Canada Launches National Stolen Device Blacklist

Lynsey Kitching


The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) and its wireless carrier members have launched the national blacklist of wireless devices that have been reported as lost or stolen.

As announced last fall, Canada’s wireless carriers committed to implementing the blacklist to assist law enforcement agencies with their efforts to combat the theft of wireless devices.

The authorization of any GSM, HSPA, HSPA+ or LTE wireless device on any participating Canadian carrier’s network will include verification that the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number of the device has not been reported as lost or stolen on that network or any other participating Canadian network as of September 30, 2013. The blacklist will also include devices that have been reported as lost or stolen by US carriers that are connected to the GSMA IMEI Database.

“Canadians are among the world’s fastest adopters and heaviest users of sophisticated smartphones,” says CWTA President & CEO Bernard Lord. “Not only will this national blacklist help to make their smartphones a less valuable target for criminals, but the industry has also taken steps to help Canadian consumers identify if a pre-owned device has previously been reported as lost or stolen.”

To help protect Canadians when purchasing a wireless device from a private source, the website now features a tool allowing Canadian consumers to enter the IMEI number of a wireless device to find out immediately if that device has been blacklisted in Canada. If the IMEI number has been blacklisted, that device will not be able to be used on any participating Canadian network. The consumer look-up feature, is the first of its kind in the world.