Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Cellphones Government News Your Rights Online

Mexican Government To Document Cell Phone Use 232

Alyssey writes "The Mexican government wants to have a database to track every cellphone number in the country (in Spanish, Google translation) and whom it belongs to. They want to tie in the CURP (Unique Registration Population Code in Spanish, like the Social Security Number in the US) with cellphone numbers. If Mexicans don't send in their number and CURP via SMS before April 10, 2010, their cellphone number will be blocked. The new law was published back in February and is going into effect now."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Mexican Government To Document Cell Phone Use

Comments Filter:
  • Respond via SMS?

    Sounds Phishy

    • My company-supplied phone does not support SMS. Is it possible that our plan is shittier than the shittiest plan in Mexico? On second thought, that wouldn't surprise me.
      • Only in the USA do they lock/tailor the phones to some sort of "plan". Everywhere else you just open an account then buy yourself a handset in a 'phone shop.

  • Prepaid phones. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by palegray.net ( 1195047 ) <.ten.yargelap. .ta. .sidarap.pilihp.> on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:43PM (#27582017) Homepage Journal
    I don't have any information on prepaid phone providers in Mexico; if they're as prevalent as they are here in the States, how will this affect those users? Can you just register the phone as belonging to Inigo Montoya and be done with it?
    • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:45PM (#27582031)

      I don't have any information on prepaid phone providers in Mexico; if they're as prevalent as they are here in the States, how will this affect those users? Can you just register the phone as belonging to Inigo Montoya and be done with it?

      Worst case, you need a fake id. Surely those are impossible to get in Mexico.

      • Re:Prepaid phones. (Score:5, Informative)

        by photomonkey ( 987563 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @12:28AM (#27582321)

        Actually, they'll be fingerprinting [telegraph.co.uk] people.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by snl2587 ( 1177409 )
          Good thing I burned all mine off a few years ago, eh?
        • Re:Prepaid phones. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Maelwryth ( 982896 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @01:52AM (#27582737) Homepage
          I don't think that will work.
          1) Use the phones of illegal immigrants crossing to America under the pretext of America tracking them.
          2) Use the kidnapped persons phone.
          3) Mug foreigners, and use their phone.
          4) Make other people buy the phones.
          5) Start own phone shop.

          I don't understand why you would use a device that can track your position anyway to communicate a kidnapping/etc.... and those are just a few suggestions off the top of my head to circumvent the law. I would suggest that the police force in Mexico is undermanned and that is the real problem, not the cellphone usage.
          • Re:Prepaid phones. (Score:4, Insightful)

            by photomonkey ( 987563 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @02:52AM (#27583021)


            I'm a photojournalist who works in the borderlands quite frequently.

            Law enforcement in Mexico is an entrepreneurial exercise. They could have an order of magnitude more cops than they do, and it wouldn't make any difference in the world.

            The present prohibition is making a class of narcolords who make Al Capone look like a big pussy.

            These narcos have more money, more power and more influence than basically any other crime syndicate presently in existence. And it's moving north. Home invasions, kidnappings and drug rips are becoming the norm in suburbia anywhere within a few hundred miles of the border.

            Legalizing marijuana (and possibly cocaine) would solve 96% of the problem overnight. Not to mention creating new revenue streams for the government, and maybe allowing the US to once again step behind Russia in the running to imprison the largest percentage of the population.

            To the crowd: Face it. It's illegal. But your kids smoke it, your co-workers smoke it and you/your spouse smokes it. Its illegal status is not a deterrent. Wouldn't you rather know where it's coming from and that people aren't dying over it?

            Legalize marijuana.

            • Re:Prepaid phones. (Score:5, Insightful)

              by EdIII ( 1114411 ) * on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @06:35AM (#27583949)

              But your kids smoke it, your co-workers smoke it and you/your spouse smokes it.

              I know more people that don't smoke it, then smoke it. That's false. I know a lot of different people too from different walks of life. I don't think they are hiding it either, since I am quite vocal about my positions on a great many things. I have always argued for legalization. So to say everyone is doing it, is quite a stretch for me.

              Wouldn't you rather know where it's coming from and that people aren't dying over it?

