Soon, it will be more difficult for criminals to use or resell a stolen phone, thanks to an initiative of the Canadian Association’s (CWTA) wireless telecommunications and Canadian operators which is intended to block cellular networks any phone stolen in the Canada or around the world.
Effective September 30, 2013, a new audit process – which will be adopted by all Canadian operators such as Bell, Telus, Rogers and Vidéotron – will be denied access to the network to a cell phone number IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity, a kind of serial number for phones) that listed on the “black list” of the world body GSMA.
“Many operators already block phones stolen on their own network,” said Ashlee Smith of the ACTS, but the new initiative should make it possible to put resources of all operators – in the Canada and many countries elsewhere in the world – in common and to offer a much more comprehensive protection.
A phone reported stolen at Telus cannot therefore be used on the network of Bell, nor in other countries in the world who already use the black list of the GSMA.
Protection improved, but far from perfect
Obviously, this initiative alone should not stop the theft of cellular phone. Unfortunately, it is indeed possible – but rather difficult – to change the IMEI of a phone code. By changing its code, a phone is more recognized as being stolen by the network, even if its former owner had warned the police and its operator.
The measure could therefore prove to be effective against “petty” theft, but not against organized thieves who change their phones IMEI codes before reselling them necessarily.
In a statement, the ACTS also reminds countries such as Britain and the Australia have laws that criminalize forgery, alteration, or the removal of the code IMEI of the device, but as Canada, no such law exists. “It is something that should be legislated,” believes Ashlee Smith.
Link: Protect your data
Image courtesy of Neromonga