Feeds

Big Four US carriers vow to switch off stolen smartphones

Operators team up with FCC to draw up stolen smartmobe blacklist

New hybrid storage solutions

In order to combat rising cases of phone theft, America's Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is planning to create a national database of stolen smartphones with the goal of ensuring that the mobes never work again.

FCC chairman Julius Genachowski is meeting police chiefs from New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland and a representative of international Telecomms group CTIA later today to announce the new plan which will be fully implemented in 18 months time.

One in three robberies in the US involves the theft of a smartphone, according to the New York Times. The FCC hope to reduce the incentive for phone theft by slamming the brakes on the resale market.

Over the next six months the four big operators – Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile – will start to compile databases of all phones on their networks that are reported as stolen. The carriers will then block these units from being registered again. After 18 months the FCC hopes to have merged the databases from the four companies and to introduce a cross-network block on the stolen handsets ever being re-registered, according to the NYT report.

The block would only apply to US phone registered with the Big Four companies.

To reduce phone theft leading to other types of crime such as financial or identity fraud, mobile operators will also commit to giving customers advice on simple security measures such as setting pass codes on their handsets. Networks are already experimenting with tech that would remotely brick stolen mobes.

For the database to work, it would also become a federal crime to tamper with the unique identifiers on a phone.

The full FCC announcement is expected shortly (at 10.00 EDT, 13.00 GMT today). ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Italy's High Court orders HP to refund punter for putting Windows on PC
Top beaks slam bundled OS as 'commercial policy of forced distribution'
Net neutrality protestors slam the brakes on their OWN websites
Sites link up to protest slow lanes by bogging down pages
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Uber alles-holes, claims lawsuit: Taxi biz sued by blind passengers
Sueball claims blind passengers ditched, guide dogs abused
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC
And ISPs should nab 'em on our behalf
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.