The Belgian government has decided to move ahead with a plan which will force all users of pre-paid mobile SIM cards to register their details in an effort to restrict the use of anonymous phones for terrorist or criminal activities. The legislation, which is expected to be introduced later this year, will cover both new and existing pre-paid SIM cards. New numbers will not go live until the user has registered their details, while existing pre-paid customers will be given six months to confirm their identity or face their number being blocked. Mobile operators will be responsible for ensuring their users register their details and for storing the customer information.
A press release on the Belgian telecoms minister’s website states that the SIM registration bill (second reading) will now be sent to the Council of State and the Privacy Commission for advice, which will be followed by scheduling in the Consultation Committee for approval by the Regions. The intention is for the new rules to take effect ‘this autumn’, once Parliament has granted its approval.