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LOST or stolen mobile phones will be blocked on all mobile phone networks once phones have been reported as stolen to a carrier, making them useless to thieves.

Communications Minister Senator Richard Alston launched new Federal regulations this week designed to better protect mobile phone users from theft.

Senator Alston announced the introduction of inter-carrier IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identifier) blocking across all GSM networks, making lost or stolen mobile phones virtually worthless.

Law enforcement agencies will also be able to identify if there has been an attempt to connect a lost or stolen mobile phone on any GSM network.

The Federal Government will also introduce legislation later this year to make it an offence to ‘rebirth’ stolen mobile phones by modifying their IMEI.

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