STARTS THEN THE FUN STARTS!"


ohreally

@virginmedia.com
reply to BosstonesOwn

Re: Ok , that is just messed up.

said by BosstonesOwn:

We are from the government and we are here to help !

Anyone else thinking this has to do with a false sense of security ? I mean really , an international stolen phone can still be used ! Let's track those too ! Or how about just using I don't know, a prepaid phone paid for with cash ?

Are we really to blind to see the crap that is happening in the name of we are here to help ?

The UK has had a blacklist for quite some time - phones are blocked quickly, and the lists are shared across (at least) Europe if not further afield.

The system works well, isn't really intrusive, doesn't involve tracking (it's just a list of reported stolen IMEIs after all) and is pretty much uncontroversial.

This is after all the point - to stop lost/stolen phones from being used on as many networks as possible, to reduce their value and so help lower/prevent theft. Nothing to do with tracking.

Hopefully the US contributes to and uses the list that is used in Europe to make a stolen phone even more useless.


Simba7
I Void Warranties

join:2003-03-24
Billings, MT
reply to fifty nine

Re: IMEI change

Reason for that is different technologies.

You can't exactly change a SIM card in a CDMA phone, because they don't utilize it. As for an at&t phone (GSM), just swap the SIM card.

This worked for me when he switched to VZ and gave me his old Captivate and Aria. Since then, I threw in a StraightTalk SIM card in both of them and they're quite useful.. after I threw on CM9.


djdanska
Rudie32
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-21
San Diego, CA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
reply to MovieLover76

Re: Ok , that is just messed up.

said by MovieLover76:

Really has nothing to do with safety

If the thieves know that the phone will be a brick, chances are someone stealing a cell phone would go down. Why would you? Not worth it.
--
The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult. The day he forgives himself, he becomes wise.
Alden Nowlan


Tomek
Premium
join:2002-01-30
Valley Stream, NY
reply to fifty nine

Re: IMEI change

said by fifty nine:

said by Tomek:

Worst is verizon with stolen phones, they simply re-activate them -_- for anybody who requests it.

Verizon actually blacklists ESNs. AT&T doesn't care.

I never had problems activating stolen phones on verizon network
--
Semper Fi


buddahbless

join:2005-03-21
Premium
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US

what will happen....

The major carriers in the US will blacklist the imei/esn and companies such as ATT/Tmobile who currently dont really care will no longer let those phones be registered on there network, there for goodbye all those stolen, supposedly damaged beyond repair, or "reported lost" phones on craigslist, kijiji, and ebay.. but then again??? the smaller carriers Simple mobile, H2O, walmart mobile, straight talk will be only to greatful to allow them on there network as they are open to BYOD and due to that reason they may allow phones on with no IMEI checking. Anyone familiar with "flashing" knows you can have a "bad" esn EVO or Droid ( Sprint/Verizon) flashed and activated and in full use on Metropcs, boost, or cricket. So this may significantly slow down the rate of stolen phones but in no way will this stop it dead. Bottom line... " You can build a better mouse trap but the mouse will just get smarter."

Chubbysumo

join:2009-12-01
Superior, WI
Reviews:
·Charter
reply to Tomek

Re: IMEI change

said by Tomek:

They do that all over Europe. Stolen phones get blacklisted, but thieves change IMEI number and viola! works.

Its a lot harder to change the imei of newer smartphones, and so this is almost a moot point now.

said by Tomek:

Worst is verizon with stolen phones, they simply re-activate them -_- for anybody who requests it.

no, they dont. If the phone is reported as lost or stolen, unless you bring it in, and can be proven to have the original purchase receipt, they do not reactivate them or allow them. Case in point: friend of my wife "lost" her phone, and went and bought a new one. She found her old phone, but never informed Verizon of it, and gave it to my wife. When my wife went in to turn it on, and use it as a prepaid phone on verizon, the store actually called the police, and she was grilled on how she got it, and they would not unblock it unless her friend came in and showed an ID so they could look up the purchase receipt.

Chubbysumo

join:2009-12-01
Superior, WI
Reviews:
·Charter
reply to inteller
said by inteller:

bull shi they only blacklist ESNs that are attached to an account with money owed.

no, they blacklist ESNs of stolen devices too.

Chubbysumo

join:2009-12-01
Superior, WI
Reviews:
·Charter
reply to Simba7
said by Simba7:

Reason for that is different technologies.

You can't exactly change a SIM card in a CDMA phone, because they don't utilize it. As for an at&t phone (GSM), just swap the SIM card.

This worked for me when he switched to VZ and gave me his old Captivate and Aria. Since then, I threw in a StraightTalk SIM card in both of them and they're quite useful.. after I threw on CM9.

SIM card based phones go off of 2 things, the IMEI(the individual number assigned to the phone), and the SIM card ID. The SIM info only links the IMEI to a subscriber, but the phone does not work without an IMEI. AT&T has the power to blacklist IMEI numbers, but they have chosen not to.

Chubbysumo

join:2009-12-01
Superior, WI
Reviews:
·Charter
reply to buddahbless

Re: what will happen....

said by buddahbless:

So this may significantly slow down the rate of stolen phones

Thats probably the goal, and considering that newer smartphones are having their ESN and IMEI numbers embedded into their hardware, its getting ever more difficult to change them, and the amount of work to do it isnt worth it anymore, especially with the prices of new prepaid android based phones.

Look at it this way: All smaller carriers and resellers, with a few exceptions, run on one of the big 4s networks, so even if it only involved the big 4, its still 98% of the US market covered. Also, consider that it will be an easily accessible national database to ANY wireless carrier, and it will more than likely come with the stipulation that they MUST look and see if the phone is already listed there or not, which means that it would be really easy to integrate into any size carrier. It wont stop it dead, but it will slow it down a ton.