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Canadian Networks Agree to Start Blocking Stolen Mobile Phones

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The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) has announced that by next September, all member mobile networks will agree to block stolen mobile phones. The networks will share a list of recorded lost or stolen IMEI serial numbers and will also tap into the international database maintained by the GSMA for some countries.

This new device verification process is designed to help eliminate the black market for stolen devices in Canada and abroad by reducing the value of smartphones in the eyes of criminals.

"After comprehensive study, Canada's wireless industry today is announcing what it believes is the best solution to help keep Canadians safe from cell phone theft," said CWTA President & CEO Bernard Lord. "And with U.S. wireless carriers following Canada's planned implementation by completing similar international database measures by November 2013, customers across North America will benefit from this added level of protection."

As part of today's announcement, CWTA is launching a consumer information Web site and the first in a series of broadcast public service announcements focused on reminding Canadians of the critical importance of protecting the data on their smartphones.

The CWTA is also calling on the federal government to consider legislative measures that could make it a crime to tamper with, alter or remove a mobile device's identifier. Similar legislation has also been proposed in the USA, and is already in place in the UK and Australia.

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Tags: cwta  Canada