Flashing phones in Russia – criminal cases are open

Until recently, ordinary consumers were practically not involved in flashing phones, there was no relevant experience, software, and wide communities of consumers studying the “innards” of devices. Changing the factory software was the lot of engineers in service centers, company representatives or underground craftsmen who adapted unofficially imported devices to Russian realities, in particular, added a Russian language pack to them. De jure, such activity of changing the factory software in phones without the permission of the manufacturer is illegal and, moreover, can be prosecuted under Russian laws. De facto, this issue did not concern not only the Russian authorities, but also the manufacturers themselves, the tasks facing the representative offices were described, first of all, as the sale of phones, and secondly, their support.

With the growth of the mobile phone market, it began to attract the attention of authorities, from customs to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. It is no secret that the Ministry of Internal Affairs does not blame only the lazy that the underground market of stolen cell phones is huge, and the police are not only unable to deal with an avalanche of such thefts, but often do not accept applications from victims. The secondary market formed by stolen phones is able to compete with the market of official sales. The most conservative estimates show that every fifth phone in Russia is stolen, and if we talk about the used market. devices, All Colors of Aquarium Plants< /a> then every second. In monetary terms, we have long been talking about millions of dollars, if not hundreds of millions.

Under these conditions, the fight against the theft of mobile phones is almost impossible, it is akin to the fight against windmills. The presence of a secondary market, primarily in the regions, the lack of databases of IMEI numbers from large operators and the unwillingness to carry out such work make all the efforts of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to restore order in vain. Given that the pressure on the ministry, both from society and from government authorities, is growing, the ministry thought about how, in the current market realities, they can try to solve the issue of theft of phones. The impossibility of preventing theft in every case is obvious, as is the impossibility of controlling all possible points of sale.The adoption of laws that will oblige operators to maintain black lists of numbers is a matter of time, although active work in this direction has already begun today. Under these conditions, the Ministry of Internal Affairs decided that it was possible to hit the market of stolen phones by studying their software. Indeed, often a sign that the device has been stolen is an attempt to change its IMEI number, although in most cases thieves do not even think about it. The first step in this direction has been taken, and from now on, the internal affairs bodies are studying not only the stickers on the boxes, the presence of a check, and similar evidence of the legality of the acquisition of the device or its importation into the country, but also the software of the device itself. Unofficial comments from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, on condition of anonymity, are as follows: “For the first time, we are making an attempt to take control of the secondary market for phones, to show that the state is able to control the implementation of laws. The liquidation of clandestine workshops for flashing phones, the seizure of tools from such Kulibins and the reality of punishment will make this type of business uninteresting for many. Knowing that trying to make money without the appropriate permits, licenses is a criminal offense will stop many. At the first stage, we work out our methods of work, collect information. The Internet provides us with invaluable help in this, here you can find prices for work, a list of underground masters, lists of people who are engaged in illegal changes in phone software on an ongoing basis.I would like to emphasize that any modification of the phone&#39;s firmware, whether it is downloading a ready-made firmware or changing an existing one, can be criminally punishable, unless the manufacturer himself provides such opportunities. A good example is Siemens. Users of the products of this manufacturer have the opportunity to independently update the software using the original website of the company. At the same time, there are many resources on the Russian part of the Internet where firmware for the company&#39;s phones is available, instructions for installing them, changing, adding or removing individual functions. If in the first case the use of the original service does not bear any responsibility, then in the second case it does. We plan to develop not only the owners of such resources, firmware, but also to work with people using modified firmware, they must understand the full measure of responsibility for their actions.

The conclusion from what has been said can be made simple and clear. The state decided to control the mobile phone market and came up with an effective way for this, namely control over the end consumer. Why this topic has become so acute right now is not entirely clear, either before joining the WTO, Western partners pointed out the level of such violations, or the realization of the need came on the ground. In any case, we, as end users, will be responsible to the state for our actions regarding our own mobile phones. Hard times will come for sites that only lived by information on how to install new firmware or providing a place to download it.

