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DoT has launched Sanchar Saathi portal to track lost or stolen mobile phones across India: all the details


People will now be able to block and track their lost or stolen mobile phones across India via the Sanchar Saathi portal launched by the Telecom Department on Tuesday.

Union Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that through the Sanchar Saathi Portal, people will be able to block, track and validate the used device before purchasing it.

“The first stop of the Sanchar Saathi portal is CEIR (Central Equipment Identity Register). If you lose your mobile phone, you can visit this portal. There will be some identity verification and undertaking requirements and then the portal will interact directly with law enforcement agencies, telecom service providers and block your mobile phone. missing,” said Vaishinau.

He said the Chief Minister had a clear vision that much attention should be paid to user safety and the facilities in Sanchar Saathi portal were in line with his vision.

Asked about the measures the government is taking to check fraud through calls on WhatsApp, the minister said the owned Meta app has agreed to deactivate services associated with any mobile number involved in fraudulent activities.

“We have been actively engaged with WhatsApp and they agree that customer safety is paramount. All OTT platforms are actively collaborating to deregister users who are detected as fraudulent users,” Vaishinau said.

He said that 36 lakh mobile phones had been disconnected due to fraud and at the same time their WhatsApp account had been banned.

The minister said there is a facility that recognizes your mobile phone Sanchar Saathi that helps users to check the authenticity of a used mobile phone before buying it.

“We feel confident that at least with these reforms, at least the growing trends in cyber fraud will be seriously controlled and we will be able to bring them down,” Vaishinau said.

He said there is a TAFCOP facility in Sanchar Saathi to help people check if other mobile numbers are operating in their name without their permission or knowledge.

Sanchar Saathi Facilities is developed by C-DoT. The technology arm of the Department of Communications has added a feature to verify the use of cloned cell phones across all telecom networks.

The government has made it mandatory to disclose the IMEI – a unique 15-digit digital identifier for mobile devices before they are sold in India.

Mobile networks will have access to a list of approved IMEI numbers which will check for any unauthorized mobile phones entered on their network.

Telecom operators and the CEIR system will have visibility into the IMEI number of the device and its associated mobile phone number and the information is used in some countries to track lost or stolen mobile phones through the CEIR.

One of the common practice is that the miscreants after stealing the mobile phone change the IMEI number of the device which prevents these phones from being tracked and blocked.

The Council on Foreign Relations and International Relations (CEIR) will be able to block any cloned mobile phones on the network with the help of various databases.

C-DOT has been running the pilot for technology in some telecom circles including Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka and North East. Recently, Karnataka Police recovered more than 2,500 lost mobile phones and handed them over to their owners using the CEIR system. Apple already has a system for tracking lost cell phones with the help of Apple ID but there have been major issues around Android cell phones.

With the implementation of the new system, it would be pointless to use stolen cell phones. The system developed under Sanchar Saathi can also help curb phone smuggling.

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Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.