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Stolen phone database alive, carriers can now block pilfered handsets

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Earlier this year, all the major US carriers (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint) huddled up with the FCC to create a stolen phone database so that they could block any renegade devices. That effort has now gone live, according to the CTIA, as the majors -- along with Cellcom and Nex-Tech Wireless -- have just deployed their bad-lists. These will allow the operators to identify poached devices through IMEI codes and stymie their activation on networks. AT&T and T-Mobile will also be adding cellphones reported stolen in the GSMA Global IMEI database to their new lists, which should bring US efforts up to snuff with a similar, successful UK program, albeit five long years later.

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