This topic would not be so acute if discussions of possible actions by the Ministry of Internal Affairs would remain only discussions. However, at the moment, a number of cases are being launched across the country against owners of mobile phones who have changed the firmware on them on their own. The article of the Criminal Code applied against individuals is still the same – 272 part 1 or 2. Recall its content:

1. Illegal access to legally protected computer information, that is, information on a machine medium, in an electronic computer (ECM), computer system or their network, if this act entailed the destruction, blocking, modification or copying of information, disruption of the computer, computer system or their network,
shall be punishable by a fine in the amount of from two hundred to five hundred times the minimum wage, or in the amount of the wage or salary, or any other income of the convicted person for a period of two to five months, or by corrective labor for a term of six months to one year, or imprisonment for up to two years.

2. The same act committed by a group of persons by prior agreement, or by an organized group, or by a person using his official position, as well as having access to a computer, a computer system or their network,
labor or in the amount of wages or other income of the convicted person for a period of five to eight months, or by corrective labor for a term of one to two years, or by arrest for a term of three to six months, or by deprivation of liberty for a term of up to five years.

Let&#39;s give a version of the request from the Ministry of Internal Affairs to the representative office, which describes one of the real cases (all names, data, have been changed for obvious reasons):

Head of Representative Office

Company A

In my proceedings there is a criminal case No. 300000000 initiated against Ivanov I.I. on the grounds of a crime, under Part.1 Article. 272 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation

In the course of the investigation, it was established that Ivanov I.I. made a &#34;russification&#34; (software modification) of the mobile telephone A Z https://tonaton.co.ke/c_human-resources-jobs 800. IMEI 666666/66/666666/6 using a computer and connecting cords.

From the available materials of the criminal case, it follows that before the &#34;Russification&#34; of the mobile telephone &#34;AZ 800&#34; was carried out, the following software version was installed in it – 1.34/05/06, after Russification it became – 1.34/01/02.

In this regard, on the basis of part 4 of article 21 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation, I ask you to inform:

  1. Is the mobile telephone &#34;A Z 800&#34; certified by the Ministry of Communications of the Russian Federation, having IMEI 666666/66/666666/6;
  2. According to the IMEI number of this telephone, for which country it was intended;
  3. Which software version could (or should) be installed on the A Z800 mobile phone with IMEI 666666/66/666666/6;
  4. Is the mobile phone software version 1.05/34/06 owned or officially issued by company &#34;A&#34;;
  5. Does company “A” currently have or did it previously have websites on the Internet that would host programs that can be used to “Russify” brand “A” mobile telephones that are not certified by the Ministry of Communications of the Russian Federation, in including where the software version is 1.34/05/06;
  6. How is the &#34;Russification&#34; of a mobile telephone set – this is a complete reinstallation (replacement) of the program that ensures its operation, or its partial change;
  7. Has your company entered into an agreement with Ivanov Ivan Ivanovich, a Russian citizen, registered at the address: Moscow, st. Vavilova 31/1, apt. 0 for the right to distribute and modify the software of the mobile telephone &#34;A Z 800&#34;;
  8. What is the violation of the rights of company &#34;A&#34; during the &#34;russification&#34; of the mobile telephone of the brand &#34;A Z 800&#34;, not intended for use in Russia.

Thanks in advance for your assistance in the investigation of the criminal case.

Senior Investigator

Ivanov

The campaign, initiated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, logically merges into those initiatives that they are now trying to adopt at the level of the customs code regarding mobile phones, as well as at the level of the Ministry of Communications regarding a voluntary declaration (there are a lot of interesting things, more on that in the coming days). One gets the impression that the Russian government has realized the need for coordinated action and is acting as a united front in this case. The ultimate goal of the innovations is to control the mobile phone market, first of all, to eliminate gray imports, in part to worsen the situation for the resale of phones without documents (an initiative to introduce a transaction passport from the same area), and finally, to increase the collection of taxes related to mobile phones ( real prices for customs clearance of equipment, control of sales volumes). The undertaking is interesting, it will be interesting to see what it will lead to in the end. For ordinary consumers, it’s worth considering, maybe going to a service center is preferable to 30 minutes spent on flashing at home? Or is the savings on a gray phone not so great compared to a possible criminal penalty? Let me remind you that when the screws are tightened in our country, random people are the first to suffer, and only at the second stage do they get to those who were related to at least something.

