2011 UK Riots: Stolen iPhones To Be Blocked At Carrier Level Within 48 Hours

We’ve been following the UK Riots out here for the last couple days now, and there’s about to be a serious spanner thrown into looters’ aspirations of getting rich in rapid fashion selling stolen iPhones: turns out that, within the next couple of days, most of them will prove worthless as they’ve been blocked at the carrier level from working with any SIM card throughout the UK.


It’s a fairly simple process, reportedly, that takes just a couple of days. Store owners will be able to check their stock records for IMEI numbers (kind of like a cell phone’s serial number), and then report the numbers of the stolen phones to the various cell phone networks, which will then add said numbers to their EIR–Equipment Identity Register–lists, which will in turn cause the phones to stop working with any SIM card before a full day has passed.

And on a certain level, this will do wonders at preventing a good chunk of the Apple loot from being very useful. Some have pointed out, however, that this really only works in the UK itself, and should these phones be exported to other countries and thus, other carriers, the EIR blocking system wouldn’t work near so well.

Anything that can be done to prevent looters from profiting as a result of their theft sounds pretty good to me, though it is a bit distressing to see that exporting will have precious little that can be done to stop it, especially if the phones go to developing nations where the networks are fragmented at best and have little in the way of oversight.

So what do you guys think here? Is there any other way to prevent the looters from making profit on their stolen iPhones that you can see? Suggestions will probably be welcome to those out to stop the looters’ activities, so head on down to the comments section, strike a blow for law and order, and tell us what you think!


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