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Mexican Government To Document Cell Phone Use

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the i'm-sure-criminals-will-oblige dept.

Cellphones 232

Alyssey writes "The Mexican government wants to have a database to track every cellphone number in the country (in Spanish, Google translation) and whom it belongs to. They want to tie in the CURP (Unique Registration Population Code in Spanish, like the Social Security Number in the US) with cellphone numbers. If Mexicans don't send in their number and CURP via SMS before April 10, 2010, their cellphone number will be blocked. The new law was published back in February and is going into effect now."

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fp to document you eating my asshole (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27581969)

chow down faggot!

Attention citizen (2, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27581993)

Respond via SMS?

Sounds Phishy

Re:Attention citizen (1)

bensafrickingenius (828123) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582659)

My company-supplied phone does not support SMS. Is it possible that our plan is shittier than the shittiest plan in Mexico? On second thought, that wouldn't surprise me.

WOrse then Mexico (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582765)

Only in the USA do they lock/tailor the phones to some sort of "plan". Everywhere else you just open an account then buy yourself a handset in a 'phone shop.

Re:WOrse then Mexico (1, Informative)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582893)

Only in the USA do they lock/tailor the phones to some sort of "plan".

Not quite. there's at least one telco [three.com.au] here in Australia that locks their phones. Or they did before I acrimoniously parted ways with them a couple of years ago.

Re:WOrse then Mexico (2, Informative)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583045)

I think all the telcos here (Australia) lock the phone if you buy it through them. They will unlock it for a fee, and I think they're required to unlock it free of charge once your contract expires. This only applies if your new handset is part of the contract. Most let you buy the phone outright and that should come unlocked.

Even so, if you buy a handset outright from a third party it'll come unlocked, and I've never heard of any of the telcos refusing a phone on their network which you didn't buy from them. I'm with 3 and bought a new phone to replace my N73 (the contract I got that on doesn't expire until September or so) - just put the SIM from my old phone in my new one and it works fine. Better in fact, since my new phone supports HSDPA. This phone isn't actually carried by 3 at all and I suppose is technically not supported by them as a result, but they don't do anything to prevent you using your own phone if you want to.

Re:WOrse then Mexico (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583217)

I think all the telcos here (Australia) lock the phone if you buy it through them.

I bought a Motorola Razr2 V9 outright through Telstra not so long ago, and that was unlocked. I am with Vodafone (for now) and was able to just plug the SIM in and get going.

Re:WOrse then Mexico (1)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583503)

Couldn't be bothered reading the rest of the paragraph before replying, eh? :)

Re:WOrse then Mexico (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583269)

What I mean is situations like in the USA where if you want an iPhone you have to go with AT&T or where texting is regarded as an extra (ie. needs you to sign up for a 'premium' plan).

Around here I can walk into a shop, buy an iPhone, and it'll work. No plans have any kind of feature restrictions, I just get billed for what I use.

Prepaid phones. (5, Interesting)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582017)

I don't have any information on prepaid phone providers in Mexico; if they're as prevalent as they are here in the States, how will this affect those users? Can you just register the phone as belonging to Inigo Montoya and be done with it?

Re:Prepaid phones. (5, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582031)

I don't have any information on prepaid phone providers in Mexico; if they're as prevalent as they are here in the States, how will this affect those users? Can you just register the phone as belonging to Inigo Montoya and be done with it?

Worst case, you need a fake id. Surely those are impossible to get in Mexico.

Re:Prepaid phones. (4, Informative)

photomonkey (987563) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582321)

Actually, they'll be fingerprinting [telegraph.co.uk] people.

Re:Prepaid phones. (2, Funny)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582557)

Good thing I burned all mine off a few years ago, eh?

Re:Prepaid phones. (3, Insightful)

Maelwryth (982896) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582737)

I don't think that will work.
1) Use the phones of illegal immigrants crossing to America under the pretext of America tracking them.
2) Use the kidnapped persons phone.
3) Mug foreigners, and use their phone.
4) Make other people buy the phones.
5) Start own phone shop.

I don't understand why you would use a device that can track your position anyway to communicate a kidnapping/etc.... and those are just a few suggestions off the top of my head to circumvent the law. I would suggest that the police force in Mexico is undermanned and that is the real problem, not the cellphone usage.

Re:Prepaid phones. (4, Insightful)

photomonkey (987563) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583021)

Undermanned?

I'm a photojournalist who works in the borderlands quite frequently.

Law enforcement in Mexico is an entrepreneurial exercise. They could have an order of magnitude more cops than they do, and it wouldn't make any difference in the world.

The present prohibition is making a class of narcolords who make Al Capone look like a big pussy.