Flashing phones in Russia – criminal cases are open

Until recently, ordinary consumers were practically not involved in flashing phones, there was no relevant experience, software, and wide communities of consumers studying the “innards” of devices. Changing the factory software was the lot of engineers in service centers, company representatives or underground craftsmen who adapted unofficially imported devices to Russian realities, in particular, added a Russian language pack to them. De jure, such activity of changing the factory software in phones without the permission of the manufacturer is illegal and, moreover, can be prosecuted under Russian laws. De facto, this issue did not concern not only the Russian authorities, but also the manufacturers themselves, the tasks facing the representative offices were described, first of all, as the sale of phones, and secondly, their support.

Under these conditions, the fight against the theft of mobile phones is almost impossible, it is akin to the fight against windmills. The presence of a secondary market, primarily in the regions, the lack of databases of IMEI numbers from large operators and the unwillingness to carry out such work make all the efforts of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to restore order in vain. Given that the pressure on the ministry, both from society and from government authorities, is growing, the ministry thought about how, in the current market realities, they can try to solve the issue of theft of phones. The impossibility of preventing theft in every case is obvious, as is the impossibility of controlling all possible points of sale.The adoption of laws that will oblige operators to maintain black lists of numbers is a matter of time, although active work in this direction has already begun today. Under these conditions, the Ministry of Internal Affairs decided that it was possible to hit the market of stolen phones by studying their software. Indeed, often a sign that the device has been stolen is an attempt to change its IMEI number, although in most cases thieves do not even think about it. The first step in this direction has been made, and from now on, the internal affairs bodies are studying not only the stickers on the boxes, the presence of a check, and similar evidence of the legality of the acquisition of the device or its importation into the country, but also the software of the device itself. Unofficial comments from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, on condition of anonymity, are as follows: “For the first time, we are making an attempt to take control of the secondary market for phones, to show that the state is able to control the implementation of laws. The liquidation of underground workshops for flashing phones, the seizure of tools from such Kulibins and the reality of punishment will make this type of business uninteresting for many. The knowledge that trying to make money without the appropriate permits, licenses is a criminal offense will stop many. At the first stage, we work out our methods of work, collect information. The Internet provides us with invaluable help in this, here you can find prices for work, a list of underground masters, lists of people who are engaged in illegal changes in phone software on an ongoing basis.I would like to emphasize that any modification of the phone&#39;s firmware, whether it is downloading a ready-made firmware or changing an existing one, can be criminally punishable, unless the manufacturer himself provides such opportunities. A good example is Siemens. Users of the products of this manufacturer have the opportunity to independently update the software using the original website of the company. At the same time, there are many resources on the Russian part of the Internet where firmware for the company&#39;s phones is available, instructions for installing them, changing, adding or removing individual functions. If in the first case the use of the original service does not bear any responsibility, then in the second case it does. We plan to develop not only the owners of such resources, firmware, but also to work with people using modified firmware, they must understand the full measure of responsibility for their actions.

The conclusion from what has been said can be made simple and clear. The state decided to control the mobile phone market and came up with an effective way for this, namely control over the end consumer. Why this topic has become so acute right now is not entirely clear, either before joining the WTO, Western partners pointed out the level of such violations, or the realization of the need came on the ground. In any case, we, as end users, will be responsible to the state for our actions regarding our own mobile phones. Hard times will come for sites that only lived by information on how to install new firmware or providing a place to download it.

