The Department of Telecom (DoT) is reportedly looking to implement stricter rules to track a lost cell phone in the country. A report from PTI states that DoT is “working on rules to make tampering of IMEI number — a unique 15-digit serial number of mobile devices — a punishable offence with up to three years of imprisonment.”
With this move, the loss issues of cell phones in the country will be reduced. “The move will help curb issues pertaining to fake IMEI numbers and also ease tracking of lost mobile phones,” cites the report.
Speaking with the Press Trust of India (PTI), a government official said “It is difficult to track mobile phones because of duplicate IMEI numbers. The DoT is working on rules to make tampering of IMEI numbers a punishable offence under Indian Telegraph Act.”
As everyone might be unaware, the International Mobile Equipment Identity Number (IMEI) helps the security agencies in tracking mobile phones when they lost by tracking the location whenever a call made from that lost phone.
The DoT has barred telecom operators from providing service to any mobile phone with fake IMEI number, but the operators face problem in identifying handsets with duplicate IMEI number, quoted the official to PTI.
For example, the Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM) cell of the DoT recently found that around 18,000 handsets were using the same IMEI number.
It’s also said that the proposed rules are being “farmed in a combination of section 7 and section 25 of the Indian Telegraph Act. Also, Section 7 gives DoT power to make rules for the conduct of telecom or telegraph services and section 25 deals with damaging of the telegraph line, machines, and related equipment.”
“The rules will be notified in official gazette once finalised,” the officer concluded.