Senator Intros Bill to Help Fight Smartphone Theft

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Northwestern

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[citation][nom]iceman1992[/nom]Yeah what if I report some random guy's phone as my stolen phone?[/citation]
There is a reason why the phone is tied to the account.
 

kniped

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[citation][nom]panders4[/nom]This also has the possibility of making legitimate phone resale difficult if not impossible.[/citation]
I fail to see how.
 

kyuuketsuki

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Preventing cell phone theft is dandy and all, but I don't really see it as a positive that my cell phone company has the ability to remotely brick my smartphone at will.
 

android404

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[citation][nom]kniped[/nom]I fail to see how.[/citation]

1) "A" buys Handset Protection insurance, then sells phone anonymously (CL, for example)
2) "B" buys phone.
3) "A" reports phone stolen, gets replacement phone + selling price. Insurance company puts IMEI on "stolen phones list".
4) "B" ends up with bricked phone.
 

kyuuketsuki

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Also, as zaznet said, the theft of the phone is already illegal. Obviously, the criminal is not disturbed by the illegality of his/her action. Why would s/he then be deterred by the illegality of altering the IMEI?
 

hoofhearted

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Stealing a phone is a crime in itself, so making it illegal to change the IMEI does nothing to deter said thief since, after all, he is breaking the law anyway.

However, what this really does is make it such that carriers can mark individual phones for whatever purposes they deem profitable. For instance AT&T will automatically gouge you for a $30 data plan on a smartphone (even if you outright own it) based on the IMEI, even if you have no use for a dataplan.
 

Dyseman

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Can't believe they aren't already doing this. Hell yeah, destroy my phone if it gets stolen.

@android404 - can see that, but that would be less likely to happen than someone snatching it from a park bench.
 

zaznet

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[citation][nom]Kyuuketsuki[/nom]Preventing cell phone theft is dandy and all, but I don't really see it as a positive that my cell phone company has the ability to remotely brick my smartphone at will.[/citation]

Not just brick your phone but make it illegal for you to fix it if they do. Someone else stated that this may make legitimate resale more difficult. If carriers begin to use the system to turn off your old phone when you upgrade that will apply. Of course they have an incentive here as it stops you from selling a used phone and ensures more new phones are purchased.

Yeah, it sounds nice in theory to stop theft but it really does nothing to prevent an activity that is already illegal.
 

haz300

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[citation][nom]android404[/nom]1) "A" buys Handset Protection insurance, then sells phone anonymously (CL, for example)2) "B" buys phone.3) "A" reports phone stolen, gets replacement phone + selling price. Insurance company puts IMEI on "stolen phones list".4) "B" ends up with bricked phone.[/citation]

That's why anyone who is buying a used phone need to do it with some common sense. Call the wireless provider for the phone and verify with them that it is not currently activated on an account. Also verify that it is not a lost/stolen phone. It's as easy as that.
 

g00fysmiley

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I beleive there is a cloud for every silver lining... I think this bill is good in theory but somehow I get the feelign that rooting your phone might get balled into this tampering with the IMEI ... hope it doesn't but i can imagine it getting wrapped in there since telecoms HATE when you eliminate their bloatware and unlock the full functionality that phone should have come with to begin with like ability to install third party apps and tethering.
 

jhansonxi

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Sounds like another case of ulterior motives since the same technology can be used to disable rooted phones. After all, if your phone is part of a contract and you are no longer locked-in to their app stores, then you are "stealing" revenue from them.

Brought to you by the same senator responsible for the .
 

Ethereal_Dragon

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It isn't going to BRICK the phone... It will be BLACKLISTED. It will basically turn an iPhone into an iPod. Data over Wifi isn't going to be affected.
 

jldevoy

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IMEI block doesnt affect jailbreaking. It just makes stealing such phones pointless by typical muggers who dont have the knowledge needed to change them.
 

kyuuketsuki

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[citation][nom]Ethereal_Dragon[/nom]It isn't going to BRICK the phone... It will be BLACKLISTED. It will basically turn an iPhone into an iPod. Data over Wifi isn't going to be affected.[/citation]You may be right, but that's not what I get from the article. Specifically this quote:[citation]"Our goal is to make a stolen cell phone as worthless as an empty wallet," Schumer said. "By permanently disabling stolen cell phones, we can take away the incentive to steal a cell phone in the first place and put a serious dent in the growing rates of iPhone and smart phone theft."[/citation]
 
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