This topic would not be so acute if discussions of possible actions by the Ministry of Internal Affairs would remain only discussions. However, at the moment, a number of cases are being launched across the country against owners of mobile phones who have changed the firmware on them on their own. The article of the Criminal Code applied against individuals is still the same – 272 part 1 or 2. Recall its content:

1. Illegal access to legally protected computer information, that is, information on a machine medium, in an electronic computer (ECM), computer system or their network, if this act entailed the destruction, blocking, modification or copying of information, disruption of the computer, computer system or their network,
shall be punishable by a fine in the amount of from two hundred to five hundred times the minimum wage, or in the amount of the wage or salary, or any other income of the convicted person for a period of two to five months, or by corrective labor for a term of six months to one year, or imprisonment for up to two years.

2. The same act committed by a group of persons by prior agreement, or by an organized group, or by a person using his official position, as well as having access to a computer, a computer system or their network,
labor or in the amount of wages or other income of the convicted person for a period of five to eight months, or by corrective labor for a term of one to two years, or by arrest for a term of three to six months, or by deprivation of liberty for a term of up to five years.

Let&#39;s give a version of the request from the Ministry of Internal Affairs to the representative office, which describes one of the real cases (all names, data, have been changed for obvious reasons):

Head of Representative Office

Company A

In my proceedings there is a criminal case No. 300000000, initiated against Ivanov I.I. on the grounds of a crime, under Part.1 Article. 272 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation

In the course of the investigation, it was established that Ivanov I.I. made a &#34;russification&#34; (software modification) of the mobile telephone A Z 800. IMEI 666666/66/666666/6 using a computer and connecting cords.

From the available materials of the criminal case, it follows that before the &#34;Russification&#34; of the mobile telephone &#34;AZ 800&#34; was carried out, the following software version was installed in it – 1.34/05/06, after Russification it became – 1.34/01/02.

In this regard, on the basis of part 4 of article 21 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation, I ask you to inform:

  1. Is the mobile telephone &#34;A Z 800&#34; certified by the Ministry of Communications of the Russian Federation, having IMEI 666666/66/666666/6;
  2. According to the IMEI number of this telephone, for which country it was intended;
  3. Which software version could (or should) be installed on the A Z800 mobile phone with IMEI 666666/66/666666/6;
  4. Is the mobile phone software version 1.05/34/06 owned or officially issued by company &#34;A&#34;;
  5. Does company “A” currently have or did it previously have websites on the Internet that would host programs that can be used to “Russify” brand “A” mobile telephones that are not certified by the Ministry of Communications of the Russian Federation, in including where the software version is 1.34/05/06;
  6. How is the &#34;Russification&#34; of a mobile telephone set – this is a complete reinstallation (replacement) of the program that ensures its operation, or its partial change;
  7. Has your company entered into an agreement with Ivanov Ivan Ivanovich, a Russian citizen, registered at the address: Moscow, st. Vavilova 31/1, apt. 0 for the right to distribute and modify the software of the mobile telephone &#34;A Z 800&#34;;
  8. What is the violation of the rights of company &#34;A&#34; during the &#34;russification&#34; of the mobile telephone of the brand &#34;A Z 800&#34;, not intended for use in Russia.

Thanks in advance for your assistance in the investigation of the criminal case.

Senior Investigator

Ivanov

The campaign, initiated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, logically merges into those initiatives that they are now trying to adopt at the level of the customs code regarding mobile phones, as well as at the level of the Ministry of Communications regarding a voluntary declaration (there are a lot of interesting things, more on that in the coming days). One gets the impression that the Russian government has realized the need for coordinated action and is acting as a united front in this case. The ultimate goal of the innovations is to control the mobile phone market, first of all, to eliminate gray imports, in part to worsen the situation for the resale of phones without documents (an initiative to introduce a transaction passport from the same area), and finally, to increase the collection of taxes related to mobile phones ( real prices for customs clearance of equipment, control of sales volumes). The undertaking is interesting, it will be interesting to see what it will lead to in the end. For ordinary consumers, it’s worth considering, maybe going to a service center is preferable to 30 minutes spent on flashing at home? Or is the savings on a gray phone not so great compared to a possible criminal penalty? Let me remind you that when the screws are tightened in our country, random people are the first to suffer, and only at the second stage do they get to those who were related to at least something.