              I always demanded it. I knew *exactly* where mine was coming from. As in, I could touch the plants, when I went to go pick some up. I find your comment hilarious in a way too. It reminds me of blood diamonds. It would be pretty difficult to put together a certification program for people to *know* their weed comes from honest law-abiding Americans, and not the evil Mexican "narcolords".

              Its illegal status is not a deterrent.

              Of course not. It was never designed to be a deterrent. That's like saying speed limits were truly designed to keep people safe.

              It was truly designed as a way to control people and seize assets. Just like federal income taxes, your Social Security number, and the IRS were designed as a methodology to control people, control information, and to be used as leverage by the state. The money is incidental. It's use as an information gathering tool and a way to destroy people was deliberate.

              You use Al Capone as an example which is downright fucking *hilarious* since he was ultimately taken down by the IRS.

              No offense, but you annoy the shit out of me. Or more specifically, your "it's not a deterrent" and the "it would be cleaner and less risky for me to consume it" speech just rubs me the wrong way. You will never be effective in communicating the "why" when you argue for legalization when you talk about deterrents, actual usage rates, "we all use it man", etc. The people that don't smoke it, don't care. Their choice to alter their state is alcohol or prescription drugs. Your effectively arguing for something they don't understand, don't choose personally, and have no emotional or intellectual investment in protecting *for you*.

              When people are opposed to something, or even indifferent, stating they are *not winning* is NEVER a productive path to get them to change their mind. That's just psychology. They have made themselves part of a group, and to say their group is losing (and them as well) can just make them stubborn, emotional, and irrational. Then they have to win to become right. Sounds insane, but then most of our behavior as a whole really is.

              You need to explain to them how Pot being illegal actually affects them *very* negatively, even though they never smoked it or even hate it. I know people that outright hate it, hate the idea of getting high, and would otherwise wholeheartedly support sending your pot-smoking-hippie-ass to jail.

              When I explain to them how the government actually uses it to populate prisons, seize property, control soceity, and in general have an excuse to perform actions against citizens that would otherwise be impossible in a truly free society, they become more open to the idea that it needs to be free. That, even though they hate it, other Americans should have the rights to be left in peace and make their own choices.

              Truly man, change your tactics in how you go about pushing your views of legalization for pot. I agree with what you want to do, but think about it from a purely "debate team" point of view on how you can more effectively win the argument and win over your audience. Just some positive criticism (really, its intended to be positive) on how you argue for legalization.

              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                by Velska1 ( 1435341 )

                Some very good points... even if I don't completely agree with them all. The main argument is, that you still suppose, in the end, that people function logically. So many of our important decisions are gut reactions, and education only goes so far in a generation.

              • ... federal income taxes ... were designed [emphasis added] as a methodology to control people, control information, and to be used as leverage by the state.

                From the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8:

                The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States ...

                While the collection of federal income taxes may have become what you suggest, I doubt the founding fathers designed them

          • by iamacat ( 583406 )

            1) Criminals are dumb. Otherwise they would have figured out how to get rich legally, or at least on crimes less risky than a kidnapping
            2) Even if 10% of them slip up and use their own phone in an incriminating way, its better than nothing and saves some work for the understaffed police force
            3) Getting caught with a mugged foreigners' (let alone kidnapped person's) cell phone on your person doesn't help one's case
            4) If your girlfriend made a call to any cell phone triangulated to be around the crime's locat

            • Re:Prepaid phones. (Score:5, Interesting)

              by gd2shoe ( 747932 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @03:24AM (#27583163) Journal

              You're applying what you know about US crime to Mexico. Our war on drugs is figurative. Their war on drugs has become quite literal. Some have suggested that the Mexican government may soon be co-opted or overthrown by the drug cartels. Politicians and law enforcement alike are legitimately scared for their lives and the protection of their families. Kidnapping isn't like robing a bank in that social environment. It's a form of blackmail. It's not a get-rich-quick scheme by any stretch of the imagination.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) *
              1) Crime, wealth, intelligence, are independent variables.
              2) Only small fry with zero political influence will be caught.
              3) See #2
              4) See #2

