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Mexico: Agreement to Combat Theft and Cross-Border Trafficking of Mobile Devices

(Dec. 7, 2012) On November 13, 2012, telecommunications authorities from the <?United States and Mexico announced the signature of a bilateral agreement to combat the theft and cross-border trafficking of stolen mobile devices between the two countries. (Press Release, U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and Mexican Communications Undersecretary Hector Olavarria Tapia Sign New Bilateral Accord to Combat the Theft and Cross-Border Trafficking of Mobile Devices (Nov. 13, 2012).)

According to the FCC press release issued on the occasion, this agreement builds upon the “PROTECTS initiative,” which was recently launched by the FCC in conjunction with public safety authorities and telecommunications companies, in order to create a database to prevent the use of stolen mobile devices, among other measures. The database allows the public to report thefts of their mobile devices to wireless companies, which in turn have committed to use technical means to block such devices from being used again. (Id.)

Reports suggest that a number of devices stolen in the United States have been resold in Latin American countries, including in Mexico. Companies in the United States and Mexico recently agreed to participate in the stolen devices database, which will allow them to share information and block devices so that they cannot be stolen in one country and activated in the other. (Id.)

Under the terms of the bilateral agreement, the FCC and Mexican telecommunications authorities will publish a report twice a year on the Internet, providing information on “compliance with carrier commitments.” (Id.)