TAG: Crime

CWTA opens a phone blacklist database you probably won’t use

Protect Yourself - LogoIf you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll probably recall that I wasn’t too keen on Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA)’s plan to create a database of blacklisted cell phones. For several reasons, I thought this was more stupid than smart. Today, I learned that the same database has progressed far enough that the general public can run lookups using IMEI numbers. While the database is still a waste of money, being able to find out more on a blacklisted device is, at least, a good thing.

A Stolen Device Database is Coming, and it’s Bad News

Yes, stupid. It’s not news that global theft of smartphones and other high-end electronic devices is a growing problem. These devices are becoming smaller, more powerful, and more expensive. As targets for theft go, you’re probably at the top of the list if there’s an iPhone 5 in your pocket. This is a serious problem on so many levels (from the cost of devices, to the potential loss of data to the clear invasion of privacy and other serious implications). The news is that what is being offered to fight this problem is so wrong.Recently, big news comes from the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) regarding the planned creation of a database of cell phone identifiers that will “…address the serious problem of cell phone theft“, said Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry. Clearly, this is a move to get cell phone carriers to supply a list of blacklisted devices as well as let users report theft, and keep those phones from working. With a reported 85% of Toronto street crimes being cell phone thefts, I imagine they think they’ve gotten the upper-hand on a thief by doing this, but this idea is incredibly misguided and stupid.

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