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The Mobile Reprogramming Act 2002. Watch what you do.

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones Forum' started by Phil Hinton, Apr 22, 2003.

  1. Phil Hinton

    Phil Hinton
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    The above act came into force in the UK on the 1st of April.

    It is designed to combat Mobile Phone theft, and make it very hard to re-use a stolen phone.

    Most of you will be aware that reprogramming a mobile is very easy indeed, the software is available online and most of the tools to do the job can be bought quite cheaply too.

    It is now a criminal offence to Offer, change or reprogramme any mobile phone from any network which changes it's designed purpose to allow it to unlock or to change the IMEI Number. It becomes an arrestable offence and has a maximum 5 year sentance.

    The Police will target Markets, shops and online websites which market, provide, or supply the software or associated equipment. It is unlikely they will target individuals, but if you decide to openly discuss and provide this service on message boards or through other media, you will run the risk of arrest and prosecution.

    This does not include Unlocking the phone from a service provider, UNLESS it includes the IMEI or other identifying features being changed or removed.

    It has been suggested that no links should be posted to any sites that provide this service, and no forum members are permitted to use these forums to "offer" such services. This is a new peice of law and as such there will be test cases to come in the near future. It is better for us at AVForum to be safe and discorage the use of such sites, and to prohibit the linking or posting of any information which might provide this service, either first hand or through third parties.
     
  2. Craig Atkins

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    Wow!
    Seems like a good thing to me.. I'm not sure why anyone would want to change the IMEI unless they had a stolen phone, unless I'm missing something!
     
  3. lynx

    lynx
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    You are missing something.The phones eeprom can become damaged / corrupt.One method of fixing this is to flash a new file to the eeprom.This may result in the loss of the IMEI, which can simply be re-programed into the handset with an inexpensive lead. It's surprising the number of people who assume there must be an ulterior motive in doing this.
     
  4. Craig Atkins

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    Thanks Lynx,
    It's handy to learn more about these things!
    So does this mean that the mobile reprogramming act will also be a hinderance to legitimate phone repairers?
     
  5. lynx

    lynx
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    I am no lawyer and i will leave it to others more intelligent than myself to pass an opinion on the scope of this act.
    It is imo more than a little ambiguous in places and clarification from a legal bod would be welcome.
     
  6. Rambo BloodAxe

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    There is too much mobile phone theft in my area, to the point where one guy was stabbed and later died just for his frelling 3310! I welcome any laws which would lessen mobile theft.
     
  7. the_sanguine

    the_sanguine
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    Surely deleting the EMEI as part of a process to clear a fauly and then re-programme the EMEI is a bit different to changeing it though?
     
  8. Lazman

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    As long as you're only re-writing a corrupt IMEI, then there should be no problem, but it's not just the IMEI that can be corrupted - the Product Code can also become corrupt, as well as certain other parameters - such as the power level settings, power profile, TX phase etc., if any of these go far enough from nominal, it can cause the network to reject the call. If that should happen the only recourse is to send the phone in to a service centre for repair & if they find that the IMEI or Product Code has been tampered with, then any authorised service centre will refuse to carry out the repair & may call in the police as they may suspect the phone has been stolen - unless you can prove to their satisfaction that you are the legal owner of the phone - so I strongly suggest that you keep the receipt at least for the length of the warranty period. Also check the validity of the receipt, it must have the date of purchase & the IMEI of the phone printed on it - Nokia has been known to be sticky about hand-written receipts & the type of receipt you get from catalogue purchases - which DON'T have the phones IMEI on it. Any phone that has had the IMEI re-programmed by anyone other than an Authorised Service Centre will no longer be considered to be in warranty - even if it's less than a year old! Also bear in mind that any form of customer damage is not covered by the manufacturers warranty - that includes impact damage (eg, cracked casing, cracked LCD), liquid damage etc. Liquid damage can be caused by using the phone in the rain, condensation, baby or pet chewing/sucking on it, left in dirty laundry that's been put through a washing machine, dropped down the loo, in the pocket of shorts while swimming - I've seen all these & lots more when I was repairing phones.
     
  9. DRGL

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    On all the phones i've got the IMEI number is on the serial number sticker,can this not be re inputed if the phones ERPROM becomes corrupt? I thought the whole point of it was so each phone had a unique number-bit like a VIN plate on a car,ir you smash your car up and the VIN is damaged they can stamp up a new plate with the old VIN,surely when reflashing the phone the old IMEI number could be installed? I'm not arguing your pouint but would be interested to learn more ;)
     
  10. rash.m2k

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    Well I don't know the ins and out of phones, but I think that with nokia (don't know about the rest) the IMEI is on a ROM chip, so to change the IMEI it needs to be replaced which is pretty difficult
     
  11. DaveA

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    I guess as long as the IMEI printed inside the phone matches the IMEI of the eeprom, you don't have much to worry about then. :smashin:
     
  12. jimmymac87

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    The IMEI is ALWAYS printed on the reverse of the phone, the box and the receipt from the purchase, thus making it extremely difficult to not know the IMEI. If it is not known, and cannot be reinput (sorry if I made up a word! :p) I think it's fair to consider the mobile stolen. I think it is a good move, because mobile phone theft is a huge cause of assaults, and injury
     
  13. The Machman

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    The only way in which a person can alter, change or repair an IMEI number is with the permission of the manufacturer.
    For example if the UEM chip on a Nokia is faulty then only with the authority of Nokia via a logged and numbered correspondence procedure and work carried out by an authorised service centre will it be legal within the current legislation.
    However there are to be changes made to this act currently which are going through parliament, where I believe possession or the supplying of the equipment, software etc to reprogramme will be an offence. Currently the intent to reprogramme is needed to prove an offence under this act.

    The act as it stands is really little or no use.
     

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