Remote blocking of stolen mobile phones coming soon
Anyone who's had their mobile phone stolen in the Netherlands will be glad to hear that the Dutch Ministries of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation (EL&I), and Security and Justice (V&J) are working with telecom providers KPN, Vodafone and T-Mobile to figure out how to remotely render stolen mobile phones unusable.
You can render a mobile phone unusable remotely by blocking the IMEI number, each mobile phone's unique serial number, and doing so makes a phone unusable even if a new SIM card is inserted.
If you have a phone or tablet with a 3G connection, you can determine its IMEI number by simply entering *#06#.
Mobile phones are often stolen during street robberies, and also during robberies and ram raids on telecom stores and transport companies.
The Dutch government hopes that making it possible to block the IMEI number will deter this type of crime by making in unprofitable.
It is already possible to remotely block the IMEI number in several other countries, including Belgium and the UK, and these countries have seen a significant decrease in mobile phone theft since they implemented the new rule.