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Showing posts with label Crime. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Crime. Show all posts


Phones users in Delhi-NCR who lose their handsets will now have some respite, with the government launching a portal that will enable blocking and tracing of stolen or lost mobile phones. The initiative was launched in Mumbai in September this year and has been rolled out for Delhi-NCR now. It will be extended to other parts of the country in 2020.

The launch of the portal, www.ceir.gov.in, for Delhi-NCR subscribers will facilitate requests for blocking of stolen or lost mobile phones by customers, blocking of such mobile phones across various mobile networks, allowing services to other existing customers having mobile phones with the same International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number, sharing of traceability data with police authorities, as well as unblocking of recovered phones.

The project is backed by the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) system, which was undertaken by the telecom department for addressing security, theft and other concerns including reprogramming of mobile handsets.

Launching the initiative, Telecom Minister
- Ravi Shankar Prasad

said safety and security of phones are crucial given the country's technological strides and digital prowess.

"While we make optimum use of technology for development, there are equally smart criminals who abuse technology for their own ends," Prasad said. "

The latest initiative is expected to benefit 5 crore mobile subscribers in Delhi and adjoining areas.
"Delhi telecom subscribers whose phones get stolen or those who lose their phones can log into the web portal from today... they can go to the portal and register their complaint, along with which they will also have to upload the police complaint and their own ID proof. Based on this, the lost mobile will be blocked. Also if someone uses it, the same can be traced based on the tower signals so the police can also recover the device," Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash told reporters. "

Explaining this further, Prakash said the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) is the unique identity of mobile phone devices.
IMEI number is programmable and miscreants and criminals reprogramme the 15-digit unique number, which results in the cloning of IMEI. The result is multiple phone devices, at times even hundreds of numbers, with the same IMEI number.

If such IMEI is blocked, a large number of mobile phones stand the risk of being blocked (as they are handsets with the same IMEI number) causing inconvenience to genuine customers. The software that has been developed now allows an individual phone to be blocked even if it is on a cloned IMEI number.

Moreover, because of the centralized nature of the register or database, all the operators can block the particular stolen or lost device across the country even though the phone is being serviced by one particular operator.
"This will also reduce the market for stolen phones," Prakash added.

Asked about the progress of the initiative in Mumbai, where it had been announced a few months back, Prakash said as many as 500-600 complaints were logged in Mumbai. "In 50 percent of the cases in Mumbai, traceability information has been handed over to the police. Also remember, much depends on whether the phone is being used after it has been stolen... If someone does not use it, it cannot be traced, but it can certainly be blocked. They won't be able to sell it," he said.

Website to find stolen, lost phones launched


Michael Albert Focia is a 50-year-old from Montgomery, Alabama. He’s sitting in prison for selling firearms without a license and shipping them illegally. Focia used the dark web to sell firearms to people in other states and countries.

Michael Andrew Ryan, a.k.a. “Gunrunner,” was a 35-year old man from Manhattan, Kansas. Ryan was busted for illegally exporting semi-automatic rifles and handguns to Scotland, Ireland, England and Australia. Ryan removed the serial numbers to make them harder to trace.

Both Focia and Ryan were using a website called “Black Market Reloaded.”

GAO and ATF Stings

When you think of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), it conjures up images of budgets, reports, and bean counters. It turns out, though, that some of its investigations involve undercover work and guns.

At the direction of Congress and working with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), the GAO set out to gather information on purchasing firearms on the internet. “The relative anonymity of the Internet makes it an ideal means for prohibited individuals to obtain illegal firearms,” according to the ATF. “The more anonymity employed by a firearms purchaser, the greater the likelihood that the transaction violates federal law.”

The GAO report shows undercover agents were able to buy a fully automatic Uzi submachine gun anonymously without any kind of background check on the dark web. They also bought an AR-15 semi-automatic weapon.

The agents, however, had to work hard at the sting operation. Only two of the 74 attempted transactions were concluded.

72 Attempts To Buy Firearms Were Denied By Sellers

In most of the cases, the potential seller refused to complete the sale. Upon hearing from the undercover agent that they were not legally allowed to own the gun, another third of sellers wouldn’t sell. The agents themselves got scammed by others that took the money and never delivered.

Firearms Can Be Bought For Lower Prices

Public policy organization RAND Europe, a non-profit division of the RAND Corporation, looked at the seedy side of the internet to examine black market arms transactions. The report reveals the overwhelming majority of weapons sold on dark web marketplaces originated in the United States. The study showed that “better performing, more recent firearms (are available) for the same, or lower price than would be available on the street or the black market.”

2017 Study Of Organized Crime

The National Crime Agency in The United Kingdom also acknowledges concerns over firearm sales on the dark web.

The agency points towards the use of virtual or crypto-currencies like Bitcoin as a way to conduct transactions anonymously and without using conventional financial methods.

Firearms Sales Represent A Small Portion Of Dark Web Sales

Weapons represent just a small portion of transactions on the dark web, according to Nicolas Christin, a researcher at Carnegie Mellon University. He called the use of the dark web for firearms sales as negligible, especially compared to the number of illegal drugs being bought and sold. Christin estimates firearms sales account for less than 3% of sales.

Still, there is a consistent call from lawmakers in the U.S. in other countries to crack down on illegal firearms sales online.

Thanks & Cheers 

How Easy Is It to Buy Guns on the Dark Web?