              Remove prohibition and even the most powerfull and influential drug lords will disappear into the dustbin of history.
          • Equally as absurd. Here in the Philippines the police were so vexed with crimes committed by Motorbike riders that they briefly implemented a new law (it was shot down) mandating riders and passengers actually stencil their Name and Plate number to either side of their helmet as a way to curb crime. And when I say passengers, I mean all 13 of them on a slow day. At a random police checkpoint in the palm tree infested rolling provincial countryside: "You're carrying livestock today sir? I see your bovine fri

    • Re:Prepaid phones. (Score:5, Informative)

      by snowtigger ( 204757 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @12:11AM (#27582223) Homepage

      When I bought a prepaid sim card in Switzerland last year, they wouldn't give it to me unless they got my passport information etc.

      In Australia, you need to call to activate your prepaid sim card. When you do, they ask for your name and address under the pretext that they need it for emergency services.

      I can't be bothered making up any in Soviet Russia jokes, but I'm sure someone else will :)

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Reziac ( 43301 ) *

        So what happens if you buy and activate a prepaid cellphone in the US or Guatemala, then use it in Mexico??

        Yeah, this will stop crime, all right.

        • by ppanon ( 16583 )
          A lot of pre-paid phone plans are not covered for cross-border travel and coverage with partner telcos. My wife has a telus pre-paid phone setup but it doesn't work outside Canada.
        • No Roaming (Score:2, Informative)

          by Velska1 ( 1435341 )

          So what happens if you buy and activate a prepaid cellphone in the US or Guatemala, then use it in Mexico??

          Simple: Your prepaid phone will work only as long as it has a connection with a carrier that has a roaming contract with yours. Many, if not most, prepaids don't work internationally unless you register them (often for a fee), because international calls are hard to charge on prepaids (at least, where receiving one is charged to your account). Sure, you can use a fake ID, but pretty soon that will be considered a premeditated action to conceal illegal/terrorist activity.

          Slam goes the door!

          • Simple: Your prepaid phone will work only as long as it has a connection with a carrier that has a roaming contract with yours. Many, if not most, prepaids don't work internationally unless you register them (often for a fee)

            This is certainly untrue for prepay phones in the UK - you haven't had to ask for roaming for years, they Just Work when you take them to other countries these days. I'd be pretty surprised if the same wasn't true for the majority of GSM carriers in other countries.

            because international calls are hard to charge on prepaids (at least, where receiving one is charged to your account).

            AFAIK, this problem has long since been solved by the CAMEL [wikipedia.org] SS7 protocol.

      • > When I bought a prepaid sim card in Switzerland last year, they wouldn't give it to me
        > unless they got my passport information etc.

        Whereas here in the horrible, oppressive USA I can buy a Tracfone and card for cash in most any store with no id required.

    • So US citizens living or working in mexico can no longer get a cell phone in Mexico?
      In AZ prepaid long distance cards covering "international" calls to Mexico are cheap and insanely popular. Mexico will not prevent US phones from roaming, so I am guessing pre-paid "International" cell phones will be here too.

    • Mexican here (Score:5, Informative)

      by Tatisimo ( 1061320 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @12:54AM (#27582449)
      Prepaid phones are sold pretty cheaply to anyone with hardly any name needed for the transaction last time I checked. Note that I do not own a cell phone due to privacy concerns, and with this new law I am unlikely to get one.

      In my experience, there's several people who due to poverty or lack of concern are not registered with the relatively new CURP system. Thus I wonder, how will it affect those people? Will they shell out 20 pesos to pay some kid with internet access to get it for them, or will they stop using cell phones?

      I believe (and hope) this law will fail in epic proportions. Mainly due to Telcel, pretty much the only cellphone provider, losing too many costumers over it. Also, there seems to be much opposition: there are very few comments supporting the law on the article linked.

      Mexico does need a way to get rid of our infamy before the eyes of the world, a police state will only make us even worse. We don't need this kind of stupidity coming from our government, however corrupt it may be.