These narcos have more money, more power and more influence than basically any other crime syndicate presently in existence. And it's moving north. Home invasions, kidnappings and drug rips are becoming the norm in suburbia anywhere within a few hundred miles of the border.

Legalizing marijuana (and possibly cocaine) would solve 96% of the problem overnight. Not to mention creating new revenue streams for the government, and maybe allowing the US to once again step behind Russia in the running to imprison the largest percentage of the population.

To the crowd: Face it. It's illegal. But your kids smoke it, your co-workers smoke it and you/your spouse smokes it. Its illegal status is not a deterrent. Wouldn't you rather know where it's coming from and that people aren't dying over it?

Legalize marijuana.

Re:Prepaid phones. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27583417)

Legalizing marijuana (and possibly cocaine) would solve 96% of the problem overnight. Not to mention creating new revenue streams for the government, and maybe allowing the US to once again step behind Russia in the running to imprison the largest percentage of the population.

Have you watched ANY mob movie in your life? Do you think those underground mercenary corps will just disband and they'll all get themselves decent legit jobs? There will always be some drug that is too dangerous for health to be legalized, and they will push it to kids. Or, they'll just run extortion/protection racket. Or, they will contraband untaxed marijuana and cocaine, even if those were legal to posses. Their business is not drugs, their business is fear and violence. Addictions (narcotics, gambling, prostitution) just help to lure their victims to come to them.

Oh, and ... once a drug is not illegal any more, it loses much of its appeal, nobody is a hotshot for using it, so cool kids, daring kids will move on to dangerous "real stuff" and keep "sticking it to the MAN".

Never (completely) legalize marijuana, it would ruin it for everybody!

Re:Prepaid phones. (4, Informative)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583559)

Do you think those underground mercenary corps will just disband and they'll all get themselves decent legit jobs?

Nope, but their income will be sharply reduced. It happened to the mafia in the USA when prohibition ended.

-jcr

Re:Prepaid phones. (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583043)

1) Criminals are dumb. Otherwise they would have figured out how to get rich legally, or at least on crimes less risky than a kidnapping
2) Even if 10% of them slip up and use their own phone in an incriminating way, its better than nothing and saves some work for the understaffed police force
3) Getting caught with a mugged foreigners' (let alone kidnapped person's) cell phone on your person doesn't help one's case
4) If your girlfriend made a call to any cell phone triangulated to be around the crime's location around the time the crime took place, it's one good piece of circumstantial evidence.

Re:Prepaid phones. (4, Interesting)

gd2shoe (747932) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583163)

You're applying what you know about US crime to Mexico. Our war on drugs is figurative. Their war on drugs has become quite literal. Some have suggested that the Mexican government may soon be co-opted or overthrown by the drug cartels. Politicians and law enforcement alike are legitimately scared for their lives and the protection of their families. Kidnapping isn't like robing a bank in that social environment. It's a form of blackmail. It's not a get-rich-quick scheme by any stretch of the imagination.

Re:Prepaid phones. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27583297)

>Their war on drugs has become quite literal

And this has happened in large part *because* of *our* war on drugs.

Re:Prepaid phones. (2, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583495)

1) Crime, wealth, intelligence, are independent variables.
2) Only small fry with zero political influence will be caught.
3) See #2
4) See #2

Remove prohibition and even the most powerfull and influential drug lords will disappear into the dustbin of history.

Re:Prepaid phones. (4, Informative)

snowtigger (204757) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582223)

When I bought a prepaid sim card in Switzerland last year, they wouldn't give it to me unless they got my passport information etc.

In Australia, you need to call to activate your prepaid sim card. When you do, they ask for your name and address under the pretext that they need it for emergency services.

I can't be bothered making up any in Soviet Russia jokes, but I'm sure someone else will :)

Re:Prepaid phones. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27582615)

In Australia, you need to call to activate your prepaid sim card. When you do, they ask for your name and address under the pretext that they need it for emergency services.

They don't take this very seriously, though. I have a mate who has, over the years, claimed Admiralty House (the Governor-General's house) and the then-Foreign Secretary's mansion as his address, and has given several deceased famous names as his own. They obviously do not check teh details very well.

Re:Prepaid phones. (2, Funny)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582921)

I used to give the address of the local Police HQ.... :-)

Re:Prepaid phones. (4, Funny)

ppanon (16583) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582991)

That could turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy someday.

Re:Prepaid phones. (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583051)

+5 Funny.

Re:Prepaid phones. (2, Informative)

Reziac (43301) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582757)

So what happens if you buy and activate a prepaid cellphone in the US or Guatemala, then use it in Mexico??

