From today there should be little point in thieves pilfering mobile phones, as they will be next to useless within 24 hours.
A new “blacklisting” system put in place by Vodafone, Telecom and 2degrees means that once a mobile has been reported stolen, it won’t work on any of the three networks.
Cyber-safety organisation NetSafe estimated several years ago that about 10,000 mobile phones were stolen in New Zealand each year.
Police Superintendent Steve Christian said the blacklisting system would mean stolen devices would have “no value on the streets”.
This is an excellent initiative.
Mind you I always thought you’d be dumb to steal a phone with GPS capability as it is fairly easy to trace its location if you can get a telco to do it for you.
The phone companies have independently operated their own blacklisting systems for stolen mobiles, however, until now it had been possible for thieves to get around each of the operators’ blocks by substituting the Sim card in a stolen mobile with one from a different network.
Blacklisting relies on every mobile phone having a unique 15-digit international mobile equipment identity (IMEI) number, which is silently transmitted to the carrier each time it is used to make a call.
Today, the three mobile operators began sharing their lists of stolen devices with one another and with overseas telcos through an international database.
The phone companies have been working for a year, through the Telecommunications Forum, an industry body, to get the shared system in place.
Not sure if it takes a year to set up a shared Google spreadsheet
In June, United States prosecutors, concerned about violent thefts of smartphones in the US, suggested phone companies there went one step further and built a “kill switch” into their handsets which would render them completely useless if stolen.
I have a much better idea. Have the kill switch kill the user if they don’t get the password right after three attemptsTags: mobile phones