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AT&T Unveiling New Blocking Service for Stolen Phones Next Week

Originally announced this past April, AT&T will unveil a database of stolen phones to prevent lost devices from connecting to the carrier's network. The Verge reported the launch with a leaked internal AT&T screenshot showing a launch date of July 10, 2012.

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AT&T issued this statement to MacRumors:
As announced in April, AT&T is creating a stolen phone database to prevent devices reported stolen from accessing wireless networks. We will install this availability next week for AT&T phones on our network and are working toward a cross-carrier solution later this year.
The Verge notes that AT&T's guidance for staffers says "only the person who originated a block may request block removal". It's unclear how exactly the database will work, including preventing legitimate transfers in ownership from being flagged by malicious actors, but we expect to have more details from AT&T as the launch date for the stolen phone database comes closer.

Top Rated Comments

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30 months ago
I imagine this will be used in some nasty divorces.
Rating: 13 Votes
30 months ago

CDMA, never a GSM carrier. This would stop you from just putting in another SIM card and using it.


We've had this in Australia across all carriers since the birth of GSM, same with Europe.
Rating: 10 Votes
30 months ago

How about bringing back truly unlimited, unthrottled data AT&T?


Apple will include an optical disc drive in the next generation of MacBook Airs before AT&T brings back unlimited data. :rolleyes:
Rating: 10 Votes
30 months ago
All I can say is: About time.

How many thousands of phones have been stolen over the years, only for AT&T to simply allow the thief to activate them and the victim to have to pay full freight for a new phone. Hopefully, this move will be adopted by other carriers and make cellphones less attractive to thieves.
Rating: 8 Votes
30 months ago
Oh crap! I'm going to need a new line of work :/
Rating: 8 Votes
30 months ago
I wonder if my first 4GB iPhone (model 1) can now be officially banned on AT&T. It was stolen years ago, AT&T then said there was no policy in place on stolen phones. I still have the iPhone's serial # and such, it's worth a shot. I wouldn't be surprised if it was still being used. :rolleyes:
Rating: 6 Votes
30 months ago
I couldn't help but notice the bullet reading "The line is automatically be suspended if..."- sorry, but you'd think AT&T would've proofread this prior to sending it out.
Rating: 5 Votes
30 months ago
Good intention, wrong process.

Let the stolen phone be activated and then send the gps/tower coordinates to your local PD. :D or hold the coords and see if there is a pattern in location before sending in the cavalry.

Remote wipe feature is useless. Can pull all data and reset the phone before owner even realizes.
Rating: 5 Votes
30 months ago

CDMA, never a GSM carrier. This would stop you from just putting in another SIM card and using it.

You should never ASSUME. The IMEI number can be black listed preventing the phone from being used on any GSM network.

Carriers in other countries do this all the time. It is just that the US is a little behind the times.
Rating: 5 Votes
30 months ago
Apple needs to do this. You stole my phone? OK, but good luck getting on the iTunes Store or App Store with a stolen device.
Rating: 5 Votes

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