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159 posts

Master Geek
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# 138113 20-Dec-2013 07:43
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About the newly minted agreement for NZ mobile carriers to block stolen phones across all carriers with one phonecall.

I'm quite pleased about this, especially after a breakin earlier in the year.  However, I'm disappointed to hear that there isn't there be some sort of process to inform owners and/or police when someone tries to use the stolen phone with their SIM.   Without this, it only cements the fact that one will never get the phone back. I can already hear some grumps already saying, "Why should they??"  Because it's the right thing to do.


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463 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 955389 20-Dec-2013 11:09
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Can you be clearer on what you think this would achieve?  At best this would give a time and a very rough location of the stolen mobile before it got tossed in the rubbish or stripped for parts.  The police can't go around and kick in every door in the area looking for a phone.  It just seems like a waste of time and money for the police and telcos and would have no material impact on rates of theft.



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Master Geek
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  # 955402 20-Dec-2013 11:22
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Would be glad to explain how notifying when a stolen phone is detected would further help.

As far as thieves go, you are not typically dealing with the world's brightest. They could very well be using SIM for a post-paid plan, in which case there is a name and billing address associated.   No random doors involved there. That's also true if someone unknowingly bought a stolen phone.   And even for pre-paid plans, there is some level of info required to get (which could have been faked).  Worst case, you now have the phone number of either the thief or whoever bought it. 

I'm sure the police would love to get addresses or phone numbers of thieves or those who purchase stolen goods.

 
 
 
 


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  # 955481 20-Dec-2013 13:56
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newbellies: Would be glad to explain how notifying when a stolen phone is detected would further help.

As far as thieves go, you are not typically dealing with the world's brightest. They could very well be using SIM for a post-paid plan, in which case there is a name and billing address associated.   No random doors involved there. That's also true if someone unknowingly bought a stolen phone.   And even for pre-paid plans, there is some level of info required to get (which could have been faked).  Worst case, you now have the phone number of either the thief or whoever bought it. 

I'm sure the police would love to get addresses or phone numbers of thieves or those who purchase stolen goods.


In my own experience (and educated opinion) the type of person that steals a phone or uses a stolen phone is also the type of person who flits between $5 PrePay SIM cards they purchase at the Dairy with cash. They are not the type to register their PrePay nor are they the type to use an on account sim. Saying they are not the worlds brightest is a huge assumption, when it comes to technology the criminal fraternity are always at the cusp of what can be done for their own nefarious purposes. What's the first thing a no-gooder does when they think the PoPo has their number? They get a new one. The Police are not going to waste the considerable resources (and cost) required to request text info just so they can try and link a prepaid, nil subscriber details held, number to an actual person who will have disposed of the phone and any other evidence before the Tele Co's even get the request. Great in theory, limited in practice. 

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  # 955482 20-Dec-2013 13:57
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newbellies:  I'm sure the police would love to get addresses or phone numbers of thieves or those who purchase stolen goods.


Who would simply claim that they bought it legitimately off a "guy at the pub" - thus generating even more police work....

Phones are not stolen because the thief likes the look of the phone,
They are stolen because they are small and can be easily turned into cash,

If you have an easy way to block a phone from being used in NZ, it pretty much destroys the market for stolen phones, and thus the black market price on them plummets and if you cannot show that the phone is working to a buyer then its pretty much a brick, 

This understanding eventually filters up the supply chain, and after a while people don't both to steal phones 'cause they 1) can't get rid of them or b) they are not worth anything once deactivated.

From a users point of view, keep you phone backed up and if it is pinched restore it from the back up and from your point of view there has been minimal impact, 

Sure an entire flying squad to chase down phone thieves would be a great idea, but unrealistic...



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Master Geek
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  # 955527 20-Dec-2013 15:11
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wellygary:
newbellies:  I'm sure the police would love to get addresses or phone numbers of thieves or those who purchase stolen goods.


Who would simply claim that they bought it legitimately off a "guy at the pub" - thus generating even more police work....

Sure an entire flying squad to chase down phone thieves would be a great idea, but unrealistic...


 

Guess there’s no point in your neighbour telling the police the license plate of the car that left your house just after it was robbed. The car was likely stolen anyhow.  It’s not like space police will be deployed to track the car down. 

 

Petty thieves tend to be quite stupid. I’m sure police would love to have (possibly) their contact details at their disposal. Maybe not the flying police squad that patrols in your area.  I know I would love to have the phone number.

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  # 955571 20-Dec-2013 17:14
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What would you do with it? Call them and yell at them? Do you really think that would work? Having been a victim of theft myself, believe me when I say thieves don't have a conscience.

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  # 955615 20-Dec-2013 18:55
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I expect there are lots of things worth stealing but now, a phone isn't one of them. A user, especially a smartphone user will want to protect costs accruing on their plan and should contact their telco, the phone is made unusable on that telco, and the others within 24 hours. Even if the thief rushed to re sim it, it's not free usage they have to buy a sim. Then hours later it's a brick



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Master Geek
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  # 955687 21-Dec-2013 05:59
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tdgeek: I expect there are lots of things worth stealing but now, a phone isn't one of them. A user, especially a smartphone user will want to protect costs accruing on their plan and should contact their telco, the phone is made unusable on that telco, and the others within 24 hours. Even if the thief rushed to re sim it, it's not free usage they have to buy a sim. Then hours later it's a brick


Imagine that you pull into a parking spot.  You look over and see me parked next to you. You go into the shop.  When you get back, you see that your window has been smashed, and your iPad and your wife’s wedding ring were stolen. You see that I’m still sitting in the car.  Would you expect me to:


a) Tell you and/or the police what I saw, which includes the model, make, and car registration of the car used to drive away.

b) Explain to you that there’s no market for selling iPads anymore ever since iOS7, and then drive away.

c) Explain to you that I’m late for a meeting and that I don’t have time to talk to you and drive away.


