WhiteFlye

Cellphone cloning legality?

26 posts in this topic

So I just picked up a couple of Kyocera 2235 phones and a data cable real cheap and have transferred my phone service (Verizon Wireless) to one of them and was thinking of attempting to clone it.

First of all though, is it legal to clone your own phone? I have read conflicting views on the net and haven't been able to find any solid info one way or another.

Second I have seen that article by tele in 2600 v21 #3 and it looks damn easy, provided the "digital networks leave the A-key turned off or if the A-key is set to all zeros". I can't imagine many networks not turning this A-key on however. Otherwise it seem that fraud would be rampant, because are not both your ESN and MIN broadcast?

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i dont see why it would be illegal to clone your own phone. the calls you would be making wouldnt be fraudulent.

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I don't think that your cell provider would like you using 2 cell phones with the same account on them. Why? Cause your cell phone would show up as being registered with 2 cell towers. So let's say that I call your phone and one of your phones is registered with cell site A and your second phone is registered with cell site B. Which one of your phones would ring?

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If not illegal then it's got to be against their TOS. They don't want copies of a cell phone floating around. What if a family bought one cell phone plan for use "in emergencies", and then cloned the phone and gave one to each member? They would lose money in situations like that.

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If not illegal then it's got to be against their TOS. They don't want copies of a cell phone floating around. What if a family bought one cell phone plan for use "in emergencies", and then cloned the phone and gave one to each member? They would lose money in situations like that.

I wouldn't doubt that Jberry, as Verizon loves to push those Family Share plans where every member has to purchase an additional phone and each new line costs an extra 20 bucks. Cloning would effectively negate this massively profitable scheme. I mean, the local Verizon saps give me the evil eye every time I bring in a phone I have purchased off of ebay to be switched over to my service, which I usually do every few months just for fun.

Anyways, I went ahead and cloned my phone and it works flawlessly after updating the cloned phone via *228. I can switch from phone to phone with ease, I have yet to try both phones on at once however because I am a little leery of Verizon spotting two phones on the network at once and deciding to freeze my service, as this is my only phone service. Does anyone know of any providers that will allow you to have no contract (month-to-month basis) AND allow you to use your own CMDA phone?

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Certainly sounds like it. Anything that might even have the remote possiblity of losing money is illegal to these companies.

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Does anyone know of any providers that will allow you to have no contract (month-to-month basis) AND allow you to use your own CMDA phone?

You can do this with Beyond Wireless (a reseller, I couldnt find a site for them), it is prepaid though.

Yea, there is no benefit to Verizon or any other company to allow you to have service on multiple phones.

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You can do this with Beyond Wireless (a reseller, I couldnt find a site for them), it is prepaid though.

thanks GIJoe, I found the company at http://www.gobeyondwireless.com/ and will give them a call tomorrow to see what phones are compatible with their service. I would think the Kyocera 2235 would be, as there a 'Rental Timer' menu in the programming section of these phones.

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I would certainly think this is illegal under the DMCA, as you have to reverse engineer the phone and change it's serial number, even if 'cloning your own phone' isn't illegal, changing the actual serial number of a different phone is. And certainly setting the serial # of a phone that you manufactured yourself to something that's already on the market would also probably be illegal. I would think that technically anytime you try to change the serial number of a phone it is illegal, i.e. you steal a Keyocera phone and change the serial # to yours and use it on the network, now you're using stolen property, and it can't be tracked because it has a different serial number now.

[EDIT] What i'm trying to say is, this would be the equivelent of buying a vehicle that's the same Year/Make/Model, and then swapping the VINs and plates to make it apear as if the vehicle you're driving is the one registered to you when in fact it is not.

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What makes a vehicle "the one registered to you?"

If the vehicles have 100 percent matches on parts, and 100 percent matches on make/model, then what makes them different?

Is it the rust? The body damage? The dirt in the back seats? If I clean the dirt out of the back seat, is the car no longer registered to me? What makes two cellphones different?

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Come to find out there is a specific law pertaining to the act of cloning phones and it is not good news for curious phreaks. Simply possessing a cloned phone is illegal under the Wireless Telephone Protection Act (WTPA), passed by Congress in 1998. Before this Act prosecuters had to prove intent to defraud, but under pressure from the telecomm industry the WTPA was pushed through Congress in much the same way the DMCA was I'm sure.

Of the instances cited in the above document the median sentence for cloning was 14 months incarceration, with a maximum possible of 15 years! And if you happen to have a firearm in your possesion as well, kiss your ass goodbye.

It was kinda funny to see that "Representative Sam Johnson, who introduced the House version of the bill, was victimized by cellular phone fraud. He was billed for over $6,000 in calls made by a cloned phone."

Edited by WhiteFlye
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What makes a vehicle "the one registered to you?"

If the vehicles have 100 percent matches on parts, and 100 percent matches on make/model, then what makes them different?

The two vehicles would not have a 100% match on parts, because their VINs could not be the same, as lucky said. Or are you trying to state that if you own two exact same cars that should have the legal right to switch the same VIN labels from car to car as you choose which one to use, because that is an entirely worthless concept.