Flashing phones in Russia – criminal cases are open

Until recently, ordinary consumers were practically not involved in flashing phones, there was no relevant experience, software, and wide communities of consumers studying the “innards” of devices. Changing the factory software was the lot of engineers in service centers, company representatives or underground craftsmen who adapted unofficially imported devices to Russian realities, in particular, added a Russian language pack to them. De jure, such activity of changing the factory software in phones without the permission of the manufacturer is illegal and, moreover, can be prosecuted under Russian laws. De facto, this issue did not concern not only the Russian authorities, but also the manufacturers themselves, the tasks facing the representative offices were described, first of all, as the sale of phones, and secondly, their support.

Under these conditions, the fight against the theft of mobile phones is almost impossible, it is akin to the fight against windmills. The presence of a secondary market, primarily in the regions, the lack of databases of IMEI numbers from large operators and the unwillingness to carry out such work make all the efforts of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to restore order in vain. Given that the pressure on the ministry, both from society and from government authorities, is growing, the ministry thought about how, in the current market realities, they can try to solve the issue of theft of phones. The impossibility of preventing theft in every case is obvious, as is the impossibility of controlling all possible points of sale.The adoption of laws that will oblige operators to maintain black lists of numbers is a matter of time, although active work in this direction has already begun today. Under these conditions, the Ministry of Internal Affairs decided that it was possible to hit the market of stolen phones by studying their software. Indeed, often a sign that the device has been stolen is an attempt to change its IMEI number, although in most cases thieves do not even think about it. The first step in this direction has been taken, and from now on, the internal affairs bodies are studying not only the stickers on the boxes, the presence of a check, and similar evidence of the legality of the acquisition of the device or its importation into the country, but also the software of the device itself. Unofficial comments from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, on condition of anonymity, are as follows: “For the first time, we are making an attempt to take control of the secondary market for phones, to show that the state is able to control the implementation of laws. The liquidation of clandestine workshops for flashing phones, the seizure of tools from such Kulibins and the reality of punishment will make this type of business uninteresting for many. Knowing that trying to make money without the appropriate permits, licenses is a criminal offense will stop many. At the first stage, we work out our methods of work, collect information. The Internet provides us with invaluable help in this, here you can find prices for work, a list of underground masters, lists of people who are engaged in illegal changes in phone software on an ongoing basis.I would like to emphasize that any modification of the phone&#39;s firmware, whether it is downloading a ready-made firmware or changing an existing one, can be criminally punishable, unless the manufacturer himself provides such opportunities. A good example is Siemens. Users of the products of this manufacturer have the opportunity to independently update the software using the original website of the company. At the same time, there are many resources on the Russian part of the Internet where firmware for the company&#39;s phones is available, instructions for installing them, changing, adding or removing individual functions. If in the first case the use of the original service does not bear any responsibility, then in the second case it does. We plan to develop not only the owners of such resources, firmware, but also to work with people using modified firmware, they must understand the full measure of responsibility for their actions.

The conclusion from what has been said can be made simple and clear. The state decided to control the mobile phone market and came up with an effective way for this, namely control over the end consumer. Why this topic has become so acute right now is not entirely clear, either before joining the WTO, Western partners pointed out the level of such violations, or the realization of the need came on the ground. In any case, we, as end users, will be responsible to the state for our actions regarding our own mobile phones. Hard times will come for sites that only lived by information on how to install new firmware or providing a place to download it.

This topic would not be so acute if discussions of possible actions by the Ministry of Internal Affairs would remain only discussions. However, at the moment, a number of cases are being launched across the country against owners of mobile phones who have changed the firmware on them on their own. The article of the Criminal Code applied against individuals is still the same – 272 part 1 or 2. Recall its content:

1. Illegal access to legally protected computer information, that is, information on a machine medium, in an electronic computer (ECM), computer system or their network, if this act entailed the destruction, blocking, modification or copying of information, disruption of the computer, computer system or their network,
shall be punishable by a fine in the amount of from two hundred to five hundred times the minimum wage, or in the amount of the wage or salary, or any other income of the convicted person for a period of two to five months, or by corrective labor for a term of six months to one year, or imprisonment for up to two years.

