Stolen Devices - Reddit Thread

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HAMnotham
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 3:58 pm

Stolen Devices - Reddit Thread

Postby HAMnotham » Wed May 16, 2018 4:08 pm

There's a pretty spirited thread regarding the SDRPlay announcement on stolen devices over on Reddit (QRZ Junior). There is question that SDRPlay is overstepping its boundaries by implementing blacklisting, and potentially "calling home" like HRD did a few months ago.

https://www.reddit.com/r/amateurradio/comments/8jodaz/stolen_devices_sdrplay_community_forum/

Is there a way that SDRPlay can speak to this? The integrity of SDRPlay is being called into question, and I feel it's only fair that you have a chance to respond.
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Tech_Support
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Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:00 pm

Re: Stolen Devices - Reddit Thread

Postby Tech_Support » Thu May 17, 2018 8:05 am

Further to our previous post on this matter, what people will not yet be aware of is that we also had a consignment of the new product that is due to be announced tomorrow stolen. We have had three separate consignments stolen and devices from all three have turned up on the same ebay account and so this suggests that a single person is responsible for all three thefts.

The decision to blacklist devices was taken to target the as of yet unsold devices to render them worthless and to make it pointless for the thieves to attempt to sell them. Of the consignment of RSP1As and RSP2pros, we have reason to believe that the majority remain unsold and so we took this action to render them worthless and deter the thieves from attempting to sell them.

By making this public in the way we did, we are giving the following messages:

1. We have end to end traceability of our products from the point of manufacture to the point that they reach our seller. If any are stolen, we will know and we will know the serial numbers of the devices taken.

2. Via the serial numbers we can render these devices worthless and so there is no point in attempting to sell them. The unwitting purchaser will become aware that they have received a stolen device and will want their money back.

3. Because we can make these devices worthless, there is no point in stealing any more of our products.

We made public the serial numbers of the RSP1As and RSP2Pros public and very clearly asked anyone who may have purchased one of these devices (believing them to be genuine) to contact us. Those that do and assist us in tracking down the thieves will be treated VERY sympathetically.

We will NOT penalise innocent people so that assumption that this is our intent is frankly WRONG!!

Our objective here is to gather as much information as possible so that it can be forwarded to the relevant law enforcement agencies to assist them in tracking down the culprits.

Some of the comments that we have seen on this subject by ill-informed people are massively wide of the mark. We have a responsibility to gather as much information as possible and forward it to the relevant authorities. We have also suffered a considerable financial loss, not just in terms of the cost of the goods, but also in terms of the lost sale opportunities. Some of the comments that we have seen regarding insurance cover are equally ill informed. For insurance claims to be taken seriously, you have an obligation to report the thefts and take all possible steps to assist in the recovery of the stolen goods that that is precisely what we are doing.

Finally, we have NEVER said that we will "brick" the devices. That is an incorrect assumption that has been made. Blacklisting and 'bricking' are two quite different things.

Sincerely

SDRplay Support

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HAMnotham
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 3:58 pm

Re: Stolen Devices - Reddit Thread

Postby HAMnotham » Thu May 17, 2018 3:07 pm

Thanks for the great explanation! I personally had no doubt that SDRPlay is doing the right thing. Some of the posts I've read on the topic are way out-of-bounds, in my opinion. Sorry you are having to deal with this.
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Tech_Support
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Re: Stolen Devices - Reddit Thread

Postby Tech_Support » Thu May 17, 2018 4:32 pm

Thank you HAMnothan!
There are a couple of points that we wish to clarify further. Our SDRuno software has always had to be able to read the serial number of devices so that it can identify the device type and thus be configured in the appropriate way. This has never been hidden from anyone (you can read the serial number via the options panel). Furthermore:

1. We do NOT track devices once they have left an authorised seller.
2. The devices do not "call home" to be authorised to operate. Anyone without an internet connection will attest to this.
3. Future versions of SDRuno will contain a blacklist of serial numbers of devices that we know (via our sellers) have been stolen.
4. Innocent purchasers of these devices who contact us and assist us in providing information that maybe helpful in tracking down the thieves will have their devices white-listed.

This is the last statements that we will make on this matter.

Sincerely

SDRplay Tech_Support

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Roger
Posts: 100
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:59 pm

Re: Stolen Devices - Reddit Thread

Postby Roger » Thu May 17, 2018 5:01 pm

SDRplay has the best customer support of any ham radio product I have ever purchased. They have a right to protect their property from being used by thieves. Blacklisting stolen devices by putting the device serial number in their software and not allowing it to operate is a reasonable thing to do. Cellphone companies in Canada where I live do this with stolen phones (company or user owned). Purchasers of any kind of stolen property in most juristictions will have the property confiscated if found by authorities and receive no compensation. SDRplay has offered to help purchasers of these stolen devices if they help in the investigation which seems more than fair to me.

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