California Congresswoman proposes law that would require new phone buyers to present personal ID

California Congresswoman proposes law that would require new phone buyers to present personal ID
A California Congresswoman by the name of Jackie Speier has proposed a new bill that would require new phone buyers to register with a personal ID before they are allowed to purchase a new handset. The goal is to prevent the use of burner phones by those planning, or in the midst of committing, an illegal act.

The "burner" phone is a cheap handset that use pre-paid SIMs which can't be traced to the actual user. After they are no longer needed, the burners are destroyed and discarded. By demanding ID before allowing the purchase of a mobile phone, officials believe that they can make it more difficult for terrorists to communicate with each other.

On a Facebook page introducing the proposal, the Congresswoman says, "This bill would close one of the most significant gaps in our ability to track and prevent acts of terror, drug trafficking, and modern-day slavery." This issue is different than the one about encryption. Law enforcement officials are hoping to force phone manufacturers to add a backdoor on all handsets so that the authorities can figure out what the bad guys are up to.


Would it bother you to have to present personal ID when purchasing your next smartphone? Or is a little inconvenience worth it to stay protected from the evil in this world.

source: Independent

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36 Comments

2. mistercarter

Posts: 360; Member since: Sep 01, 2011

in Spain it's mandatory to register every phone number with a personal ID since early 2000's due to the terrorist attacks in 2004

12. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1183; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

phone number is one thing, every phone is another. Most carrier require to present ID to buy a phone anyway. But, how about online purchase? She just proposed a stupid bill that will no way go through.

3. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3944; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

This is a good idea.

11. vincelongman

Posts: 5628; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

IMO criminals will just pay homeless or junkies to buy phones for them Or they will buy second hand phones from online But this is better than banning encryption

13. CanYouSeeTheLight

Posts: 1122; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Is it really? So if they steal someone's phone and use it the innocent person will be convicted for something they didn't do, same could be said about buying a phone second hand.

14. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3944; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

That's why you report things stolen. And post people have an alibi when they are innocent.

24. NexusKoolaid

Posts: 493; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

In addition to that many phones come with or have been upgraded to include theft deterrent tech in the OS that lets the victim lock stolen devices remotely or track its current location.

30. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3944; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Even burner phones?

29. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3944; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Most*** not post, I really need to start proof reading my comments lol.

15. Furbal unregistered

You really love government oversight.

18. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3944; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I don't really love anything, If I think something is good then I just think it's good.

21. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

Not every law is good.

31. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3944; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Of course not?

27. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Dunno, seems like it would only really catch the criminals that are unaware of it, which I seriously doubt will be that many, or the stupid ones. Which last I checked aren't the 'main' problem? so it seems like another "Lets put a law in place that will have no real effect on the issue and call it a win" political move..

4. techman82

Posts: 41; Member since: Oct 08, 2015

It's going to happen sooner or later

5. Trakker

Posts: 283; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

Reminds me of a few years ago in UK when we started having to give our name and address over to any store you buy a TV from. At least here they only ask and don't ask for I.D

7. UglyFrank

Posts: 2191; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Isn't that for TV licenses?

6. Nissan

Posts: 3; Member since: Mar 27, 2016

Then they will just buy used phones and use WiFi with encrypted messaging platform. Not so hard after all

8. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Someone's been watching "The Wire" too much.

9. Subie

Posts: 2307; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

I remember 10 - 15 years ago hearing that this practice was being used by drug dealers. Somewhat surprised the Feds haven't suggested this kind of legislation before.

10. avalon2105

Posts: 352; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

And then second hand phone market booms and you achieve nothing but pi**ing off your customers.

25. NexusKoolaid

Posts: 493; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

Don't think for a second that second hand phone purchases won't also fall under such a new law.

32. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

you cant track the black market

33. avalon2105

Posts: 352; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

May be, but I fail to see how can government force me to check somebody's ID when selling my old phone. Let's say I put some old phone for sale and you call me saying you are interested in buying. I tell you to bring 50$ and meet me at coffee shop XYZ. You give me the money and I give you the phone. How can government regulate that sort of transaction?

34. LARPkitten

Posts: 8; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

Yes, but then the seller falls under suspicion and is responsible if something happens. thereby 1. limiting the number of people who would be willing to do such transactions, and 2. giving the police a starting point for investigation if something happens. Then again, there's always fake IDs, people willing to take the heat for a price, etc. There is no perfect system.

36. avalon2105

Posts: 352; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

I was mainly talking about old phones that one has purchased before this becomes a law. I have 2 Nokias 3210, one 3310, Sony Ericsson K510i and K700i, and couple of Nokia Asha phones that me or my family used over last 15 years. That is almost 10 phones in a family that seldom changes phones. I imagine there are households with 20+ old phones lying around. And like you said, normal (non law enforcement) person is unlikely to recognize a fake ID (something criminal is likely to use).

35. 0kax0el0

Posts: 238; Member since: Nov 15, 2012

It would have to be like selling a car, where you make a letter signed by the one selling it and the one buying it, stating that from that moment on, any activity related to that device is now responsability of the buyer. Of course it would be almost an obligation of the one selling the device as to avoid future inconviniences.

16. Quicksword_Phantom

Posts: 180; Member since: Jun 15, 2015

Who the phuc keeps putting women in power positions? The world is doomed. This old hag has no idea that this bill is pointless when there are other forms of communications and like someone else already said, they can get anyone else to buy them a phone. Also fake identities, etc.

17. newuser1

Posts: 276; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

US government think anybody can be 'terrorist' , then make good reasons to spy on people.

19. S-R-K

Posts: 304; Member since: Mar 15, 2016

They have every rights too. After what's happened in the past. They should kick out all immigrants out back to where they belong.

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