"The Device Theft Deterrence Act of 2012 (S.3186) would make it a federal crime to tamper with the unique identification number of a cellphone."
‘Mobile Device Theft Deterrence Act of 2012’
I believe the shift to smartphones will make it increasingly easier to implement unnecessary and draconian controls on phones. I like my phone freedom. I wonder if there is any petitions out there, lobby groups that can help appeal against all this Big Brotherly love...
You know the carriers will be lobbing for this one. I too hope it happens but with a twist.
Too many victims are actually being mugged/robbed (even at gunpoint) for their smartphone. An ESN is the only proof positive tool law enforcement has to be able to identify a device. What good is the stolen device database if the phone is given a new identity?
I'd rather see the carriers allowing competitors devices on the network. Many consumers leave a carrier for a phone and why shouldn't we be allowed to have a Droid Bionic on Sprint? OK, maybe this will be an issue if different LTE standards are used but a pure CDMA device should be able to reside on any network. According to a Verizon CS rep I spoke to the next iPhone will be compatible out of the box on any US carriers network. I certainly don't know if it's true but if it is I think that's the way it should be.
'Stolen cellphone databases switched on in US'
The four major carriers plan to offer a joint database by late 2013
With the introduction of the database, carriers will be able to block stolen handsets from being used on their networks. Until now, such blocking had targeted the SIM card, so unauthorized calls could not be made on stolen phones, but putting in a new SIM card meant the phone could still be used. That meant a stolen phone could be sold on the second-hand market.
The new database blocks the IMEI number, a unique identification number in the cellphone akin to a VIN (vehicle identification number) in a car. The ID number remains with the cellphone no matter what SIM card is used.
The rewriting hackers are going to have a field day and make a fortune because of this potential black market. Legit dealers will get raped if they don't do some super thorough checking on used phone sellers. They should make a real time data base that reports and updates immediately so dealers know what phones are blocked and aren't. Won't happen though knowing the goof offs running this operation.