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Cellphones which use SIM cards, such as those used by T-Mobile and
at&t, are superior to non-SIM phones, such as those used by Sprint
and Verizon, for a number of reasons, which I won't go into here
because I'll forget the idea by the time I'm done if I do. One major
drawback, however, is security.
somebody steals your phone, all
they have to do is take your SIM out and put their own in and they've
got a new phone. Even if you report your phone stolen, very few, if
any, carriers will hotline (lock down) the IMEI (a phone's unique serial
number) to prevent it from being used on another account. Let me
assure you, this is a policy, not a limitation, because they do it for
phones that are stolen before they get sold at a store, thus protecting
their own interests, but that's another issue that I'll let someone else
fight out in court. All they do is deactivate your SIM, which is very easy
to remove and replace.
So my idea is to have a tiny, 3- wheel combination lock built into the
phone that physically prevents the back of the phone's casing from
being removed without permanently damaging the internal circuitry.
The lock can be very small, and need not add much weight or bulk.
Think along the lines of those tiny suitcase locks. In the event that you
need to replace the SIM or battery and forget the combination, simply
take it to your local carrier's store, provide photo ID to prove that the
IMEI is registered to you, and they can open it with a special key, like
the TSA uses to open approved luggage locks. To prevent unscrupulous
store sales agents from making a copy of the key or stealing the key, it
would be mounted in a machine, like a drill press, that is bolted to the
Video: paper clip vs. Master Lock #175
Unlike pin tumbler lock picking, you don't lift the pins, you just get past the wheels to poke at a little lever and shift it. (Obviously, this depends on the exact model of lock.) [jutta, Aug 19 2009]
Video: paper clip vs. luggage-style lock
Huh! I don't really know what's going on here, other than "these locks are really crappy". [jutta, Aug 19 2009]
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||It's standard practice (in the UK) for mobile phone operators to lock out the IMEI of a stolen mobile phone.
||//Think along the lines of those tiny suitcase locks//
You mean the ones that then got twice as big because Homeland Security demanded they be fitted with a pin tumbler mechanism?
What [hippo] said.
||Sorry, I learned to pick those suitcase locks with a paperclip when I was very young and I claim no skill in this area, it was just that easy. (-)
||I'm sick of everything being digital. I would like this [+]
||//I'm sick of everything being digital//
I dunno - I don't really like analogue locks.
||QED, I'm interested to know how you learned to pick a
combination lock with a paperclip. Where do you insert the clip,
||In your ear. Where else ?
||I'm assuming you meant the slot into which the TSA master key would be inserted. The solution to that is simply a higher-quality lock.