Yeah, this will stop crime, all right.

Re:Prepaid phones. (1)

ppanon (16583) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583007)

A lot of pre-paid phone plans are not covered for cross-border travel and coverage with partner telcos. My wife has a telus pre-paid phone setup but it doesn't work outside Canada.

Re:Prepaid phones. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27583423)


So what happens if you buy and activate a prepaid cellphone in the US or Guatemala, then use it in Mexico??

They will block it.

Re:brought to you by some long distance lobyist? (1)

Dare nMc (468959) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582225)

So US citizens living or working in mexico can no longer get a cell phone in Mexico?
In AZ prepaid long distance cards covering "international" calls to Mexico are cheap and insanely popular. Mexico will not prevent US phones from roaming, so I am guessing pre-paid "International" cell phones will be here too.

Mexican here (4, Informative)

Tatisimo (1061320) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582449)

Prepaid phones are sold pretty cheaply to anyone with hardly any name needed for the transaction last time I checked. Note that I do not own a cell phone due to privacy concerns, and with this new law I am unlikely to get one.

In my experience, there's several people who due to poverty or lack of concern are not registered with the relatively new CURP system. Thus I wonder, how will it affect those people? Will they shell out 20 pesos to pay some kid with internet access to get it for them, or will they stop using cell phones?

I believe (and hope) this law will fail in epic proportions. Mainly due to Telcel, pretty much the only cellphone provider, losing too many costumers over it. Also, there seems to be much opposition: there are very few comments supporting the law on the article linked.

Mexico does need a way to get rid of our infamy before the eyes of the world, a police state will only make us even worse. We don't need this kind of stupidity coming from our government, however corrupt it may be.

Useless. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27582481)

Seems pointless. You only need to know 2 things and they are both available without registering the phones.
1) where the person is, and
2) what they said.
Knowing their name (fake or true) is largely useless as most of the criminals will just use an alias and most ordinary/nonviolent criminals will just add a lot of noise to the databases.

Plus you risk criminals abducting or killing people to get their hands on legitimate cell phones. Terrible idea.

Re:Prepaid phones. (5, Funny)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582487)

Lucky Mexican dead folks. They will have cell phones and everything. Here, all they can do is vote.

Re:Prepaid phones. (1)

KamuZ (127113) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582489)

All mobile companies in Mexico offer pre-paid phones. I know more people with pre-paid phones than in a monthly plan, i believe that's why they want to do this as many calls for extorsion or kidnapping are from unregistered phones. From what i have read, they are linking the info with the real CURP database, so info needs to match, but then it is not really hard to get this info. I mean, if you have like birthday and names form a person, you can look up on the internet (government site) the CURP or even legally generate it (no joking).

Re:Prepaid phones. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27582593)

Actually, as in any other Latin American country, even when you buy a prepaid cell phone you need to show a government issued ID, and the clerk at the phone store will check your ID against the government database to make sure that you are who you saying you are.
All government issued IDs in Latin America, have at least one type of biometrics, usually fingerprints. IDs are indexed to a database where the other government agencies can trace you, like the Income tax offices, election registration offices, and such.
For example, in Brazil, you need your CPF (the Tax ID number) for pretty much anything, even to open a free e-mail account online.
Any police officer in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and Venezuela (the Mercosul countries) can pull your personal info by entering just ONE of your many national ID numbers on their patrol car computers. And the IDs are many for real: National ID, State ID, Driver's License, Passport, Voter Registration card, Tax ID card, National Health Insurance card, Workers Permit card, and many, many others.
If you are a legal foreign resident (as myself), you need a special resident alien ID card (similar to a greencard in the US), and to get all the other documents the locals have, except the Voter's registration and a passport.
There is no expectation of privacy in Latin America. But one simple solution to not have your calls tracked and eavesdropped by the law enforcement agencies is to use VoIP with US DIDs, so your friends and family can call you from another VoIP enabled phone and if you don't belong to the same carrier, calls will go through the US Bell system, where they can get eavesdropped by the US government, but, as people here don't speak English often, they will probably sound as gibberish to the NSA, FBI and CIA agents...
So, Latin Americans, if you want to keep your privacy just use VoIP.

Re:Prepaid phones. (5, Funny)

bensafrickingenius (828123) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582669)

My name is Inigo Montoya. You blocked my cellphone. Prepare to die.



(My sig has been waiting YEARS for me to make a post like this!)

Re:Prepaid phones. (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583105)

My sig has been waiting YEARS for me to make a post like this!