Hence,

What makes two cellphones different?

Would be the same thing, their serial number.

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It doesn't matter wether it is illegal or not. All your phonez r belong to us!

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Sprint PCS my friend...This company is the stuff of legend. I'm grandfathered into an old employee plan where I pay ZERO DOLLARS for unlimited usage. The only problem is if the phone breaks or I have to do an ESN swap I lose my plan. Ever wonder why Bernie S. uses Sprint PCS? and his phone is held together with bailing wire and duct tape? Sprint PCS will also activate U.S. citizens postpaid plans sometimes with no deposit even if the customer provides a social of 000-00-0000.It's even encouraged at the retail level in cases where a credit check shows the customer as having a high deposit like 400 dollars per line with their social secuirty number. Rerun credit check with all zeros and the deposit gets lowered to 125 the lowest deposit of any cell carrier. I've been told this is starting to become an issue with the Feds (PATRIOT ACT)and the higher ups at Sprint because of rampant abuse. So much identity theft and fraud is caused by Sprint it is truly mind boggling. Spints trying to tighten up credit restrictions and Verizon already refuses to activate US citizens with no social.

Edited by Sprint Carcking
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Wait. so are you saying you had a normal paid employee plan, which after a while they grandfathered the whole thing to make it free? If so, nice deal. If only you could not have to pay the taxes and surcharges. Why do you lose your plan if your phone breaks? You should be able to keep the grandfathered plan as long as you dont change anything within the plan I thought?

Reminds me of AOI when Mitnick is like "The Kevin Mitnick phone plan - Zero a month, zero, but it could cost you big in the end, if you know what I mean" :lol: (or maybe now it is $99, right lucky? ^_^ )

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Wait. so are you saying you had a normal paid employee plan, which after a while they grandfathered the whole thing to make it free?

Here's clarification of what "grandfathered" means:

It's pretty obvious that back in the dark, prehistoric days of Sprint PCS, they gave their employees completely free mobile phone service. Once the company grew beyond service in a few key markets, the free plan was deemed too costly to the company, and was replaced with something less lavish (probably either a stipend of free minutes every month or a percentage discount on the bill). However, those that already had the plan were allowed to keep the plan just as long as no changes were made to the service.

The term comes from post-civil-war US history:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grandfather_clause

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Crow_law

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I say shoot the moon and go for it man just keep it on the D.L.

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Wait. so are you saying you had a normal paid employee plan, which after a while they grandfathered the whole thing to make it free?

Here's clarification of what "grandfathered" means:

It's pretty obvious that back in the dark, prehistoric days of Sprint PCS, they gave their employees completely free mobile phone service. Once the company grew beyond service in a few key markets, the free plan was deemed too costly to the company, and was replaced with something less lavish (probably either a stipend of free minutes every month or a percentage discount on the bill). However, those that already had the plan were allowed to keep the plan just as long as no changes were made to the service.

The term comes from post-civil-war US history:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grandfather_clause

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Crow_law

Heh, I did not know it had such a historic background! Anyway, what I was going off of was knowing sometimes the wireless companies, if you have been a customer for a while, will 'grandfather' some of your options, say giving you 500 text messages for $3 a month, or some kind of reduced price as an incentive to stay. Sorry if I used the term too loosely :P Nonetheless, from what I hear, the employee plans for wireless companies are still today pretty cheap, although I don't know what any of Sprint's are. If you could scan a copy of your bill Spring Carcking (minus all personal info of course) it would be kind of cool to see that . I wonder what they call the plan....

Correction on my Mitnick quote from AOI, it actually states: "..."the Kevin Mitnick cellular phone plan" - zero a month, zero a minute, but you may end up paying a heavy price in the end, if you know what I mean."

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Strom is correct, in the early years of Sprint, employees could sign up for totally free service. Nowadays you get 2000 minutes and unlimited downloads...not a bad plan for 20 bucks a month. The reason why I cannot change phone is basically...how can I explain this. The old plan is no longer in the billing computer and with Sprints clunky systems there is no way to tell the computer, keep the customers old plan just change the ESN to a diferent phone. Sorry it doesn't work like that unfortunately, the old plans not in the computer anymore so to speak.

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Yes, I understand. However, what is on your bill then? You still get a bill for all the taxes, surcharges, and fees correct?

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Quick bump before this thread dies.

SC, could you give us an (edited) scan of the bill?

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I know this is a bit late, but better late than never. I don't know about Sprint, but I inquired about something similar a while back to a friend who works for Cricket Communications (small cell provider). My interest at the time was getting an old brick phone to use for the hell of it when I wanted, but I didn't want to pay Sprint $20 (or whatever it is) a month to add a phone, and I wanted to use the same phone number. The answer I got was if their equipment ever sees that an ESN is registering more than once on one of their towers, or is registering on two different towers, there is an automated process that will disable service for that account until they figure out what exactly happened. With Sprint being a larger company, they may not monitor it as closely, but I think you'll be fine as long as you only have one phone on at a time.

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