      • From a different point of view, Mexico becoming a police state would make Mexico just fit in line with the rest of the world, no exceptions. That's the state of it now. Can't even say that it's more or less corrupt than others, when even in a 'civilized' like France the media boss friends of the president can get ridiculous laws on internet access all the way up to the senate (that battle is still not finished).
    • by houstonbofh ( 602064 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @01:01AM (#27582487)
      Lucky Mexican dead folks. They will have cell phones and everything. Here, all they can do is vote.
    • by bensafrickingenius ( 828123 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @01:37AM (#27582669)
      My name is Inigo Montoya. You blocked my cellphone. Prepare to die.

      (My sig has been waiting YEARS for me to make a post like this!)
      • My sig has been waiting YEARS for me to make a post like this!

        When you wish upon a star
        Makes no difference who you are
        Anything your heart desires
        Will come to you

        If your heart is in your dream
        No request is too extreme
        When you wish upon a star
        As dreamers do

        Fate is kind
        She brings to those who love
        The sweet fulfillment of
        Their secret longing

        Like a bolt out of the blue
        Fate steps in and sees you through
        When you wish upon a star
        Your dreams come true

      • No good. I've known too many Spaniards.

    • A Telegraph.co.uk [telegraph.co.uk] article on this story suggests that this is specifically about prepaid phones. It appears that nearly all Mexican mobiles are prepaid.

    • Re:Prepaid phones. (Score:5, Informative)

      by xtracto ( 837672 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @03:02AM (#27583071) Journal

      If I recall correctly you do not need any type of identification to get a prepaid telephone in Mexico. It is just a matter of going to your Telcel shop at the corner of the street (there are more of those than there are cantinas) and buy a chip with "100 pesos tiempo aire".

      Funny that they provide a link to the Milenio paper... I believe that "El Universal" ( which has the article here [eluniversal.com.mx]) is better.

      Now, for those very paranoid slashdotters, note that one of the reasons they are doing this is because given the lack of such identification records, mobile phones are heavily used in blackmailing.

      That happened to my brother once, he was studying in Mexico City and he got a call which went like this:
      After the phone rang and he answered a shouting voice said:

      "Hey we got your brother, and we will kill him unless you comply with our desires"

      After that, a voice in the background of the telephone shouted as if he was the "captured" brother "please please, help me, please don't leave me"

      In the "heat" of the moment, my brother shout my name "Pedro, are you ok?" [not my real name of course].

      Of course with that information the criminals continued with their tale, telling him that yes they had "Pedro" and they were going to hurt him blah blah...

      My brother just hung up the telephone and called my mother (who lives in another state)... Fortunately for us, I have been living *outside* Mexico for the last 5 years... therefore I could not have been trapped in Mexico City...

      My brother wrote me an email telling me to ask me to mail back just to be shure I was OK, I called him that afternoon from the UK where I was living then.

      There are countless of similar stories with such kind of social engineering. Of course not all the people are as "wise" as us, or they get blackmailed in the middle of some kind of crisis (money, family, etc) where the scenario of a kidnapped relative is very possible.

      The issue until now (that the database is started) is that even if you had a caller-id and a number, you could not do anything with it because it would not be registered, or it will be faked. The current registry will require both an valid id (Mexican voting credential which is the national id) and a fingerprint.

    • Yes, prepaid or "as you go" service is the most popular kind of cellphone service in Mexico. I read some time ago that it was even bigger than land lines. I can't find the link where I read that but this [bumeran.com.mx] says something similar.

      From the article you need to provide name, date of birth and CURP if you are registering via SMS (you might be asked to provide gender and state of residence). However, to get a new cellphone number you would also need to provide a fingerprint, proof of address (like a hydro bill) and

  • Border runs (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Zerth ( 26112 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:47PM (#27582039)

    I assume this doesn't apply to PAYG phones bought in the US? What a way to not affect criminals in the least.

  • Corruption (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    With an already corrupt government and police force this benefits the people how..?

    • Re:Corruption (Score:4, Insightful)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @12:34AM (#27582357) Journal
      Incredible increases in the efficiency of allocation of stitches to snitches are expected...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Really. It's so much better here in the US. Instead of CURP numbers and all that hassle the NSA just taps the phone companies on the shoulder and they give out whatever the government needs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by asifyoucare ( 302582 )

      In a country as corrupt as Mexico you can be sure that the criminals will have access to this data too.

