Technology

Association Backs Mobile Device Theft Deterrence Act

By / May 29, 2013 (Hemera/Thinkstock)

CTIA-The Wireless Association, which represents the mobile industry, supports Senator Charles Schumer’s efforts to curb theft of mobile devices.

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) last week reintroduced legislation in Congress that would criminalize tampering with mobile device identification numbers, PC Magazine reports.

The Mobile Device Theft Deterrence Act would make tampering with the identifier, known as the IMEI number, a federal crime punishable by up to five years in prison. The bill aims to deter criminals from perpetrating violent mobile thefts and to reduce black-market sales of stolen devices.

CTIA, an association that represents the wireless communications industry, issued the following statement:

“CTIA welcomes Senator Schumer’s introduction of the Mobile Device Theft Deterrence Act. Stemming the problem of device theft requires a multi-faceted effort and this bill is a key part of what is necessary. Together with the industry’s stolen phone databases, which help to prevent reactivation of devices that have been reported stolen, increased consumer awareness and vigilance and measures that impose tough penalties on those who steal devices or modify them illegally help dry up the market for those who traffic in stolen devices. CTIA urges the Senate to act soon to approve Senator Schumer’s bill.”

The group also supported Schumer’s earlier efforts to create a national registry of stolen devices, which launched last year. The new bill would add penalties for circumventing the registry by changing a phone’s IMEI number.

The introduction of Schumer’s bill comes at a time when mobile device theft is on the rise, particularly in cities. Incidents involving cellphones make up 40 percent of the thefts in U.S. cities, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

How is your association guarding against mobile theft? Let us know in the comments.

Daniel Ford

Daniel Ford is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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