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.

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Top Rated Comments

Treq Avatar
156 months ago
I imagine this will be used in some nasty divorces.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Caliber26 Avatar
156 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:
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dewso Avatar
156 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.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kniemann Avatar
156 months ago
Oh crap! I'm going to need a new line of work :/
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mac 2005 Avatar
156 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.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LimeiBook86 Avatar
156 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:
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)