A new approach to Re: Itch3: Anti-lost/theft protection

Steven ** montgoss+openmokocommunity at gmail.com
Wed Feb 28 21:44:22 CET 2007

Caveat emptor.  Possession of stolen property is still a crime where I
live, even if you didn't do the actual stealing.

That said, I agree that attempting to rack up a large bill will not
prevent theft nor lead to the return of the phone.  Any anti-theft
mechanisms should focus on locating the phone.  We could maybe have
the option of disabling the phone.  But the only way to disable this
open-source phone would be with some hardware lock.  I don't
particularly like the idea that my phone could be locked.  Even if it
should only happen to a thief, if it has the capability, it could be
abused.  We're treading too closely to the blasphemous idea of
"trusted computing".


On 2/28/07, Attila Csipa <plists at prometheus.org.yu> wrote:
> A lot of ideas have been written on anti theft protection, but much of it from
> a geek/user's standpoint, and almost completely forgetting the possible
> ramifications of the suggested techniques. First of all, none of the
> techniques presented PROTECT your phone from being stolen (they fall more to
> the find-your-lost-phone category). Second, in most countries I know of you
> cannot act on your own without the help/presence of law enforcement persons.
> Although this may sound strange and ineffective at first, it makes a lot of
> sense from a police perspective. What would you do if you confronted a
> criminal who stole your phone ? What if he is dangerous ? What if you get
> hurt in the process ? What if the person who has the phone and whom you are
> shouting at/calling a thief is actually innocent and knows nothing of the
> origin of the phone ? Which brings us to the next concern - stolen phones
> usually do not get regularly used by the persons who actually stole them, and
> most certainly not used by their money - their SIMs are just as stolen. They
> might drain your account with expensive calls, but chances are high that the
> phone will soon get sold through ads and/or ebay. If the persons in charge do
> this 'professionally' they will surely flash the phone (the Neo1973 is here
> at a little advantage by not being a widespread/common phone). Thus there is
> no guarantee that you are spending the thiefs money - in fact, it is much
> more probable that you are tracking and wasting an unsuspecting victims
> money. How would you feel if you bought a slightly used Neo1973 only to find
> out that it is sending expensive foreign/roaming SMS-es because the previous
> owner 'forgot' to turn off a silent alarm/anti theft application ? As you can
> see the problem of phone theft is not that simple as relaying coordinates
> back to yourself - a much broader topic must be analysed to tackle this
> issue - and although the GPS might help a little, it is not really a silver
> bullet in this matter.
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