Indian Government is trying hard to make India safe by implementing various new measures. The government has now made tampering mobile IMEI number a punishable offence which could lead to land in jail for 3 years. IMEI number is a 15-digit unique serial number of mobile devices, and tampering IMEI number now seeks to curb the incidence of mobile theft.
“The move will help curb issues pertaining to fake IMEI numbers and also ease tracking of lost mobile phones,” said a PTI report.
“It shall be unlawful, if a person, except the manufacturer – intentionally removes, obliterates, changes, or alters unique Mobile Device Equipment Identification Number,” the Department of Telecom said in a notification dated August 25.
The new rules are named as “the prevention of tampering of the Mobile Device Equipment Identification Number, Rules, 2017.” So, under this new rule, if a person knowingly using a mobile device whose IMEI number has been changed unlawfully or software that can change or tamper the unique number will be considered as offensive.
As said earlier, IMEI is a unique ID for a mobile handset, and whenever, a user makes a voice call, the call record shows the user’s phone number of the called along with the IMEI number of the handset from which the call has been made.
“The mobile number in a handset may be changed by changing SIM but IMEI number can be changed by a technical person using special equipment,” added the report.
The IMEI number for a mobile phone is allocated by global industry body GSMA and bodies authorised by it. In India, several people are losing mobile phones every day, and when a mobile phone is lost, people are required to mention the IMEI number for tracking purposes.
Besides this new rule, the Department of Telecom (DoT) also working on a new system which will block all services on stolen or lost mobile phones on any network. This works even if the SIM card is removed or IMEI number of the handset is changed.