Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mexico government cuts off millions of cell phones; disconnections part of crack down on organized crime

Cell phone users in Mexico who did not register their phones with the government were disconnected from their services today.
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Thousands line up in Mexico to register their cell phone lines.
Photo: Efe

As many as 25.9 million cell phone lines had not been registered by Sunday and were in danger of being cut off as the Mexican government attempted to fight back against organized crime. To register, users needed to provide the government their CURP number, similar to a social security number. According to one media source in Mexico, up to 12,000 users protested the regulation by submitting the name of Felipe Calderon, president of Mexico.

"It is pointless," said a hospital porter, Gerardo Morales, according to The Guardian. "Protesting against it is pointless, too."

Cell phone providers were set to lose millions in the move, though providers promised users late to register that they would not lose their numbers and calling credit if late to comply.