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FCC Program Will Disable Stolen Federal Devices

FCC Program Will Disable Stolen Federal Devices - top government contractors - best government contracting event
Site: FCC.gov

The Federal Communications Commission is working to disable scammers from reselling lost or stolen government devices, Nextgov reports.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and law enforcement officials announced Tuesday that the wireless industry agreed to block service on mobile devices when they are reported stolen. 

Industry will roll out the new process within six months and will create a single database including identification numbers of stolen devices worldwide within 18 months. This would prevent thieves from swapping carriers undetected. 

AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint said they were onboard to create the database. While this effort may combat fraudulent phone use or sale, it may not guard confidential data stored on phones, according to industry experts. 

Federal agencies have an encryption standard for mobile devices but the White House found not all agencies had their devices completely secure. 

The White House’s annual data security compliance report found the Department of Veterans Affairs only encrypts 55 percent of its portable devices, while NASA only protected 41 percent of its devices. 

The Homeland Security, Treasury and State departments had higher levels of encryption as well as the General Services and Social Security Administration. 

The FCC’s idea is that whether data is encrypted or not, a criminal will not be interested in a device that does not work, the report said. 

Tom McAndrew, an executive vice president at Coalfire, suggest that criminals are more interested in the information technology security components.

The GSA has started to ask mobile device vendors to include data security features in telecommunications services, according to the report.

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Written by Ross Wilkers

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