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back to article Bangladesh cuts off anonymous handsets

Mobile operators in Bangladesh this week cut off more than a million connections to customers who bought their SIMs anonymously, despite the fact that doing so was completely legal at the time. Operators have already got the deadline extended twice, giving users more time to let the operators know their identity, but the …

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SMARTer OperaTors?

"and now the operators have been forced to cut them off – not really part of the plan. ®"

It does create a Novel Incentive requiring ID Registration though...... which ITself Creates Further Tangents of Opportunity.

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Anonymous Coward

Did you ever imagine....

That we would carry a device that tracks our every movement and records who we speak with and when, and where we were when we spoke and where the person we spoke to was, and all this information would be stored by law, JUST IN CASE we do something in future that causes the authorities to want to mine that data.

Did you ever imagine that creepy German ministers would be suggesting that data should be constantly mined and constantly checked, and that their voices would be taken seriously?

I didn't vote for this, I don't believe anyone in Europe did, especially not the eastern block states who suffered this stuff for decades.

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Anonymous Coward

Little flaw in that plan: borders..

I live in a country where every number is registered, but I also have a few Bleed-as-you-go chips around from the UK. Granted, it costs more but if you insist on your privacy you will have to put a bit of effort in.

Not to mention a VoIP patch..

Having said that, if teh records are well protected it's less of an issue, but that's usually where the trouble starts. The sheer volume is just too attractive..

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Stop

Personal communications

Those (older) sad persons among us who remember the problems with the CB craze in the late '70s / 80s. Then the CB community wanted to use the longer range AM systems in use in the USA. Or even the unused 220MHz (the old bomber control frequency). Either would have given the opportunity for long range comms rather than the useless 27MHz channel.

However the 'authorities did not want the UK population to have cheap and unregulated communications. This is one of the prerequisites for any successful coup. Governments every where are coming to the believe that _they_ are the masters and everyone else had better damn well do what their told. Or else!

Thus the plods & security services (I don't think that the initials are a coincidence) want to be able to read your email & track your phone calls. They want to know WHO you are, WHERE you are and WHAT you are doing (they don't care about the why. They will make that up themselves.) They DO NOT want you to be able to communicate privately at any time, whatever the reason (don't forget, we can trust them; they're the government.)

Bangladesh is only openly doing what every other government wants to do.

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Paris Hilton

ex-'eastern block' states are doing better than western block...

Here in the Czech Republic, you can get an anonymous phone SIM for 200 Kc - that's about 8 euros or 12 dollars (what is is you chaps use in the UK again??), and the SIM comes with 200 Kc of credit.

Anonymous because - well, that's the whole point...

Paris because - 'is that a phone in your pocket or are you just glad to see me...'

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Happy

Re: Anonymous C.

Here in UK you can apply with fake name to be send 4-6 payg simcards for free. Nobody checks names you supply so it doesn't matter.

I used those simcards to consolidate my mobile numbers as those are consecutive numbers. Which looks cool and make damn easy to remember my wife's number ;P

Just transferred them to my contract account ;)

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Happy

Harmless waste of money

As someone who escaped from the UK, Bangladesh is a wonderful country in many ways. Here there is no compulsory birth registration, many don't know their dates of birth. Likewise, death and inheritance are generally entirely private matters, dealt with by the families. Even for the literate, the idea of always spelling your name the same way is alien.

No one takes any notice of traffic lights unless they are backed up by a copper. No-one takes any notice of the coppers if they are looking the other way. Currently the government are attempting to push VAT on medium-sized businesses. Instead of the "comply or be exterminated" attitude of the UK customs and excise the local revenue dept are asking businesses politely, almost pleading with them. Income tax default is assumed to be about 75% and there is no council tax equivalent.

The state here provides little, but asks little in return. Compared to the crappy, Orwellian sci-fi dystopia the UK is fast becoming, this land is wonderful. (so long as you have enough money to feed and house yourself and can avoid the frequent natural disasters etc.).

I re-registered my own sim at the first deadline but I have casually observed that small phone dealers will register new sim cards with bogus details upon consideration of a few taka 'service charge', so with that in mind it is hard to see this re-registration drive as anything other that a laughable waste of time or a perk-barrel for someone. (No pork, 85% of population are Muslim)

Texting UK to Bangladesh : 35 pence.

Texting Bangladesh to UK: 0.7 pence.

Living outside the UK: Priceless.

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A close second

South Africa's been planning this for a while now, but they haven't got around to putting in place yet.

The kicker is that all foreigners coming in will have to register before they can use international roaming!

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Anonymous Coward

Funny that - the Swiss don't do unregistered anymore..

You have to show serious ID before you get a phone number, even pre-pay, even a Skype-In number gets checked so you can't pretend to live in Switzerland without at least having a local address at the time of registration.

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Anonymous Coward

India has that already

To help police departments trace cases of harrasment (which there were aplenty using unregistered SIMs).

I for one don't mind it so much, given the general inefficiency of the companies in question (they will probably have all the data going missing due to a flash flood before anyone gets a hand on it, and at least it's not as easy to mis-post 200k papers as a DVD ;). And of course, as AC said above .. fake documentation is all too easy to get by with.

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Happening in Pakistan already

So after the umpteenth deadline and reminders to both public and the operators, the govt finally decided to put its foot down...

Last week...(the original deadline being the 22nd of may), PTA the regulator had about 5 million unregistered SIMs blocked....the tally was distributed unequally across the 5 operators.

And they are continuing in phases with the blocking of SIMS...

Read some more here:

http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008\06\01\story_1-6-2008_pg7_12

So we win?

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when will the government over here (UK) insist on it

The same people that moan about privacy invasion probably have credit/debit cards and a bank account and want a stop to fraud via phishing or phone scams (if you are stupid enough to give them your details) in the case of phone scams its extremely easy for these to be perpetrated from an unregistered PAYG phone which is disgarded, banks etc wont just keep writing off the money.

However, what about the more serious stuff that causes distress and anxiety such as stalking, and if the worst happens such as a murder or rape or paedophilia where mobile phone evidence maybe crucial, what would you say if you or a member of your family suffered at the hands of someone who was untraceable because people had listened to the crap you people come out with, would you still be singing the same tune you bunch of dickheads?

Would be great if we lived in a utopia where people didn't blow each other up or rape, murder or there weren't sick people that considered children sexually attractive wouldn't it?

If it leads to an increase in convictions for the crimes I mentioned above I'm all for it.

I use a PAYG but it has always been registered with the operator.

Sure I think politicians are slimy pieces of shit trying to fill their pockets but am all for measures that keep decent people safe and reduce the safety of criminals.

Not posted anonymously because I have a backbone unlike the majority of Reg readers obviously.

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PT

@pctechxp

Not anonymous, pctechxp? Hmm, for some reason I can't find you under that name in the phone book.

Your sentiments are your own, and you're entitled to them because, after all, we live in a nominally free country. But I fear this will lead not to an increase in convictions for the crimes you named but to an increase in doors being kicked down in the middle of the night, followed by weeks or months held without charge, for such crimes as getting a wrong-number call from someone who's name is on some "Persons of Interest" list. I presume you're all for that too.

Getting back to your "not anonymously" posting ID, perhaps your phone is in an assumed name such as Richard Knopf. I think we should be told! We'd better get Special Branch on it right away because, after all, you might do or say something in the future that you could be questioned about. if they hurry, they could be at your house tonight to check your XP cache for pictures of Miley Cyrus. Since you're all for it, you can be first.

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