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New AT&T Service Will Block Stolen Devices

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NEW YORK (CBS NEWS) - AT&T is planning to launch a new service that will block access to stolen mobile devices, according to tech blog The Verge.

The way the service should work is that if a device is stolen, the owner can call AT&T and have it added to a “blocklist.” Once on the list, a device will no longer be able to make voice calls, use data or send text messages. The device will be remotely wiped. However, SIM cards will not be blocked. The only way to add or remove a device from the blocklist is to contact an AT&T customer service representative.

According to an internal email obtained by The Verge, AT&T customers will be able to “request the stolen device be blocked from use by others on the AT&T network.” The language suggests that stolen devices can’t be activated on the wireless network at all. There’s no indication that AT&T will be able to locate devices or take action against a person who wants to activate a stolen smartphone or tablet.

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