FCC and wireless carriers prepare to blacklist stolen phones


In the future, if someone steals your phone, you could have it disabled permanently.  The FCC and all four major wireless carriers have partnered together to create a database of stolen phones that will allow all carriers to deny service to devices that have been reported stolen. The new blacklisting database has a planned launch of six months from now and will include smartphones, standard phones, tablets, and other gadgets that run on wireless networks. Carriers will also encourage more password use on unlock screens. 

The new database has come into fruition because of recent increases in the rates of stolen phones in the United States, reports Bloomberg. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon are participating. Together, they cover 90-percent of US phone subscribers. 

“We made sure that they saw the statistics, that they understood how important this was to the police chiefs,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. “And to their credit they said, ‘You know what? You’re right. This is a priority, we’re going to get it done.’ “

The debate began back in March (and before) as more and more violent crimes have been linked to cell phone theft. We presume that this new system may help curb theft, but tech savvy thieves may find a way around it. We cannot think of a way that this would harm the rights of phone users, but if this news disturbs you, please let us know why.