People will be now able to block and track their lost or stolen mobile phones across India via the Sanchar Saathi portal launched by the Department of Telecom on Tuesday.
Union telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that through Sanchar Saathi Portal, people will be able to block, track and check the genuineness of a used device before buying them. “First leg of Sanchar Saathi portal is CEIR (Central Equipment Identity Register). If you lose your mobile phone, then you can visit this portal. There will be some identity verification, requirement of undertaking and immediately after this the portal will interact with law enforcement agencies and telecom service providers, and block your lost mobile phone,” Vaishnaw said.
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The minister said that there is ‘Know Your Mobile’ facility in Sanchar Saathi which help users verify genuineness of second-hand mobile phone before buying them. “We feel confident that at least with these reforms, at least the rising trends in cyber frauds will be seriously controlled and we will be able to bring them down,” Vaishnaw said.
He said that Prime Minister has a clear vision that a lot of attention needs to be paid to user safety and the facilities under Sanchar Saathi portal are aligned to his vision. When asked about measures that the government is taking to check fraud through calls on WhatsApp, the minister said that Meta owned app has agreed to deactivate services linked to any mobile phone number engaged in fraudulent activities.
Today Hon’ble Union Minister for Communications, Electronics & IT and Railways Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw has launched a citizen centric portal ‘SANCHAR SAATHI’…(1/3)
#SancharSaathi@AshwiniVaishnaw @devusinh pic.twitter.com/hPAIdFIUYo
— DoT India (@DoT_India) May 16, 2023
“We have actively engaged with WhatsApp and they have agreed that customer safety is most important. All the OTT platforms are actively cooperating to deregister the users which have been detected as fraud users,” Vaishnaw said.
He said that 36 lakh mobile connections have been disconnected for fraud and simultaneously their WhatsApp account has been blocked. He said that there is TAFCOP facility on Sanchar Saathi to help people check if there are other mobile numbers working in their name without their permission or knowledge.
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The Sanchar Saathi facilities have been developed by C-DoT. The technology development arm under the Department of Telecom has been able to add feature to check use of cloned mobile phones across all telecom networks.
The government has made it mandatory to disclose IMEI– a 15-digit unique numeric identifier of mobile devices before their sale in India. The mobile networks will have access to the list of approved IMEI numbers which will check the entry of any unauthorised mobile phones on their network.
Telecom operators and CEIR system will have visibility into IMEI number of the device and mobile number linked to it and the information is being used in some states to track your lost or stolen mobiles through CEIR.
(With Agency inputs)