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Brazil Blocks Foreign Mobile Phones 97

Posted by timothy
from the taxation-failing-to-buy-civilization dept.
First time accepted submitter fabrica64 writes "The Brazilian government has today started blocking mobile phones not sold in Brazil (Portuguese-language original), i.e. not having paid sales taxes here. The blocking is based on IMEI, and if you come to Brazil for the World Cup in June and think of buying a Brazilian SIM card to call locally at lower rates, then it won't work because your mobile's IMEI will be blacklisted as not sold in Brazil. This is not a joke, it's true!"
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Brazil Blocks Foreign Mobile Phones

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  • by knightmad (931578) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:11AM (#46515879)

    However, these electronics will continue to operate normally until at least September, when the deactivations should actually begin. Until then, the system will only mount a database with information on the equipment in use in Brazil.

    This is a new low, blatant lies in the summary only for cheap country based hate and some pageviews. Good job!

  • Scaremongering... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:15AM (#46515907)

    http://www.telecompaper.com/news/brazil-to-introduce-mobile-blocking-system--1002303

    Brazilian mobile operators will start testing from 17 March a new system that will block mobile calls made by pirate devices, reports Folha de Sao Paulo. The total blockade of the devices will be effective from September. Until then, during the so-called "pre-operational" stage of the system, equipment must continue to function normally. When an operator identifies a device without approval in Brazil, the system should activate the blockade, for phones as well as tablets.

    The new system of the operators compares lists of domestic and foreign records to verify which mobile phones are authentic.

    If your phone is flagged as being stolen then it is blocked...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:15AM (#46515915)

    It says that MODELS not sold in Brazil won't work there, not devices. So, for example, iPhones will work because they're sold there. It's been known for a while and the law was designed to avoid low quality, low security Chinese android phones to be sold.

  • by NoNeeeed (157503) <slash@NOspAM.paulleader.co.uk> on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:22AM (#46515993) Homepage

    This submission appears to be nonsense posted by someone who hasn't read the article they linked to.

    This isn't about blocking phones sold outside of Brazil, but models of phones that are not certified for use in Brazil. So you can take your Nexus 5 or iPhone, but it's probable that some no-name cheapo phones may not work.

    The IMEI number contains codes for the manufacturer and model, so you can white-list those models that have certification from the Brazilian FCC.

  • Not really... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:27AM (#46516043)

    The original article actually says that the government will block devices that were not approved by Anatel (Telecommunications Agency) due to many of the smuggled cheap phones and tablets (most of them manufactured in China) have not passed their certification.
    Although the idea is good, I think it will cause lots of issues with users with valid and certified devices. Let's wait and see....

  • by ifiwereasculptor (1870574) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:35AM (#46516139)

    Brazilian here. AFAIK, the only IMEIs blocked are going to be those of phones that didn't go through Anatel's (Brazil's FCC counterpart) approval process. Meaning mostly chinese knockoffs. It's highly unlikely that your S3 won't work here, since S3s are sold locally (in both US and international versions, BTW).

  • by felipou (2748041) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @12:14PM (#46516587)
    Unfortunately, it's not so simple. Although the iPhone 5S is sold here, for example, the only certified Model is the A1457, as you can see in the this page [anatel.gov.br], if you understand Portuguese.

    It's a page from Anatel, the government agency responsible for cellphone communications in Brazil (something like FCC in the USA, I guess) which shows certified wireless communication devices for use in Brazil.

    Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] tells me there are at least 7 models of the iPhone 5S out there, so only one of these will work in Brazil, eventually. Unless Apple certifies all models with Anatel, which I doubt will happen.

    Also, If you bring your shiny new cellphone shortly after launch, it probably won't work either, because the iPhone is released here with a few months delay, usually.

    So, basically, fuck this shit.
  • by fabrica64 (791212) <fabrica64@noSpAM.yahoo.com> on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @12:36PM (#46516857)
    It was about to start blocking in April, but someone in the government got a ping from someone else about being very bad news blocking phones during the world cup... But it's not certain it will begin in September or if will ever start blocking, given all mobile operators are against this "system" BTW this is not only about Chinese smartphone (where you can change IMEI in a snap), it is about blocking smartphones not sold in Brazil (although nobody will ever admit it in the government). IMEI can differentiate between an A1457 sold in Brazil and one sold in Europe, and HTC is not sold at all here I mean, it may appear to be an article for cheap country based hate but actually is Brazilian government that expose himself to the ridicule sustaining something being done for technical reasons when in reality is a pure fiscal issue.
  • by ifiwereasculptor (1870574) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @12:48PM (#46516995)

    Apparently this will be done on an approved device's universal IMEI range. Vetting individual IMEIs is neither practical nor legal, as you can't stop someone from using a government approved, legally imported phone from using it on all networks.

  • by Schezar (249629) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @01:40PM (#46517623) Homepage Journal

    Vetting individual IMEIs is neither practical nor legal, as you can't stop someone from using a government approved, legally imported phone from using it on all networks.

    You're wrong. It's both feasible and, in many countries, legal.

    Turkey already does this. If you use a foreign phone of any kind with a Turkish SIM, your individual IMEI will be blocked in 24-48 hours. The only way around that is to pay a significant fee to the government, register your phone/IMEI, and then wait a week or so for the registration to take effect. Note that you can't register AFTER the phone is blocked. If you let it get blocked, you're basically screwed.

    Turkey does this to prevent the importation of phones that didn't pay local taxes, and also to ensure that all users of phones/data are registered and tracked within the country.

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