Spain cuts off 3m pre-pay mobiles
Mass failure to register phones
Spanish mobile operators last night cut off an estimated three to four million pre-pay mobile phones whose owners had not followed government instructions to register their devices.
The mandatory scheme - in which all pre-pay mobiles have to be assigned to an ID document - was a reaction to the terrorist attacks of 11 March 2004, where the perpetrators used such phones to activate bombs on several trains in Madrid, killing 191.
As of this morning, anyone who didn't toe the line will, when they try to make a call, be met with a recorded message telling them their number's up. Incoming calls are blocked too, although the phones will still be able to access the 112 emergency number.
Given the scale of the non-compliance, the government has agreed with Telefónica, Vodafone and Orange to give punters another six months to cough their details. The operators will reconnect the phone and reimburse any lost credit when owners do the right thing.
According to El País, the pre-pay total on all the disconnected phones could be around €25m. Those who don't take the second chance to register their phone within six months, either by contacting their operator direct or in a mobile phone retail outlet, will definitively lose both the number and any outstanding credit. ®
This happening everywhere. In Spain they say it is because of terrorism. Here in South Africa they tell us it is to curb crime. They force us to provide details of our identity AS WELL AS proof of where we stay otherwise we cannot can phone each other. They say only criminals will mind all this fuss. Just like they are telling people in Europe and the US that only terrorists will mind all this fuss. It is tracking and tracing.
This is of course all ridiculous. They want to know all about your money (they already do), they want to know everything you say (they already do) and now lastly they want to know where you are and link you to the serial number of your phone. You have are busy becoming the serial number of your phone.
Good bye 3558729300816542897 All the best to you.
This is a stupid idea, and won't help..
..I'd go so far as to say that UR SECURITY IS ZERO%
How will this help?
Are the Spanish seriously suggesting that terrorists will give up if they can't activate a bomb by mobile phone? I'm fairly sure that there are other methods of remotely triggering an explosive and, if I were that way inclined, can think of several effective alternatives.
It would be more sensible for the Spanish government to compel network operators to keep detailed logs showing where each unregistered phone is at all times. Hey presto, tracking information for all of those people showing their movements. If the SIM isn't in use, it'll confirm it and anyone with a suspicious pattern of movements (phone only on near terrorist targets?) would be easy to identify.
Instead, you inconvenience tourists and the procrastinators while giving the terrorists a reason to use a less-easily-tracked alternative firing mechanism...