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Question 15

Combating counterfeit and stolen ICT equipment

(Continuation of Q8/11)

The work of this Question during the last study period was mainly focused on the development of recommendations and technical reports on combating counterfeit ICT equipment. The growing usage of ICT Equipment in people’s daily lives in recent years resulted in increased problems related to the sale, circulation and use of counterfeit equipment in most markets as well as their adverse consequences for manufacturers, users and governments.

A considerable number of ICT equipment have been found to be counterfeit and have created concerns about national security, performance, quality of service delivery and revenue losses for all stakeholders. This has led to calls by ITU Member States, particularly those in developing countries to address the issue, especially the negative effects and to study any positive impact of measures taken.
In addition, the demand for services, resulting in the increased production and availability of ICT equipment has also seen the rise of stolen equipment. Some of these equipment are returned to the market after they have been tampered with and their identity modified, hence bypassing identity blacklisting solutions implemented by Governments and mobile network operators. Consequently, most countries around the world are not only engaged in combating counterfeit ICT equipment, but also have put in place measures against theft of ICT equipment and some of them to tackle stolen equipment with modified identities from reactivating on networks and to effectively manage the situation.

During the last study period, a technical report on “Counterfeit ICT Devices” was published by ITU-T and a number of new work items have been established.

Within the ITU and around the world, there have been debates as to whether or not conformance and interoperability testing could be one of the solutions to combat counterfeit ICT equipment. ITU Resolution 188 (Busan, 2014) of the Plenipotentiary Conference, invites Member States to take all necessary measures to combat counterfeit telecommunication/ICT devices. Any unique and persistent identifiers could allow the recognition of genuine products. This Question intends to explore all possibilities to address this problem and in particular its relations to products supply chain identity management, traceability, security, privacy and trust of people and networks.

Cooperation among ITU T study groups, between ITU T and ITU D as well as with external bodies outside the ITU (in particular with SDOs), will be required to gather a complete information and understanding on the subject including the organization of seminar/workshops in collaboration with stakeholders. Coordination among relevant organizations is also necessary to fulfil these tasks.

This Question will maintain the Technical Report on Counterfeit ICT equipment (December 2015).

Study items to be considered include, but are not limited to: Tasks
Tasks include, but are not limited to: An up-to-date status of work under this Question is contained in the SG 11 work programme


Recommendations Recommendations Questions Study groups Standardization bodies