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  • WSJ/Engadget: US carriers agree to build stolen phone database, blacklist hot handset

    SOURCE: Wall Street Journal via Engadget

    US carriers agree to build stolen phone database, blacklist hot handsets

    By Sean Buckley posted Apr 9th 2012 11:29PM



    What's the best way to deter a thief? Ruin the spoils, of course. Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint have agreed to a broad outline that will culminate in the creation of a central database for stolen cellphones. The goal? To block lifted units from functioning on US shores. Over the next six months, each firm will build out its own stolen device database for integration into a larger, central database, said a Wall Street Journal source, with regional carriers joining the effort over the following two years.

    "We are working toward an industry wide solution to address the complexity of blocking stolen devices from being activated on ours or another network with a new SIM card," said a T-Mobile spokesperson, "This is not a simple problem to solve." The quartet of wireless providers hope to imitate the success UK carriers have seen with similar efforts. With any luck, the program will put an end to massive phone-heists and the awkward public relations stunts that imitate them.


    This article was originally published in forum thread: WSJ/Engadget: US carriers agree to build stolen phone database, blacklist hot handset started by chrisngrod View original post
    Comments 15 Comments
    1. indica's Avatar
      indica -
      . . . welcome to cricket!
    1. mexiking713's Avatar
      mexiking713 -
      Wonder how long till cricket joins? Seems like alot of people that have cricket or metropcs would be affected because there are many flashed phones on this networks that are reported stolen on their original network.

      Send from my Galaxy SII Epic Touch
    1. Chris Rodriguez's Avatar
      Chris Rodriguez -
      There are also a lot of phones from people who just couldn't pay their bills. The supply of phones wouldn't completely drop if Cricket participated.

      Either someone was BSing me or some carriers are stupid in some respects. I have been told by at least a couple of people that they tried to turn in phones they found and the carrier just doesn't do anything. They don't accept the phone or try to contact the original owner. Does anyone have any experience with this?
    1. indica's Avatar
      indica -
      hate to say it in public. . but cricket does not seem to care if your phone is stolen. the only way to get an esn blacklisted through cricket is through the insurance company.
    1. Dsanders77's Avatar
      Dsanders77 -
      Am I the only one that feels a little uncomfortable with the idea of your carrier being able to remotely brick your phone? This is my primary communications tool, and I can see a time when a carrier would find it legit to push for more than just service disconnection for unpaid bills, and these are corporations that are bottom line oriented. I am not an Alex Jones conspiracy nutjob, I promise, but it was the first comment out of my mouth to my wife when we saw the Nightline piece on it.
    1. wiseoldman's Avatar
      wiseoldman -
      Great, 50% of men will have their phones turned off by jealous or vengeful girlfriends, wives or pranksters. lol.
    1. Chris Rodriguez's Avatar
      Chris Rodriguez -
      *RAISES HAND* I must remind you that this site is due to my ex wife. Thank her lol.
    1. Woof's Avatar
      Woof -
      Unless a police report is required to flag a phone as stolen, I see alot of abuse with this.

      And lets not even get into more government in our lives.
    1. Chris Rodriguez's Avatar
      Chris Rodriguez -
      Martial law. Problem solved....

      What? No? <Cricket, cricket>
    1. short6in's Avatar
      short6in -
      Quote Originally Posted by indica View Post
      hate to say it in public. . but cricket does not seem to care if your phone is stolen. the only way to get an esn blacklisted through cricket is through the insurance company.
      I haven't had any problems getting a phone blacklisted. An email to my IAM is all it takes. My problem is the customers.... They want to report the "other half's" phone lost or stolen then come back in 3 or 4 days and claim to have "found" it. Getting a phone removed from the lost or stolen list takes an act of God....
    1. indica's Avatar
      indica -
      Quote Originally Posted by short6in View Post
      They want to report the "other half's" phone lost or stolen then come back in 3 or 4 days and claim to have "found" it
      ROFL so it's true! i rarely get a stolen phone situation..
    1. short6in's Avatar
      short6in -
      I am wondering what this would do to Cricket and MetroPCS CPE business. I know in some markets, CPE business is 40% or more We all know some of that business is from "lost/stolen" handsets while some is from disgruntled customers wanting a switch who failed to pay their bills or similar reasons.

      What if the government MANDATES every carrier participate?! We know that will be coming soon, cause the big 4 are going to gripe the little guys are exempt and using their "lost/stolen" product even though it could mostly be disgruntled customers wanting to leave the big fours' big bills....
    1. Chris Rodriguez's Avatar
      Chris Rodriguez -
      ^ I wish I somehow knew the stolen figure vs couldn't pay my contract. Breach of contract is kinda stolen in certain respects as well huh?

      Then there's another figure for phones that are part of insurance fraud claims. Uh... I lost my Droid RAZR Maxx or <insert expensive phone here>. I'll pay the $100 deductible or whatever and get another phone while I sell the old one on CL or eBay for 400-500.
    1. trainmaster's Avatar
      trainmaster -
      I can see good and bad aspects with this. I don't mean to sound un-American, but lets face it. The government doen't have a great track record for handling anything smoothly. I would expect a great number of headaches stemming from such "monitoring" On the other hand, my son buys and sells phones in a flea-market type of place, In order to prevent stolen items from being carried in and sold to vendors, the prospective sellers must register at the office, pay a 10 dollar fee, and have their ID photo copied. This in no way prevents stolen merchandise from coming in, it only provides a paper trail if something does arise. Case in point, my son sold a phone that he had purchased a couple of weeks prior. When the new owners took it to a Cricket dealer to have it activated, they found it was on a black list as stolen. The reason it had been earmarked was due to the fact that the original owner was a tennage girl who was jumped and badly beaten for her phone. In case like that, I am all for a national database. I feel it should be public accessible though so that buyers can abstain from purchasing stolen phones to begin with. I doubt that it will be though.

      Mike
    1. Chris Rodriguez's Avatar
      Chris Rodriguez -
      Let's just hope the people who decide to implement this, put a lot of thought into it so that it does much good. The story above is an example of what really matters in my opinion.
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