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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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  • Prepaid phones. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ( 1195047 ) <philip.paradis@p ... net minus author> 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?
  • So? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:51PM (#27582071)

    All they require is that you text your CURP? So just text someone else's CURP. Make one up for that matter. How do they plan to verify the person using the phone is identical to the CURP associated with it?

  • by anexkahn ( 935249 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @12:17AM (#27582259) Homepage
    don't ya think?
  • by db32 ( 862117 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @12:29AM (#27582325) Journal 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 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 on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @12:37AM (#27582373)

    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 organized crime.

    So, from now on, organized crime will be aware of my phone number, my residence and another bunch of personal data. Great, just great. (Yeah, I live in Mexico if you haven't noticed by now.)

  • 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 Lord Juan ( 1280214 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @02:28AM (#27582897) Homepage

    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 we would do as the law says, be required to go on a cellphone center and provide our fingerprint.

    And, personally, I completely dislike this measure, just for civil disobedience I'll go to somewhere where the CURP it's required, memorize a number of a random person (fortunately I can memorize long numbers easily), and send a sms with that number.

  • 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.

  • by Velska1 ( 1435341 ) <> on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @07:35AM (#27584211) Journal

    Even if you're an anonymoys coward, I have to agree with you. On both counts.

    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.

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

    By keeping Marijuana illegal we make teens think they're living on the edge when they toke a joint. The fans of rock stars (if not the stars themselves) think they're out there, when they get busted for coke. They could be dealing with much more dangerous substances, and there is absolutely no way of completely blocking a supply for something that has such high-dollar demand.

    It all comes back to how much freedom we can allow ourselves.

    And not to be completely offtopic, a word about the phone deal: It is where we are going everywhere. ISPs forced to keep an IP log forever and other Patriot Act features that are now permanent. UK tracking all internet traffic (if not being able to analyze it all yet). China (among others) controlling what regular surfers see on the 'Net.

    This are not alarmist FUD, they're today's reality. Increasing capacity of PCs will enable ever more complete tracking of everything we do online - and eventually analyzing and compiling relevant data to central databases; your whole life is an open book to the Big Brother). Orwell was eerily correct in his predictions. What he got wrong were the year and who would be behind it. It turns out that it was the most conservative Congress and President, who sold the whole thing, because we are afraid. Very, very afraid. Besides, you never know when seemingly benign activities turn out to be preparation for terrorism, so we'll have to keep track of everybody all the time. (Google Panopticon.)

    When I was a kid, I heard a joke:

    Q: What is the difference between capitalism and communism?
    A: In capitalism some people exploit others; in communism it's the other way.

    Either way, taken to the extreme, you end up in totalitarianism.

  • Re:So? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tweenk ( 1274968 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @07:37AM (#27584229)

    Since pre-paid anonymous cell phones are almost always used for no good and legal purpose this sounds like a great idea for that kind of phone.

    That's a very old and tired lie that "those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear" []

    What about whistleblowers, victims of abuse, or political dissidents? What happens when the government becomes a totalitarian regime?

    Another powerful take on this: []

  • by professorguy ( 1108737 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @09:54AM (#27585489)
    So when alcohol was legalized in the 30's, everyone ran out and started doing heroin? I think you were doing heroin before you suggested this.
  • Re:Flamebait (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ibbey ( 27873 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @01:36PM (#27588281) Homepage

    You're right... You shouldn't be moderated Flamebait. Too bad you can't moderate someone "-1 Asshole", though. No offense, but you annoy the shit out of me (Hmm, where have I heard that before?).

    You're also right that you didn't make the same points as the GP... He made rational point, your random paranoid conspiracy ramblings aside, your post added absolutely nothing to the discussion except insults.

    Some of the GP's statements may have been overbroad, but none of them were actually wrong. Marijuana's legal status is clearly NOT a deterrent, at least not in any significant sense. You may disagree with the rationale for that legal status, but that does not invalidate the accuracy of that observation.

    It's incredibly ironic that you take it upon yourself to educate the GP on how to effectively argue the pro-drug position after you have just done everything you possibly could to alienate him ("No offense, but you annoy the shit out of me", for example). If that's the way you always start these discussions, it's no wonder that you think none of your friends smoke pot: you don't have any friends left. After reading his post and yours, I can promise you that his was the much more persuasive of the two.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27