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you

If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do

Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
The sweet fulfillment of
Their secret longing

Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true

Re:Prepaid phones. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27582801)

I don't have any information on prepaid phone providers in Mexico; if they're as prevalent as they are here in the States, how will this affect those users? Can you just register the phone as belonging to Inigo Montoya and be done with it?

I don't have any information on prepaid phone providers in Mexico; if they're as prevalent as they are here in the States, how will this affect those users? Can you just register the phone as belonging to Inigo Montoya and be done with it?

I don't have any information on prepaid phone providers in Mexico; if they're as prevalent as they are here in the States, how will this affect those users? Can you just register the phone as belonging to Inigo Montoya and be done with it?

.tel domain names could solve this problem.

issue everyone their name and it could be tracked .tel domain names are goin on myspace now.

Re:Prepaid phones. (1)

Allicorn (175921) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582879)

A Telegraph.co.uk [telegraph.co.uk] article on this story suggests that this is specifically about prepaid phones. It appears that nearly all Mexican mobiles are prepaid.

Re:Prepaid phones. (5, Informative)

xtracto (837672) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583071)

If I recall correctly you do not need any type of identification to get a prepaid telephone in Mexico. It is just a matter of going to your Telcel shop at the corner of the street (there are more of those than there are cantinas) and buy a chip with "100 pesos tiempo aire".

Funny that they provide a link to the Milenio paper... I believe that "El Universal" ( which has the article here [eluniversal.com.mx] ) is better.

Now, for those very paranoid slashdotters, note that one of the reasons they are doing this is because given the lack of such identification records, mobile phones are heavily used in blackmailing.

That happened to my brother once, he was studying in Mexico City and he got a call which went like this:
After the phone rang and he answered a shouting voice said:

"Hey we got your brother, and we will kill him unless you comply with our desires"

After that, a voice in the background of the telephone shouted as if he was the "captured" brother "please please, help me, please don't leave me"

In the "heat" of the moment, my brother shout my name "Pedro, are you ok?" [not my real name of course].

Of course with that information the criminals continued with their tale, telling him that yes they had "Pedro" and they were going to hurt him blah blah...

My brother just hung up the telephone and called my mother (who lives in another state)... Fortunately for us, I have been living *outside* Mexico for the last 5 years... therefore I could not have been trapped in Mexico City...

My brother wrote me an email telling me to ask me to mail back just to be shure I was OK, I called him that afternoon from the UK where I was living then.

There are countless of similar stories with such kind of social engineering. Of course not all the people are as "wise" as us, or they get blackmailed in the middle of some kind of crisis (money, family, etc) where the scenario of a kidnapped relative is very possible.

The issue until now (that the database is started) is that even if you had a caller-id and a number, you could not do anything with it because it would not be registered, or it will be faked. The current registry will require both an valid id (Mexican voting credential which is the national id) and a fingerprint.

Border runs (3, Insightful)

Zerth (26112) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582039)

I assume this doesn't apply to PAYG phones bought in the US? What a way to not affect criminals in the least.

Re:Border runs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27583463)


I assume this doesn't apply to PAYG phones bought in the US? What a way to not affect criminals in the least.

"I assume they are stupid. Then it would not work."
It's pretty easy to make the law work. All the mobile phone operators already reject any connection which is not properly authenticated and that they can bill - they just have to check a flag in their database whether the billed caller had given sufficient information for the governement.

So? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27582071)

All they require is that you text your CURP? So just text someone else's CURP. Make one up for that matter. How do they plan to verify the person using the phone is identical to the CURP associated with it?

Re:So? (1)

gringofrijolero (1489395) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582139)

We got computers now.

Re:So? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583407)

Really, is this so hard to figure out?

Users text in their CURP.

Most will be accurate and there will be enough info on file to match them up to their phone number and carrier.

Some won't send in their CURP. No service for you.

Some won't match. Letter comes attached to phone bill. Mail it back with correct boxes checked, or No service for you.

Claim my CURP on your phone, I check the box that says not my phone, and No Service for you.

No number no ring-e-dingie. Its pretty simple.

In the US, they get your SSN when you sign up for your plan anyway.

Since pre-paid anonymous cell phones are almost always used for no good and legal purpose this sounds like a great idea for that kind of phone.

Corruption (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27582101)

With an already corrupt government and police force this benefits the people how..?

Re:Corruption (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582357)

Incredible increases in the efficiency of allocation of stitches to snitches are expected...

Re:Corruption (2, Insightful)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582577)

Really. It's so much better here in the US. Instead of CURP numbers and all that hassle the NSA just taps the phone companies on the shoulder and they give out whatever the government needs.

Lots of transient workers (5, Informative)

gringofrijolero (1489395) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582125)

here where I live. I just pay them a hundred pesos to buy a chip for me. He'll be leaving town in a few months, and I got my phone. Repeat as needed. With a legitimate name and my phone is stolen, lots of luck defending yourself against false accusations here. Luckily the old system of "justice" is still in place. Una mordidita para las polis y ya.

Stupidity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27582131)

And how exactly do they plan to prevent people from SMS texting random or other peoples IDs to the registry?

You mean a log file or like a phone bill ? (4, Funny)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582153)

We don't need no stinkin' log file! How dare they keep records of everything. AT&T, Verizon and Sprint would never do that! No way! If our telecoms actually kept records they would bill me for every minute I log any time on the network so that they could over charge me. In America, we know how to lie about the truth so we can steal from our customers, and then turn em into the Feds! We better build a bigger wall so their cellular towers don't vector any of our border towns!

No cell phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27582175)

Stories like this always make me very, very glad that I've never bothered to buy a cell phone. I mean sure, I know my government will track me somehow anyway, but at least I have the satisfaction of making the bastards work for their data.

Re:No cell phone (1)

jonfr (888673) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582217)

They don't have to. You have a internet connection.

Re:No cell phone (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27582295)

Stories like this always make me very, very glad that I've never bothered to buy a cell phone. I mean sure, I know my government will track me somehow anyway, but at least I have the satisfaction of making the bastards work for their data.

By posting as an AC you really showed them. They'll be stumped for months on that one!

Re:No cell phone (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582939)

And thankfully, you don't use the Internet -- imagine what they could learn that way!

Ay, ay, ay, (1)

gringofrijolero (1489395) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582199)

no me gusta!

fucking spics (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27582227)

fucking spics

Re:fucking spics (-1, Offtopic)

gringofrijolero (1489395) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582299)

Spics are Puerto Ricans. Somos frijoleros guey!

Stupid Laws, more stupid implementations. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27582235)

I live in Mexico and I can tell you that one of the intentions of the law is to reduce the crimes that use cellphones to coordinate and execute (like kidnappings and drug deals).

The problem with this is the implementation, the law clearly specifies that your cellphone provider must take an ID and your fingerprint, but the most popular provider Telcel lets you register sending a SMS with your name and birth date. Essentially rendering the registration useless.

Re:Stupid Laws, more stupid implementations. (5, Funny)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582429)

It would be more efficient to outlaw kidnapping and drug dealing.

Re:Stupid Laws, more stupid implementations. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27582599)

That'd destroy the economy. For instance, the police certainly wouldn't make the same income if they enforced the law.

Re:Stupid Laws, more stupid implementations. (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582477)

This sounds more like a plan for Telcel to maintain its monopoly.

Re:Stupid Laws, more stupid implementations. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27582889)

> I live in Mexico and I can tell you that one of the intentions of the law is to reduce the crimes that use cellphones to coordinate and execute (like kidnappings and drug deals).

One interesting thing is that a cell phone can be used to track your physical location. So they could monitor people's movements as long as they're carrying their phones.

Talk about Big Brother...

Sounds like a great way to steal identities (2, Interesting)

anexkahn (935249) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582259)

don't ya think?

This will solve which problem again? (2, Insightful)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582265)

I cant understand what this will solve for the Mexican Government. Does this have anything to do with all the violent crime linked to the Mexican drug trade? Do they really think sending a CURP via SMS is a secure and infallible method? Good luck to them.

Oh and here is a possible theory: The USA could use this system to track illegals who might have bought their cell phones into the US. Doesent sound all that plausable but hey its a theory.

Re:This will solve which problem again? (5, Informative)

biggknifeparty (618904) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582315)

It's because of the kidnapping crisis. Cell phones are used to negotiate ransoms. This will just likely push criminals to move to VOIP out on stolen wifi connections.

Re:This will solve which problem again? (2, Insightful)

Gutboy (587531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582343)

Or they could use the cell phone of the victim, to 'prove' they have them.

Re:This will solve which problem again? (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582771)

Or more like it'll just ensure that being seen talking on a cell phone is the BEST way to get targeted!!

Re:This will solve which problem again? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27582469)

  The problem is extorsion.

  This is a growing problem in Mexico.

  You get either a

  1. SMS that says that you won a prize. Most of the time you need to send another sms to another cell number where they tell you that you need to pay a deposit to get your prize. Or,

  2.- A call in which a person tells you that have kidnapped a relative of yours. They don't demand a lot of money. They just want to get some money because 99% of the time they haven't kidnapped anybody. They rely on getting you scared enough so you deposit some money before you can check if it was true.

  Most people know it's a scam, but still a lot of people fall for it.

