Mexican phone firms to fingerprint new customers
If they have any fingers left, that is
Buying a mobile phone in Mexico will soon be a biometric affair. The country’s set to introduce a law requiring all new phone buyers to be fingerprinted.
The law, according to a report by Reuters, comes into force this April and has been designed as a way of matching calls and text messages to the specific owner of a specific phone.
Why? Because Mexico’s kidnap rate is rising thanks, in part, to drug gangs seeking new ways to make money.
Some of these gangs work from prison cells, where they use mobiles to threatent extortion or kidnapping.
In addition to recording the fingerprints of anyone buying a new mobile phone or signing up to a new contract, network providers must also store details about an individual user’s call, text and voicemail history for 12 months.
Phone owners not thinking of rolling someone up in a carpet and throwing them off a bridge have been urged to report lost or stolen mobile phones immediately. And don't eBay your old phone when you upgrade, or pass it on to a pal.
After all, you don’t want to get stuck with an unpaid bill and a kidnapping charge... ®
Another half baked and probably useless law.
The law was approved based also on another issue: phone blackmailing via fake kidnappings; as a mexican citizen, I've already been "kidnapped" once, thankfully I got to laugh about it for I was home when "I" called to ask for my ransom all weepy.
Yes, it's election time and they want to convince us, the people they already rob, that we should vote for one thief or the other. There's an spanish expression "dar atole con el dedo" meaning acting like someone's doing something when in reality it's just that: an act. This is what they're doing.
The law will be useless for one simple reason: no need to get cellphones abroad...there are these magical, mysterious machines called public phones; this regulation will serve pretty much the same purpose as DRM or several other "edicts" passed 'round here: annoy and alienate the lawful population or the genuine costumer. I also find amazing that criminals have the money and patience too deal with the extremely expensive and unreliable cell phone service her, while around the world mobile telephony is the way to go, in Mexico it could be still considered a luxury.
Now the best way to stop kidnappers is not to carry a phone?
The stupidity of lawmakers never ceases to amaze me. A professional kidnapper shouldnt have a problem getting a phone from other side of the border. So it's a law against sunday kidnappers that kidnap people without cellphones.
This is a law i'd like to call "have-to-do-something-nevermind-how-stupid law". Public wants something to be done so politicians do something nevermind how stupid to get a few years of ease and some votes. It's done to give impression that politicians are listening to public and trying to solve problem.
Even Paris Hilton could see the stupidity
Re: Caller ID blocking in Mexico
Nextel isn't the only one: Movistar mobiles can enable the "Block Caller ID" option as well. Yet another reason to hate those damned Spaniards!
And as the previous AC said, most Mexicans don't care about the implications, as anything done in the name of "preventing kidnappings" is seen as good. The whole reinstatement of death penalty for kidnappers and murderers caught momentum after some kidnappers killed a child by injecting acid into his heart when the parents called the cops. So naturally, public sentiment favors anything that can bring these cold-blooded killers to justice.
Me? I think the "best" solution, in any case, would be for citizens to go all Paul Kersey against kidnappers. The local, state and federal cops have lost the nerve to actually do something about this (or are even willful participants in K&R); sadly the only effective measure seems to be vigilantism. Hell, it is already happening in some small towns: there are big signs stating that any robbers or kidnappers will be lynched on sight!
The justification is silly, if they kidnap a person, why wouldn't they call using the mobile phone of the person they just kidnapped?
The reason behind this is the Mexican government fears it's people and it's election was believed to be a sham. It was statistically impossible for the last minute swing that happened and 1.5 million people marched to protest the election. After that they 'found' an extra 2.5 million votes and said he won but by a smaller margin....
Dirty dirty election.
They're called criminals for a reason. They don't follow the law and they don't give a rats about anyone else. Any law like this is sure to be ignored by anyone pursuing a degree in criminal behaviour.