The Irish Government announced today that as part of their fight against crime they want all pre-pay mobiles to be registered.
As it stands, anyone who purchases a pre-pay mobile is not required to register any of their details – not even their name. Most operators provide an incentive to do so, generally in the form of free phone credit.
While the need for a phone register is being justified a being part of a co-ordinated attempt to reduce drug dealing and criminal activity, no details have been released as to how the register will be used or implemented. What documentation will be required to purchase a pre-pay mobile? Who will have access to the database? Will a court order be required to access the information? Who will be ultimately responsible for maintaining the database?
The question remains though if a mobile phone register will have the effect that the government wants. It will no doubt inconvenience the “normal” mobile phone user, and no doubt those that want to keep their identities off the register will do so.