Carriers to disable stolen cell phones with help of national database

Carriers to disable stolen cell phones with help of national database

Carriers to disable stolen cell phones with help of national database

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by Associated Press

WHAS11.com

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 1:13 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Cellphone companies and the government are trying to make it as difficult to use a stolen cellphone as it is to sell a stolen car.

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer says that major cellphone carriers and the Federal Communications have agreed to set up a database of identification numbers that are unique to each phone.

Using the list, a cellular carrier can permanently disable a phone once it has been reported stolen.

Until now, U.S. carriers have only been disabling so-called "SIM" cards, which can be swapped in and out. That's enabled a black market to exist for stolen phones.

Schumer says the goal of the agreement is to make a stolen cellphone "as worthless as an empty wallet."

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