2. The same act committed by a group of persons by prior agreement, or by an organized group, or by a person using his official position, as well as having access to a computer, a computer system or their network,
labor or in the amount of wages or other income of the convicted person for a period of five to eight months, or by corrective labor for a term of one to two years, or by arrest for a term of three to six months, or by deprivation of liberty for a term of up to five years.

Let&#39;s give a version of the request from the Ministry of Internal Affairs to the representative office, which describes one of the real cases (all names, data, have been changed for obvious reasons):

Head of Representative Office

Company A

In my proceedings there is a criminal case No. 300000000 initiated against Ivanov I.I. on the grounds of a crime, under Part.1 Article. 272 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation

In the course of the investigation, it was established that Ivanov I.I. made a &#34;russification&#34; (software modification) of the mobile telephone A Z 800. IMEI 666666/66/666666/6 using a computer and connecting cords.

From the available materials of the criminal case, it follows that before the &#34;Russification&#34; of the mobile telephone &#34;AZ 800&#34; was carried out, the following software version was installed in it – 1.34/05/06, after Russification it became – 1.34/01/02.

In this regard, on the basis of part 4 of article 21 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation, I ask you to inform:

  1. Is the mobile telephone &#34;A Z 800&#34; certified by the Ministry of Communications of the Russian Federation, having IMEI 666666/66/666666/6;
  2. According to the IMEI number of this telephone, for which country it was intended;
  3. Which software version could (or should) be installed on the A Z800 mobile phone with IMEI 666666/66/666666/6;
  4. Is the mobile phone software version 1.05/34/06 owned or officially issued by company &#34;A&#34;;
  5. Does company “A” currently have or previously had websites on the Internet that would host programs that can be used to “russify” brand “A” mobile telephones that are not certified by the Ministry of Communications of the Russian Federation, in including where the software version is 1.34/05/06;
  6. How is the &#34;Russification&#34; of a mobile telephone set – this is a complete reinstallation (replacement) of the program that ensures its operation, or its partial change;
  7. Has your company entered into an agreement with Ivanov Ivan Ivanovich, a Russian citizen, registered at the address: Moscow, st. Vavilova 31/1, apt. 0 for the right to distribute and modify the software of the mobile telephone &#34;A Z 800&#34;;
  8. What is the violation of the rights of company &#34;A&#34; during the &#34;russification&#34; of the mobile telephone of the brand &#34;A Z 800&#34;, not intended for use in Russia.

Thanks in advance for your assistance in the investigation of the criminal case.

Senior Investigator

Ivanov

The campaign, initiated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, logically merges into those initiatives that they are now trying to adopt at the level of the customs code regarding mobile phones, as well as at the level of the Ministry of Communications regarding a voluntary declaration (there are a lot of interesting things, more on that in the coming days). One gets the impression that the Russian government has realized the need for coordinated action and is acting as a united front in this case. The ultimate goal of the innovations is to control the mobile phone market, first of all, to eliminate gray imports, in part to worsen the situation for the resale of phones without documents (an initiative to introduce a transaction passport from the same area), and finally, to increase the collection of taxes related to mobile phones ( real prices for customs clearance of equipment, control of sales volumes). The undertaking is interesting, it will be interesting to see what it will lead to in the end. For ordinary consumers, it’s worth considering, maybe going to a service center is preferable to 30 minutes spent on flashing at home? Or is the savings on a gray phone not so great compared to a possible criminal penalty? Let me remind you that when the screws are tightened in our country, random people are the first to suffer, and only at the second stage do they get to those who were related to at least something.

