The government has made tampering of IMEI number, a unique 15-digit serial number of mobile devices, a culpable offense that can pull in prison term of up to 3 years as it seeks to curb the incidence of mobile theft.
The move will help check issues relating to fake IMEI numbers and furthermore ease following of lost cell phones. “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 called “the prevention of tampering of the Mobile Device Equipment Identification Number, Rules, 2017” ban a man from purposely utilizing cell phone whose IMEI number has been changed unlawfully or programming that can change or alter the interesting number.
IMEI is a unique ID of a mobile handset. At whatever point a client makes a call, the call record shows phone number of the caller and IMEI number of the handset from which the call has been made. The mobile number in a handset might be changed by changing SIM, however, IMEI number can be changed by a specialized individual utilizing the special equipment.
The unique number of mobile devices is apportioned by worldwide industry body GSMA and bodies authorized by it. At the point when a cell phone is lost, individuals are required to mention the IMEI number of the handset for tracking.
The DoT had begun a conference in June to outline strict laws around tampering of IMEI numbers which makes it troublesome for police or some other security office in tracking mobile phones.
In one of the following instances of the cell phone, the Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM) cell of the DoT found that there were around 18,000 handsets utilizing same IMEI number.
The rules have been framed in the combination of section 7 and section 25 of the Indian Telegraph Act.
The section 7 gives DoT power to make rules for conduct of telecom or telegraph services and section 25 deals with damaging of telegraph line, machines and related equipment with provision of punishments of up to 3 years of imprisonment or fine or both.
Plus, the Department of Telecom is setting up another framework that will obstruct all administrations on stolen or lost cell phones on any system regardless of the possibility that the SIM card is expelled or IMEI number of the handset is changed.