      In Colombia the cartel had a dedicated data centre connected the national Telco's data centre, and they were able to finger informants through call records.

      And by finger I mean kill.

  • by gringofrijolero ( 1489395 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:58PM (#27582125) Journal

    here where I live. I just pay them a hundred pesos to buy a chip for me. He'll be leaving town in a few months, and I got my phone. Repeat as needed. With a legitimate name and my phone is stolen, lots of luck defending yourself against false accusations here. Luckily the old system of "justice" is still in place. Una mordidita para las polis y ya.

  • by Bob_Who ( 926234 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @12:03AM (#27582153) Homepage Journal
    We don't need no stinkin' log file! How dare they keep records of everything. AT&T, Verizon and Sprint would never do that! No way! If our telecoms actually kept records they would bill me for every minute I log any time on the network so that they could over charge me. In America, we know how to lie about the truth so we can steal from our customers, and then turn em into the Feds! We better build a bigger wall so their cellular towers don't vector any of our border towns!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @12:14AM (#27582235)

    I live in Mexico and I can tell you that one of the intentions of the law is to reduce the crimes that use cellphones to coordinate and execute (like kidnappings and drug deals).

    The problem with this is the implementation, the law clearly specifies that your cellphone provider must take an ID and your fingerprint, but the most popular provider Telcel lets you register sending a SMS with your name and birth date. Essentially rendering the registration useless.

  • don't ya think?
  • by LoRdTAW ( 99712 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @12:17AM (#27582265)

    I cant understand what this will solve for the Mexican Government. Does this have anything to do with all the violent crime linked to the Mexican drug trade? Do they really think sending a CURP via SMS is a secure and infallible method? Good luck to them.

    Oh and here is a possible theory: The USA could use this system to track illegals who might have bought their cell phones into the US. Doesent sound all that plausable but hey its a theory.

    • by biggknifeparty ( 618904 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @12:26AM (#27582315)
      It's because of the kidnapping crisis. Cell phones are used to negotiate ransoms. This will just likely push criminals to move to VOIP out on stolen wifi connections.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Gutboy ( 587531 )
        Or they could use the cell phone of the victim, to 'prove' they have them.
        • by Reziac ( 43301 ) *

          Or more like it'll just ensure that being seen talking on a cell phone is the BEST way to get targeted!!

      • Or use payphones. Or maybe the government will ban magazines when the kidnappers start cutting out random letters from them and taping them to a piece of paper to spell out the ransom.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @12:58AM (#27582469)

        The problem is extorsion.

        This is a growing problem in Mexico.

        You get either a

        1. SMS that says that you won a prize. Most of the time you need to send another sms to another cell number where they tell you that you need to pay a deposit to get your prize. Or,

        2.- A call in which a person tells you that have kidnapped a relative of yours. They don't demand a lot of money. They just want to get some money because 99% of the time they haven't kidnapped anybody. They rely on getting you scared enough so you deposit some money before you can check if it was true.

        Most people know it's a scam, but still a lot of people fall for it.

        The thing is, most of the scammers come from inside prisons so this is an attempt to make it more difficult to get a stolen cellphone which is what the criminals usually use.

      - A mexican that has gotten those calls.

      • by LoRdTAW ( 99712 )

        I see now, many others have pointed this out so it makes perfect sense. It has also jogged my memory a bit too. I remember seeing a special on TV a number of years ago talking about the kidnapping problem in Mexico. I believe they said Mexico City was the kidnapping capital of the world. That scare led to many wealthy people (frequently targeted) to hire security and drive armored vehicles. Less wealthy people would have plastic film applied to their car windows to prevent shattering during a car jacking/ki