  The thing is, most of the scammers come from inside prisons so this is an attempt to make it more difficult to get a stolen cellphone which is what the criminals usually use.

- A mexican that has gotten those calls.

Re:This will solve which problem again? (1)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582797)

I see now, many others have pointed this out so it makes perfect sense. It has also jogged my memory a bit too. I remember seeing a special on TV a number of years ago talking about the kidnapping problem in Mexico. I believe they said Mexico City was the kidnapping capital of the world. That scare led to many wealthy people (frequently targeted) to hire security and drive armored vehicles. Less wealthy people would have plastic film applied to their car windows to prevent shattering during a car jacking/kidnapping attempt.

This problem was also bought to light in the remake of the film Man on Fire.

It looks like it has now got to the point that everyone is so scared even an empty threat will scare them into paying. Everyone was so terrified during the surge of actual kidnappings that after a while the bad guys figured out that they didn't even have to kidnap anyone. Just fire off a simple "I have your ________ send me money" and you might get some cash. That's pretty fucked up that it has gotten to that point. But how will this stop anyone? SMS messages can be sent pretty damn easily and anonymously. Hell a friend once pulled a prank on me using the sprint internet SMS sender. Sprint has/had a web page where you enter the recipient number and message and then enter ANY number as the sender. You wont get a reply but you can easily send anonymously. I am sure there are many other sites that can do the same.

Virtual Kidnapping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27582497)

It was due the surge of virtual kidnapping. Millions of Mexicans receive SMS or calls indicating some kind of extortion: "your son is kidnapped, deposit $$ pesos to this phone number", etc. Now every user is responsible for the use of their phone.

Government is fingerpring also cellphone users also.

Virtual kidnapping (1)

mapuche (41699) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582527)

It was due the surge of virtual kidnapping. Millions of Mexicans receive SMS or calls indicating some kind of extortion: "your son is kidnapped, deposit $$ pesos to this phone number", etc. Now every user is responsible in theory for the use of their phone.

Government is fingerprinting cellphone users also.

Re-posting because forgot I had an account here :p.

Re:Virtual kidnapping (2, Insightful)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582667)

Of course getting an stolen phone or cloning a numbers is still as easy as ever. This accomplishes nothing except perhaps tracking of innocent citizens.

There's still time (1)

NonUniqueNickname (1459477) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582289)

I predict 1 million users registering this month. The other 69 million users will try to register on the last hour of the last day before lines get deactivated. Let's hope they aren't showing Latin American Idol that night, phone networks would evaporate.
Another likely scenario, 3-4 months from now some big story breaks out on how someone stole (read, bought) the database and used it to do very naughty things. Public outrage. Common sense wins round 2. Database scrapped.

Re:There's still time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27582375)

you just readed my mind, just look for the RENAVE, it was going to be a national database of every vehicle tied to the social security number and guess who was the director of that organ? MIGUEL CAVALLO!!! an argentinan criminal from the "dirty war", with particular experience in seizing and monetizing his victims properties...

by the way, the RENAVE, much like this initiative, was promoted after the last big "crime wave" scare in the nineties.

Lessons to be Learned (5, Interesting)

db32 (862117) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582325)

So...now that we have more and more technology and more and more capability for governments to track every aspect of their priso..citizens there should be a few things noted. This is nothing new. Advancing technology has ALWAYS resulted in governments trying to leverage it for this very purpose. I seriously doubt this will ever change despite various groups flag waving about how THEIR country would never do this and pointing at other countries that have implemented things like this. As such, all the bitching and moaning in the world is not likely to stop this. A number of countries throughout history have "reset" their governments abilities through various revolutions (some rather bloody, others bloodless). Unfortunately the bloody type ones have typically been the most likely to result in destruction of government records by one side or the other. (Which is why the whole 2nd Amendment thing was put there, the notion that we are supposed to use our right to bear arms to protect ourselves from our fellow citizens is a warping of reality...it was meant ensure an armed citizenry to discourage government abuse. Of course this is all moot when the majority happily embraces this kind of "safety" measure.)

At the end of the day with technology constantly advancing and the "here there be monsters" parts of the map becoming non-existent there is only one way to ensure our future freedoms. My daughter will know how to execute SQL injections by the time she is 10! We live in an era where your average teenager is more capable of destroying/manipulating government plans/records/whathaveyou than any pitchfork and torch wielding mob has had since the days of the caveman!

Disclaimer: Parents, be careful with this plan, you wouldn't want to have your records swapped with (notorious threat of the day) for grounding your kid.

Re:Lessons to be Learned (1)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582867)

My daughter will know how to execute SQL injections by the time she is 10!