I think just about everyone would agree as a fellow human being, we’d say I have a moral obligation for (a)

Would you expect anything different if I happen to be sitting in an Telecom or Vodafone company car?

Or maybe your argument is that zero phones will be stolen now, so it’s not worth the effort to implement a mechanism to inform owners and/or police.  Well, what about the wealth of info telecoms have on phones that have been stolen to date?  (not to mention other goods that were stolen at the same time)

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Ultimate Geek
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  # 955705 21-Dec-2013 08:42
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Picking apart your analogy.

1. In your analogy the person witnessed a crime.  Phones are reported stolen.  This could be done for a number of reasons, and Telco's aren't going to violate their subscribers privacy just because someone reported their phone stolen.

2. If you were agitated and threatening, the witness may choose not to give you the details in case you were to pursue vigilante justice and give the details only to the police.  They still meet their moral obligation to assist with the resolution of the crime.  In the phone case, this would have to be the default position of the Telco.

If I can convince you of nothing else, it is that the phone owner will never be given personal details of the SIM card owner, assuming their are people stupid enough to put post-paid SIMs in stolen phones.

If the police see value in these details they can issue a warrant.

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  # 955747 21-Dec-2013 10:50
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newbellies:
tdgeek: I expect there are lots of things worth stealing but now, a phone isn't one of them. A user, especially a smartphone user will want to protect costs accruing on their plan and should contact their telco, the phone is made unusable on that telco, and the others within 24 hours. Even if the thief rushed to re sim it, it's not free usage they have to buy a sim. Then hours later it's a brick


Imagine that you pull into a parking spot.  You look over and see me parked next to you. You go into the shop.  When you get back, you see that your window has been smashed, and your iPad and your wife’s wedding ring were stolen. You see that I’m still sitting in the car.  Would you expect me to:


a) Tell you and/or the police what I saw, which includes the model, make, and car registration of the car used to drive away.

b) Explain to you that there’s no market for selling iPads anymore ever since iOS7, and then drive away.

c) Explain to you that I’m late for a meeting and that I don’t have time to talk to you and drive away.


I think just about everyone would agree as a fellow human being, we’d say I have a moral obligation for (a)

Would you expect anything different if I happen to be sitting in an Telecom or Vodafone company car?

Or maybe your argument is that zero phones will be stolen now, so it’s not worth the effort to implement a mechanism to inform owners and/or police.  Well, what about the wealth of info telecoms have on phones that have been stolen to date?  (not to mention other goods that were stolen at the same time)


My post wasn't about the Police or owners, it was merely about the fact that there is little point stealing a phone now. You seem to have read more into my post than I wrote.



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Master Geek
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  # 955792 21-Dec-2013 13:06
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hashbrown: Picking apart your analogy.

1. In your analogy the person witnessed a crime.  Phones are reported stolen.  This could be done for a number of reasons, and Telco's aren't going to violate their subscribers privacy just because someone reported their phone stolen.

2. If you were agitated and threatening, the witness may choose not to give you the details in case you were to pursue vigilante justice and give the details only to the police.  They still meet their moral obligation to assist with the resolution of the crime.  In the phone case, this would have to be the default position of the Telco.

If I can convince you of nothing else, it is that the phone owner will never be given personal details of the SIM card owner, assuming their are people stupid enough to put post-paid SIMs in stolen phones.

If the police see value in these details they can issue a warrant.



I'm pretty sure possession of stolen property is a crime.  If you’re saying the telco couldn’t ever tell you if your phone has attempted to connect to their network, because it’s possible that the phone wasn’t truly stolen in the first place, then the whole system is obviously broken.   Btw, i have been successful in getting Telecom to divulge this information to me on the phone in the past, but was very time consuming to get to that point.   In my case, I’m a paying member and they can easily validate my identity any number of ways. They required me to prove who I was before they applied the block. 


Obviously the witness may not wish to say anything. My point being, as a contributing member of society, we’d expect it. (except maybe if they had been threatened)


Yes, some plenty of thieves are stupid. i have used their stupidity in the past to get pictures of them and their friends, and friends' addresses.


As far as I know, the police cannot call the telco and say, please call me back if at anytime in the future the phone is attempted to be used on their network.  They can get a warrant to find out if it has been used in the past. From speaking to the police on this, they have described it as a very time consuming process to get this information.   


I was just disappointed that more wasn't done to protect customers.  I guess now thieves have to sell their phones on ebay in Australia. Boohoo.

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  # 955795 21-Dec-2013 13:15
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Where did he say it wasn't a crime? I didn't see that part.

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  # 955902 21-Dec-2013 16:44
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Cerebus is a really good app. Install it.

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  # 955947 21-Dec-2013 18:56
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The block was never planned to help owners to recovery stolen/lost property, but to reduce the after market value to a point so that stealing a mobile phone wouldn't be a profitable proposition anymore.

That's all it is to it.




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