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[Q] IMEI Issues

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bethnesbitt
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(Last edited by bethnesbitt; 16th August 2014 at 11:17 AM.) Reason: speled a word wrong
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Default [Q] IMEI Issues

Could somebody point me to an actual law that says it is illegal in the USA and and that it could be, for example, up to 20 years imprisonment or a $5,000 fine, if I changed my IMEI from my broken Verizon device to my unbroken Straighttalk device?

This is a debate that a friend of mine have been going through, and well I can't seem to find the correct answer, not even on here. Everybody is saying it is illegal on XDA, but nobody has actually posted a link to an actual law, just this bill that was submitted into congress, which is not really the answer, it's a bill, where is it shown that it has been already passed along with the penalty?

Here is an example of my isue, just recently bought a phone from Irulu, Chinese phone. It has no IMEI number but when I dial #66# says to write IMEI number. Now everybody is saying it is ilegal to change your IMEI number, but how do you get an IMEI munber if you don't have one? Do I call, for example, T-Mobile and they will give me one? SOme companies even want the serial number along with the IMEI number, well my serial number is something like "0123456789ABCDEF", now how does that fly with a company?

Also, everybody is saying it is illegal to change the IMEI number according to this bill, which is a bill introduced by to congress that, unless somebody point me in the right direction, has not been submitted into a actual law yet.

Also the bill says "This Act may be cited as the `Mobile Device Theft Deterrence Act of 2012". Okay, well my phone is not stolen and if you look closely at this part of the "Bill":

`(1) the term `manufacturer' means a person who has lawfully obtained the right to assign a mobile device identification number to a mobile device before the initial sale of the mobile device;

and then here:
`(d) Exception- Subsection (b) shall not apply to the manufacturer of a mobile device or a person who repairs or refurbishes a mobile device unless the manufacturer or person knows that the mobile device or part involved is stolen.'.

Okay now, I have two verizon phones and two AT&T phones, that I own, that are not stolen, all are broken, then I have a a ZTE merit phone that works just fine, but I do not want to go with straight talk because I live hour away from walmart, which is the only place to purchase minutes, unless you have a credit card, which I do not and I am not going to pay an extra $5 a month for a reloadable card just to put minutes on my phone.

So my question is, according to those two lines, I am refurbishing my phone, it is not stolen and I just want to transfer one IMEI number to another phone so that I can keep using the same service without going through the hassle of ordering another sim card or buying another phone when I have two here that work and four that do not.

I have seen a few closed threads with people getting really upset about this being brought up, pointing to this bill and assuming the person is asking because, if you read that bill, they want to do this with a stolen phone.
 
enapah
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Well, as long as you realize that changing the IMEI of a cellphone is "Patriot Act" material (and you are fine with it), I doubt you will find any law (anywhere) where it will clearly state IMEI.

Maybe the 18 U.S. Code 1028 may apply (do remember the FCC is an authority and that an identification registered by that authority), or the 18 U.S. Code 1029 if intent can be proven, but then again... if any trouble arises firstly you wont be charged with any of that, you'll get the "Patriot Act" treatment from the get-go.
 
bethnesbitt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enapah View Post
Well, as long as you realize that changing the IMEI of a cellphone is "Patriot Act" material (and you are fine with it), I doubt you will find any law (anywhere) where it will clearly state IMEI.

Maybe the 18 U.S. Code 1028 may apply (do remember the FCC is an authority and that an identification registered by that authority), or the 18 U.S. Code 1029 if intent can be proven, but then again... if any trouble arises firstly you wont be charged with any of that, you'll get the "Patriot Act" treatment from the get-go.
That is just it, stolen, the term stolen is loosely used in this bill, which as far as I can see, hasn't even been passed.

Schumer Introduces Bill to Make Cell Phone ID Tampering a Crime

By Damon Poeter
May 24, 2013 02:03pm EST
3 Comments

The NY Democrat aims to criminalize tampering with mobile device identification numbers as part of an ongoing effort to crack down on the black market for stolen cell phones.

Like I stated in my question, it is my phone, I paid for the phone, went to Walmart, bought the phone and activated it under my name. Discontinued the service, still have the phone. Bought a cheap AT&T phone, used it for a month, ran out of minutes, never got around to buying more minutes, was just a cheap pay as you go phone for emergency, now the number is gone and AT&T has some annoying thing where you have to buy a new sim card. Now using the AT&T phone to charge the battery from the Verizon phone because the Verizon phone's charger port broke, and the battery works in the Verizon phone but the Verizon battery doesn't work in the AT&T phone.

When the term "stolen" comes up, makes me think it means, somebody stole my cell phone or I stole somebody else's cellphone. Not the case, these are my broken or inactive phones, paid for through a manufacturer, not off the street.

As for the patriot act, well lets just say, if that made sense and the US congress did fully understand it, wouldn't rooting or installing new ROM from one service provider to another service provider's phone be an issue as well?

It just seems pretty lame that people are coming in and saying that you will go to jail, then post a bill that isn't even in law that is so vague, without a reasonable explanation or knowledge about what the bill or law actually is, then just closes the thread.

I'm in the US, not the UK.
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