Just be careful if you enroll her in Boston College [slashdot.org] , okay?

Parents, be careful with this plan, you wouldn't want to have your records swapped with (notorious threat of the day) for grounding your kid.

Either you buy me a pink VW Beetle [wikipedia.org] when I turn 16, or I'll turn you into a federal wanted criminal!

grammar (0, Offtopic)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582327)

Seriously, how is one going to properly use 'whom' rather than 'who', but still end a sentence in a preposition?

Re:grammar (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582499)

Selecting the correct pronoun case is a question of a rule of grammar. Refraining from ending a sentence with a preposition is merely a guideline of style.

-Peter

Re:grammar (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583213)

Seriously, how is one going to properly use 'whom' rather than 'who', but still end a sentence in a preposition?

Did a teacher tell you that prepositions are not for ending sentences with?

(Any rule of style can be violated if you understand the reason for it. The reason for this one is that there is usually a better way of phrasing the sentence that doesn't end the sentence with a preposition; there are exceptions.)

(Alternatively: "This is the kind of fucking pedantry up with which I shall not put." (Churchill, attrib.))

Re:grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27583359)

Sorry, English is not Latin. Otherwise I'd be able to say phrases like "English Latin not is" and this would actually be preferable. :-) Romance languages have a requirement that prepositions be followed with something, however there is no such history for English. So-called educated people prescribing Latin grammar rules upon English speakers notwithstanding.

Well... the gov. didn't saw the issues of this... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27582373)

The measure of a cellphone number database is to identify who is the user of the cellphone, this is intended to reduce the criminal movements of drugdealers and mafias all over the mexican country.

Well it's a good idea, but the mexican government didn't saw the real issues of relate cellphones and users: the institutions that will have access to the databases are corrupt far beyond solution, we all know in Mexico that institutions like AFI (similar to FBI in USA) and others are full of double-agents of organized crime.

So, from now on, organized crime will be aware of my phone number, my residence and another bunch of personal data. Great, just great. (Yeah, I live in Mexico if you haven't noticed by now.)

Just on principle (1)

whitespiral (941984) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582411)

In the totally corrupt government we have, this is completely idiotic. The mafias will get access to all this data a couple of days after government officials get it. We all Mexicans know that. But even if that weren't the case, just on principle alone, I won't submitt to big brother. When that deadline comes, all the cellphones in my house will cease to be. I'm not a number, I'm a free man!

Re:Just on principle (1)

masshuu (1260516) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582435)

I'm a free man!

wait, your either Mexican or a free man, which is it

Hey, Mano... (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582583)

Let me use your phone for a minute...

Why?

You know...battery is dead again.

Oh, sure.

Crackdown (1)

Anenome (1250374) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582637)

I'd imagine this has something to do with an attempt to crack down on the drug running cartels that threaten to grow so powerful as to destabilize the government. A threatened government is a dangerous thing.

so, use an iPhone with Fring or Skype (1)

xmark (177899) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582689)

Don't even have to change gadgets. That takes care of the average citizen who would be fine with consumer-grade privacy.

One could add complexity by creating multiple Skype land-phone-accessible numbers, and push them through Grand Central. Or get sexy by using VOIP over a VPN connection to a stateside proxy.

The nontechnological solution: "Hey, amigo, lemme use your phone for a minute - I left mine in my Mercedes."

All of the National Mexican Databases (we have 11) (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27582735)

Yep this is another stupid law passed under the guise of trying to fix a national security problem. The truth is it is just another way for the government to get another Nationwide Database of us Mexicans. Let us count how many we have.

1) We have the CURP. (national ID number)

2) We have the IFE. (national voting card)

3) We have the RFC. (national Tax Number, complete with electronic digital certificate plus you need to fingerprint your 10 digita for that one)

4) We have Cartilla de Vacunacion (national medical card, needed for most hospitals and free health services)

5) We have drivers license (again taging all the above)

5) We have CLABE (national bank account database... all your Financial info are belong to us linked to the Mexican Tax Sistem)

6) We have the Afore (national retirement account number)

7) Some states have a secondary voting card (since the national one could be untrustworthy)

8) We have birth certificate records with the CRIP (a longer version of the CURP)

9) National Military Card (for all males 18 and older which technically makes all of Male Mexicans National Reserve and you need to have it for the next database one, the passport)

10) Passports, (not required by law but do require #9 to get one and will also be required if you ever need to leave this place.)

woohoo.. so much for freedom of speech.

Most of them have all your personal info in them, plus fingerprints, plus anything and everything to tag you. There was the defunct RENAVE which was the national car ID. That was pass under the guise of people commit felony's on stolen cars.

