"What this Country needs is not a change OF men but a change IN men" March 1980

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Bid to curb mobilephone crime

Manila: In a bid to curb mobile phone crime, two proposals are being pushed through the Senate to make it more difficult for criminals and terrorists to gain access to cellular communications.
Senate Bill No. 289, filed by Senator Richard Gordon, proposes to make it mandatory for Filipinos to register their SIM with the state communications regulation body, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

At the moment only the SIM numbers of mobile users "subscribed" to the three major cellular telecom providers are listed by the government, namely Globe Telecom, Smart Communications and Sun Cellular.

Gordon's proposal seeks to include so-called "pre-paid" SIM users to have their numbers listed by the NTC. The Philippines has an estimated 10 million mobile phone users.

"Lawless elements must not be granted the privilege of using mobile phones to achieve their crimes," Senator Gordon said.


He added that by requiring mobile users to have their numbers listed by the government, it will be easier for law enforcers to track down those who abuse modern communications technology.

"The technology was meant to make people's lives easier and business transactions faster. But there are those who abuse it," he said.

Gordon said having a secure directory of mobile numbers "will promote responsibility and accountability in the use of SIM cards as well as providing better law enforcement in protecting the public."

In the Philippines, crimes involving mobiles range from simple petty crimes, such as pedestrian robbery, snatching and muggings, to deadly remote triggering of bombs and explosives, acts of terrorism that are punishable by up to 40 years in jail.

Several major bombing incidents in the country over the past several years have been attributed to explosives rigged to mobile phone triggering devices.

By Gilbert Felongco, Correspondent
Gulf News, Published: July 10, 2007, 00:15


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