Flashing phones in Russia – criminal cases are open

Until recently, ordinary consumers were practically not involved in flashing phones, there was no relevant experience, software, and wide communities of consumers studying the “innards” of devices. Changing the factory software was the lot of engineers in service centers, company representatives or underground craftsmen who adapted unofficially imported devices to Russian realities, in particular, added a Russian language pack to them. De jure, such activity of changing the factory software in phones without the permission of the manufacturer is illegal and, moreover, can be prosecuted under Russian laws. De facto, this issue did not concern not only the Russian authorities, but also the manufacturers themselves, the tasks facing the representative offices were described, first of all, as the sale of phones, and secondly, their support.

With the growth of the mobile phone market, it began to attract the attention of authorities, from customs to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. It is no secret that the Ministry of Internal Affairs does not blame only the lazy that the underground market of stolen cell phones is huge, and the police are not only unable to deal with an avalanche of such thefts, but often do not accept applications from victims. The secondary market formed by stolen phones is able to compete with the market of official sales. The most conservative estimates show that every fifth phone in Russia is stolen, and if we talk about the used market. devices, All Colors of Aquarium Plants, then every second. In monetary terms, we have long been talking about millions of dollars, if not hundreds of millions.

Under these conditions, the fight against the theft of mobile phones is almost impossible, it is akin to the fight against windmills. The presence of a secondary market, primarily in the regions, the lack of databases of IMEI numbers from large operators and the unwillingness to carry out such work make all the efforts of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to restore order in vain. Given that the pressure on the ministry, both from society and from government authorities, is growing, the ministry thought about how, in the current market realities, they can try to solve the issue of theft of phones. The impossibility of preventing theft in every case is obvious, as is the impossibility of controlling all possible points of sale. The adoption of laws that will oblige operators to maintain black lists of numbers is a matter of time, although active work in this direction has already begun today. Under these conditions, the Ministry of Internal Affairs decided that it was possible to hit the market of stolen phones by studying their software. Indeed, often a sign that the device has been stolen is an attempt to change its IMEI number, although in most cases thieves do not even think about it.The first step in this direction has been taken, and from now on, the internal affairs bodies are studying not only the stickers on the boxes, the presence of a check, and similar evidence of the legality of the acquisition of the device or its importation into the country, but also the software of the device itself. Unofficial comments from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, on condition of anonymity, are as follows: “For the first time, we are making an attempt to take control of the secondary market for phones, to show that the state is able to control the implementation of laws. The liquidation of clandestine workshops for flashing phones, the seizure of tools from such Kulibins and the reality of punishment will make this type of business uninteresting for many. Knowing that trying to make money without the appropriate permits, licenses is a criminal offense will stop many. At the first stage, we work out our methods of work, collect information. The Internet provides us with invaluable help in this, here you can find prices for work, a list of underground masters, lists of people who are engaged in illegal changes in phone software on an ongoing basis. I would like to emphasize that any modification of the phone&#39;s firmware, whether it is downloading a ready-made firmware or changing an existing one, can be criminally punishable, unless the manufacturer himself provides such opportunities. A good example is Siemens. Users of the products of this manufacturer have the opportunity to independently update the software using the original website of the company.At the same time, there are many resources on the Russian part of the Internet where firmware for the company&#39;s phones is available, instructions for installing them, changing, adding or removing individual functions. If in the first case the use of the original service does not bear any responsibility, then in the second case it does. We plan to develop not only the owners of such resources, firmware, but also to work with people using modified firmware, they must understand the full measure of responsibility for their actions.

The conclusion from what has been said can be made simple and clear. The state decided to control the mobile phone market and came up with an effective way for this, namely control over the end consumer. Why this topic has become so acute right now is not entirely clear, either before joining the WTO, Western partners pointed out the level of such violations, or the realization of the need came on the ground. In any case, we, as end users, will be responsible to the state for our actions regarding our own mobile phones. Hard times will come for sites that only lived by information on how to install new firmware or providing a place to download it.