Now a National Celular Id, what is next a National Phone Id, since people also commit crimes on the phone. Or maybe a National Public Phone id, since criminals could also use Public Phones. Or a National Internet Users Id while you are at it. Or a National Credit Card registry since credit cards are used in scams. No wait we have that one also (chalk it as number 11)

Maybe a national knife owners id, so in the supermarket when you buy a knife it will be registered in your name.

Now seriously, the main problem in this is that one more database to cross reference you by will not solve the crime problem. I used to work for a telemarketing firm, and they had bought half of the Databases mentioned above, so the information contained in those database is readily available thanks to corrupt officials. Some of them are even online like the CURP. (one XSS away from full access).

If you are Mexican, don't worry about all the databases, organized crime already have them all. That is how they target you. I know of cases where the criminals even know how much money you have in your bank account and suggest it to you if you try to say you don't have any money.

Now the implementation, you can send a SMS with what ever info you want. Want to become your neighbor, look his CURP up online here:

http://www.emexico.gob.mx/wb2/eMex/eMex_Consulta_tu_CURP

(just need his name and his birthday).

Seriously the problem is the Corrupt Mexican Government, why don't they pass laws to fix that, and maybe we wouldn't need just another national public database.

Here in Mexico they passed a law to instantly tax your deposits in the bank, if you get a cash deposit of 25000 pesos or more (like 2000 dls) instead of going after the known tax evaders. So honest folk pay taxes for the criminals which never do, and the criminals either don't care, have lawyers, or use bribes. Do you think criminals have money in the bank, come on.

This database will get abused like all the others and it is not in the public's interest. Criminals will now have access to all you family's cellular phone numbers so they know who to ask ransoms to.

MEXICAN GOVERNMENT, solve the problem don't make another stupid law that will not solve the problem.

In Soviet Mexico are belong to us, all your information.

Credit database is nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27582787)

This is interesting and disappointing.

US Cell carriers have your SSN already if you ever had a 1year or longer contract. The central databases being Equifax, Transunion and such.

I'm actually surprised mexico did not do this.

Even Canada does this.

No ssn, no credit, 400$ deposit required. Unless you are on the blacklisting, in which case the deposit can go into the thousands of dollars.

If you have a bad credit history, you can't sign up for services for like 7 years.

This is really stupid (I'm a mexican) (2, Interesting)

Lord Juan (1280214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582897)

There is simply nothing that stops you from grab the CURP from anyone, send the sms and get your phone linked to other person, then you can carry on with whatever illegal activities you plan to do and have the other person blamed.

It is insane, and I asked someone I know that works at Telcel and you can have more than one phone number linked to a single CURP.

Yes, this is supposed to difficult the coordination of illegal groups, such as drug dealers and kidnapers, but I fail to see how will this help unless we would do as the law says, be required to go on a cellphone center and provide our fingerprint.

And, personally, I completely dislike this measure, just for civil disobedience I'll go to somewhere where the CURP it's required, memorize a number of a random person (fortunately I can memorize long numbers easily), and send a sms with that number.

No news for Italy! (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583055)

In Italy is already this way: you cannot buy a SIM without proper identification.
And if you sell or give it away, both parties should update the registration details.
Since 1994. We are ahead!

Re:No news for Italy! (1)

lufo (949075) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583573)

Same for Spain. New prepaid cards are only sold to properly identified persons. It's not mandatory yet for prepaid cards bought before the regulation passed, but on november 9 those lines not identified will be shut down [elmundo.es] (link in Spanish).

There already is a very similar thing in Bulgaria (2, Informative)

spirtbrat (848317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583165)

There already is a very similar thing in Bulgaria (and probably in other countries). Here, the cellphone providers, the ISPs and all traveling agencies must keep detailed records in electronic format and grant access to them for the authorities at any time, without any warning. It's basically a human rights violation, but it seems that no one affected gives a damn. Maybe it's because the non-tech people don't realize the threat.

inevitable ending (1)

michalk0 (1362753) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583179)

global fascism over the horizont

Obligatory (1)

tinkertim (918832) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583219)

Sent via SMS (just now):

"Hello! My name is Ignito Montoya, you killed my father, my new number is ...."

Slippery slope much? (1)

boogerme0 (1151469) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583263)

Hmmm. Anyone familiar with slippery slope arguments? I think it's fairly simple to fathom this as being the beginning of a slippery slope.

Facism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27583403)

All,
Hail Calderon
Hail Calderon
Hail Calderon

IPv6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27583405)

If only we had a numbering system for the internet that was big enough to uniquely identify every person on the planet...

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