What good is a stolen phone that's been blacklisted from networks, and the nefarious individuals formerly responsible for flashing them back into use have been scared off by the threat of five years' jail time? Not much good at all, we say, and a new study suggests that the UK's new laws fighting phone theft may be extraordinarily effective. On request from the government, the country's big five operators have started blocking stolen phones -- often within hours, and a full 80 percent within two days. Add in the fact that a new law taking effect this week makes handset reprogramming (to circumvent blacklisting) punishable by five years in the pokey and limitless fines, and we suspect a lot of these small-time criminals are going to be looking for new lines of work.

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UK effectively blocking stolen phones