This topic would not be so acute if discussions of possible actions by the Ministry of Internal Affairs would remain only discussions. However, at the moment, a number of cases are being launched across the country against owners of mobile phones who have changed the firmware on them on their own. The article of the Criminal Code applied against individuals is still the same – 272 part 1 or 2. Recall its content:

1. Illegal access to legally protected computer information, that is, information on a machine medium, in an electronic computer (ECM), computer system or their network, if this act entailed the destruction, blocking, modification or copying of information, disruption of the computer, computer system or their network, – shall be punishable by a fine in the amount of from two hundred to five hundred times the minimum wage, or in the amount of the wage or salary, or any other income of the convicted person for a period of two to five months, or by corrective labor for a term of six months to one year, or by deprivation of liberty for a term of up to two years.

2. The same act committed by a group of persons by prior agreement, or by an organized group, or by a person using his official position, as well as having access to a computer, a computer system or their network, is punishable by a fine in the amount of from five hundred to eight hundred times the minimum wage or in the amount of wages or other income of the convicted person for a period of five to eight months, or by corrective labor for a term of one to two years, or by arrest for a term of three to six months, or by deprivation of liberty for a term of up to five years.

Let&#39;s give a version of the request from the Ministry of Internal Affairs to the representative office, which describes one of the real cases (all names, data, have been changed for obvious reasons):

Head of Representative Office

In my proceedings there is a criminal case No. 300000000, initiated against Ivanov I.I. on the grounds of a crime, under Part.1 Article. 272 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation

In the course of the investigation, it was established that Ivanov I.I. made a &#34;russification&#34; (software modification) of the mobile telephone A Z 800. IMEI 666666/66/666666/6 using a computer and connecting cords.

From the available materials of the criminal case, it follows that before the &#34;Russification&#34; of the mobile telephone &#34;AZ 800&#34; was carried out, the following software version was installed in it – 1.34/05/06, after Russification it became – 1.34/01 /02.

In this regard, on the basis of part 4 of article 21 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation, I ask you to inform:

  1. Is the mobile telephone &#34;A Z 800&#34; certified by the Ministry of Communications of the Russian Federation, having IMEI 666666/66/666666/6;
  2. According to the IMEI number of this telephone, for which country it was intended;
  3. Which software version could (or should) be installed on the A Z800 mobile phone with IMEI 666666/66/666666/6;
  4. Is the mobile phone software version 1.05/34/06 owned or officially issued by company &#34;A&#34;;
  5. Does company “A” currently have or did it previously have websites on the Internet that would host programs that can be used to “Russify” brand “A” mobile telephones that are not certified by the Ministry of Communications of the Russian Federation, in including where the software version is 1.34/05/06;
  6. How is the &#34;Russification&#34; of a mobile telephone set – this is a complete reinstallation (replacement) of the program that ensures its operation, or its partial change;
  7. Has your company entered into an agreement with Ivanov Ivan Ivanovich, a Russian citizen, registered at the address: Moscow, st. Vavilova 31/1, apt. 0 for the right to distribute and modify the software of the mobile telephone &#34;A Z 800&#34;;
  8. What is the violation of the rights of company &#34;A&#34; during the &#34;russification&#34; of the mobile telephone of the brand &#34;A Z 800&#34;, not intended for use in Russia.

Thanks in advance for the assistance provided in the investigation of the criminal case.

The campaign, initiated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, logically merges into those initiatives that they are now trying to adopt at the level of the customs code regarding mobile phones, as well as at the level of the Ministry of Communications regarding a voluntary declaration (there are a lot of interesting things, more on that in the coming days). One gets the impression that the Russian government has realized the need for coordinated action and is acting as a united front in this case. The ultimate goal of the innovations is to control the mobile phone market, first of all, to eliminate gray imports, in part to worsen the situation for the resale of phones without documents (an initiative to introduce a transaction passport from the same area), and finally, to increase the collection of taxes related to mobile phones ( real prices for customs clearance of equipment, control of sales volumes). The undertaking is interesting, it will be interesting to see what it will lead to in the end. For ordinary consumers, it’s worth considering, maybe going to a service center is preferable to 30 minutes spent on flashing at home? Or is the savings on a gray phone not so great compared to a possible criminal penalty? Let me remind you that when the screws are tightened in our country, random people are the first to suffer, and only at the second stage do they get to those who were related to at least something.