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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."
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Mexican Government To Document Cell Phone Use

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  • Attention citizen (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BadAnalogyGuy ( 945258 ) <> on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @10:40PM (#27581993)

    Respond via SMS?

    Sounds Phishy

  • Border runs (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Zerth ( 26112 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @10:47PM (#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 on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @10:55PM (#27582101)

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

  • by LoRdTAW ( 99712 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:17PM (#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 Gutboy ( 587531 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:32PM (#27582343)
    Or they could use the cell phone of the victim, to 'prove' they have them.
  • Re:Corruption (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:34PM (#27582357) Journal
    Incredible increases in the efficiency of allocation of stitches to snitches are expected...
  • Useless. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @12:00AM (#27582481)

    Seems pointless. You only need to know 2 things and they are both available without registering the phones.
    1) where the person is, and
    2) what they said.
    Knowing their name (fake or true) is largely useless as most of the criminals will just use an alias and most ordinary/nonviolent criminals will just add a lot of noise to the databases.

    Plus you risk criminals abducting or killing people to get their hands on legitimate cell phones. Terrible idea.

  • Re:Corruption (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Concerned Onlooker ( 473481 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @12:18AM (#27582577) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @12:23AM (#27582599)

    That'd destroy the economy. For instance, the police certainly wouldn't make the same income if they enforced the law.

  • by Requiem18th ( 742389 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @12:35AM (#27582667)

    Of course getting an stolen phone or cloning a numbers is still as easy as ever. This accomplishes nothing except perhaps tracking of innocent citizens.

  • Re:Prepaid phones. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Maelwryth ( 982896 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @12:52AM (#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 @01:52AM (#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:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @02:53AM (#27583297)

    >Their war on drugs has become quite literal

    And this has happened in large part *because* of *our* war on drugs.

  • Re:Prepaid phones. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) * on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @03:39AM (#27583495) Journal
    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.
  • Re:Corruption (Score:3, Insightful)

    by asifyoucare ( 302582 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @04:06AM (#27583577)

    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.

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

    by Chrisje ( 471362 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @05:22AM (#27583901)

    Which is why in the Netherlands, Prostitution is legal while Pimping isn't, Marijuana is CONDONED and not 100% legalized, and the focus for users of cocaine, E, Amphetamines and even heavier stuff like heroin is to Inform & Help them rather than to lock 'm up and throw away the key.

    Do we have problems? Sure we do. Do we have a violent crime rate as in the US and certain other countries? No we don't. As a matter of fact, it's quite boring here. And we like it that way. Well. Some of us do at any rate.

    Lastly I have to point out that the workings of Life, The Universe and Everything Else *cannot* be deduced by watching Mob movies.

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

    by EdIII ( 1114411 ) * on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @05:35AM (#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:Prepaid phones. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Velska1 ( 1435341 ) <> on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @06:42AM (#27584251) Journal

    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.

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

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @06:46AM (#27584267) Homepage Journal

    Their war on drugs is powered by our war on drugs. In fact, it is our war on drugs, only exported across the border. During prohibition of alcohol we had an elevated level of violence in this country -- the current system is much more efficient, at least if you live in the USA. If you live in Mexico... not so much.

  • Re:Flamebait (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EdIII ( 1114411 ) * on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @07:32AM (#27584583)

    You made the same points he did. You just used twice the space and threw in some condescending insults for good measure.

    This post is begging for a flamebait.

    Well, you can't read then. That's not flamebait either. You. Can't. Read.

    What condescending insults? There was none. I identified with him. I said I agreed with him. There was no insult of any kind whatsoever. The closest I came to anything remotely like that, was expressing my dissatisfaction with his points to make marijuana legal. That's it. As for condescending, well that is your interpretation. I was merely trying to express to him there can be more effective means of not only communicating his points, but to win over people in this argument. To say that I was acting superior or patronizing is a stretch IMO. You are entitled to your opinion though, but to say I insulted him is just incorrect.

    Here's what he said that had to do with marijuana (the rest was about himself and Mexico):

    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.

    So now, where I am making the same points he did? Keep in mind that I made a specific commentary on the 2nd statement.

    He made a point about the reduction of crime and a new revenue stream for the government. I made no such points at all. If anything, I disagreed with the new revenue stream as the government gains a far more valuable level of control AND revenue with the current illegal status of marijuana.