  • by db32 ( 862117 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @12:29AM (#27582325) Journal
    So...now that we have more and more technology and more and more capability for governments to track every aspect of their priso..citizens there should be a few things noted. This is nothing new. Advancing technology has ALWAYS resulted in governments trying to leverage it for this very purpose. I seriously doubt this will ever change despite various groups flag waving about how THEIR country would never do this and pointing at other countries that have implemented things like this. As such, all the bitching and moaning in the world is not likely to stop this. A number of countries throughout history have "reset" their governments abilities through various revolutions (some rather bloody, others bloodless). Unfortunately the bloody type ones have typically been the most likely to result in destruction of government records by one side or the other. (Which is why the whole 2nd Amendment thing was put there, the notion that we are supposed to use our right to bear arms to protect ourselves from our fellow citizens is a warping of reality...it was meant ensure an armed citizenry to discourage government abuse. Of course this is all moot when the majority happily embraces this kind of "safety" measure.)

    At the end of the day with technology constantly advancing and the "here there be monsters" parts of the map becoming non-existent there is only one way to ensure our future freedoms. My daughter will know how to execute SQL injections by the time she is 10! We live in an era where your average teenager is more capable of destroying/manipulating government plans/records/whathaveyou than any pitchfork and torch wielding mob has had since the days of the caveman!

    Disclaimer: Parents, be careful with this plan, you wouldn't want to have your records swapped with (notorious threat of the day) for grounding your kid.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The measure of a cellphone number database is to identify who is the user of the cellphone, this is intended to reduce the criminal movements of drugdealers and mafias all over the mexican country.

    Well it's a good idea, but the mexican government didn't saw the real issues of relate cellphones and users: the institutions that will have access to the databases are corrupt far beyond solution, we all know in Mexico that institutions like AFI (similar to FBI in USA) and others are full of double-agents of orga

  • Let me use your phone for a minute...


    You know...battery is dead again.

    Oh, sure.

  • I'd imagine this has something to do with an attempt to crack down on the drug running cartels that threaten to grow so powerful as to destabilize the government. A threatened government is a dangerous thing.

  • Don't even have to change gadgets. That takes care of the average citizen who would be fine with consumer-grade privacy.

    One could add complexity by creating multiple Skype land-phone-accessible numbers, and push them through Grand Central. Or get sexy by using VOIP over a VPN connection to a stateside proxy.

    The nontechnological solution: "Hey, amigo, lemme use your phone for a minute - I left mine in my Mercedes."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @01:52AM (#27582735)

    Yep this is another stupid law passed under the guise of trying to fix a national security problem. The truth is it is just another way for the government to get another Nationwide Database of us Mexicans. Let us count how many we have.

    1) We have the CURP. (national ID number)

    2) We have the IFE. (national voting card)

    3) We have the RFC. (national Tax Number, complete with electronic digital certificate plus you need to fingerprint your 10 digita for that one)

    4) We have Cartilla de Vacunacion (national medical card, needed for most hospitals and free health services)

    5) We have drivers license (again taging all the above)

    5) We have CLABE (national bank account database... all your Financial info are belong to us linked to the Mexican Tax Sistem)

    6) We have the Afore (national retirement account number)

    7) Some states have a secondary voting card (since the national one could be untrustworthy)

    8) We have birth certificate records with the CRIP (a longer version of the CURP)

    9) National Military Card (for all males 18 and older which technically makes all of Male Mexicans National Reserve and you need to have it for the next database one, the passport)

    10) Passports, (not required by law but do require #9 to get one and will also be required if you ever need to leave this place.)

    woohoo.. so much for freedom of speech.

    Most of them have all your personal info in them, plus fingerprints, plus anything and everything to tag you. There was the defunct RENAVE which was the national car ID. That was pass under the guise of people commit felony's on stolen cars.

    Now a National Celular Id, what is next a National Phone Id, since people also commit crimes on the phone. Or maybe a National Public Phone id, since criminals could also use Public Phones. Or a National Internet Users Id while you are at it. Or a National Credit Card registry since credit cards are used in scams. No wait we have that one also (chalk it as number 11)

    Maybe a national knife owners id, so in the supermarket when you buy a knife it will be registered in your name.

    Now seriously, the main problem in this is that one more database to cross reference you by will not solve the crime problem. I used to work for a telemarketing firm, and they had bought half of the Databases mentioned above, so the information contained in those database is readily available thanks to corrupt officials. Some of them are even online like the CURP. (one XSS away from full access).

    If you are Mexican, don't worry about all the databases, organized crime already have them all. That is how they target you. I know of cases where the criminals even know how much money you have in your bank account and suggest it to you if you try to say you don't have any money.

    Now the implementation, you can send a SMS with what ever info you want. Want to become your neighbor, look his CURP up online here:


    (just need his name and his birthday).

    Seriously the problem is the Corrupt Mexican Government, why don't they pass laws to fix that, and maybe we wouldn't need just another national public database.

    Here in Mexico they passed a law to instantly tax your deposits in the bank, if you get a cash deposit of 25000 pesos or more (like 2000 dls) instead of going after the known tax evaders. So honest folk pay taxes for the criminals which never do, and the criminals either don't care, have lawyers, or use bribes. Do you think criminals have money in the bank, come on.

    This database will get abused like all the others and it is not in the public's interest. Criminals will now have access to all you family's cellular phone numbers so they know who to ask ransoms to.

    MEXICAN GOVERNMENT, solve the problem don't make another stupid law that will not solve the problem.

    In Soviet Mexico are belong to us, all your information.

    • by kabocox ( 199019 )

      At first, I was going to moan about how awful that you have 10 different numbers to keep track of. Then I thought a bit about it. That actually makes more sense and should in theory be more secure than our system of just using the SSN everywhere. In the US, we are only really required to have a SSN, DL, Birth Cert, Marriage Cert & tax records to get by in life. The SSC has no real useful info on it. Your name and a number. The DL is the most dangerous one, it has you name, address, and physical info. Ou

  • There is simply nothing that stops you from grab the CURP from anyone, send the sms and get your phone linked to other person, then you can carry on with whatever illegal activities you plan to do and have the other person blamed.

    It is insane, and I asked someone I know that works at Telcel and you can have more than one phone number linked to a single CURP.

    Yes, this is supposed to difficult the coordination of illegal groups, such as drug dealers and kidnapers, but I fail to see how will this help unless w

  • In Italy is already this way: you cannot buy a SIM without proper identification.
    And if you sell or give it away, both parties should update the registration details.
    Since 1994. We are ahead!
    • by amorsen ( 7485 )

      Indeed, I tried to get a SIM in Italy. They asked me for my government health insurance card, so I showed them my Danish one. They didn't accept it. Tried it three times with different providers.

      So much for free trade within the EU...

  • There already is a very similar thing in Bulgaria (and probably in other countries). Here, the cellphone providers, the ISPs and all traveling agencies must keep detailed records in electronic format and grant access to them for the authorities at any time, without any warning. It's basically a human rights violation, but it seems that no one affected gives a damn. Maybe it's because the non-tech people don't realize the threat.
  • Sent via SMS (just now):

    "Hello! My name is Ignito Montoya, you killed my father, my new number is ...."

  • So, our neighbors to the South are getting ahead of us on something, eh? I must say, given the slow but steady trend of the U.S. towards ever increasing surveillance, one thing that has puzzled me is why our government has not yet implemented something like this. If you're going to go so far as to use warrantless wiretapping and monitoring of the domestic phone system to keep tabs on your own citizens, it can't be very effective if anyone can walk into a Wal-Mart or 7-11, use cash to buy a cheap prepaid cel

  • CURP is not like SSN (Score:4, Informative)

    by niktemadur ( 793971 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @08:39AM (#27584653)

    ...CURP (Unique Registration Population Code in Spanish, like the Social Security Number in the US) ...

    Not by a long shot. CURP consists of four sections:

    1. Four letter acronym - last name, mother's maiden name, first name and second name (or second letter from first name).
    2. Six digits indicating your birth date.
    3. Three letters indicating your state of birth.
    4. Three letters and three digits, seemingly random but actually a predictable tag, to differentiate you from others sharing the first three sections, all very similar.

    Many commercial apps in Mexico have the "CURP function" installed, you just type in the first three criteria, and out comes the full CURP. I believe even some legit Mexican websites provide this function. It's not intended to be secret and it's not tied in with your personal finances in any way.

    Little or nothing to see here, folks, move along.

"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982