    We both pointed out the prison population, but we were using it in different ways. He was saying that we could reduce the prison population while I was pointing out that it was illegal for the very fact it could create a profitable prison population in the first place. He implies we can address a problem, while I point out that the problem was desired and designed. Not the same point.

    He used Al Capone as a comparison against the current Mexican drug lords, while I mentioned it specifically in regards to the IRS, something he never mentioned did he?

    So I fail to see how I was redundant.

    I honestly believe that his argument about how 1) Everyone does it and 2) The laws are not stopping anybody are extremely counter productive towards achieving the goal of legalization. You can think I insulted him, or that I was patronizingly superior, but I did NOT make the same arguments for legalization that he did.

  • by shoemilk ( 1008173 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @09:14AM (#27585737) Journal
    I hope you got modded "interesting" for your on topic bits, because your off topic drug bit was some of the worst drivel I've ever read. As a former pothead and someone who has studied 1920's America and alcohol, I respectfully as that you please educate yourself and not just live off of Nancy Regan propaganda.

    The collateral damage of crime surrounding narcotics is so much worse than the actual damage that the narcotics cause. Even your "way too dangerous" drug, the most dangerous thing about it is the production of it. I agree meth ravages a person and isn't something someone should be taking, but instead of throwing them in a pound-them-in-the-ass federal prison, we should be giving them counseling.

    Look at tobacco and alcohol, two things that are legal, and please realize that everything you wrote is completely nonsensical. Your entire argument reads like a pro-prohibitionists argument during the 1920's. Absolutely nothing is solved by making narcotics illegal and thousands of problems are created.

    By keeping Marijuana illegal we make teens think they're living on the edge when they toke a joint.

    This sentence is the most ignorant of all. It sums up your complete incomprehension of the motivation of teenagers with your lack of the ability to see the major problems that prohibition causes. Just like this bill will do nothing to deter criminals in Mexico and only put more innocent people in harms way as the incentive to mug someone for their cellphone has just increased tenfold.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @11:51AM (#27587741)

    You think people use psychotropic drugs in order to define themselves as hip and edgy? Clearly this opinion is possible only from someone completely outside drug culture. Everyone I've ever known that used psychotropic drugs (and this is a fair number) did it for the experience of it. Each drug provides a different kind of experience. Legalize marijuana and people who like that experience will keep doing it. Same with any other. This idea that people will move on to something else because their drug of choice is now legal is just stupid.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @01:31PM (#27588901)

    "If we legalize Mary Jane and Nose Candy now, the "hip, with it" people will move to something else that is way too dangerous to be legal (crystal meth, anyone?). That will create a lucrative market for it."

    Way too dangerous to be legal? This is the authoritarian attitude that creates such 'counterculture' in the first place. let those morons kill themselves with meth, if that's what they want to do. Why waste tax income on locking them up? If we must spend money on them, lets offer non-compulsory help programs. Treating these people as criminals to get the self-righteous in our society off is not worth the money, nor is it effective.

    "The real solution would be to have a new kind of culture, that doesn't glorify delinquency and criminality. That'll be the day..."

    People rebel because the law prohibiting such behaviors in various circumstances isn't justified in the first place. What happens when someone you know keeps bullshitting? Eventually, you stop trusting his judgment. Well, that's what's happened here. Large cross-sections of society have lost respect for an authority that whores itself out to moneyed interests and moralist crusader groups who are good at polarizing society. A polarized society cannot effectively self-govern, freeing said authority to do as it wishes.

  • by Zero__Kelvin ( 151819 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @01:40PM (#27589017) Homepage

    "If we legalize Mary Jane and Nose Candy now, the "hip, with it" people will move to something else that is way too dangerous to be legal (crystal meth, anyone?). That will create a lucrative market for it."

    OK. We get it. You call Marijuana "Mary Jane". and Cocaine "Nose Candy". You use the word "hip". You speculate what "hip" people would do in ways that make it painfully evident that you have exactly zero insight into what it is like to be one of those people. You are not hip, and never will be. You didn't have to go so far out of your way to make the point. You did not have to make a statement like the above to prove that you have no reason or excuse for speculating on matters oif this nature, since you have zero experience with same. We get it. We really do.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein