The UK police have been trying a new technique to reduce drug trades by remotely disabling drug dealers' phones, rendering the task of contacting their customers useless. Officers have referred to this method as a "DDoS-style" technique, although it could mean anything.
Alex Murray, an official from West Midlands Police, spoke at the Society of Evidence Based Policing (SEBP) conference last week about the method used. He explained it as a way to deny targeting offenders their supply network, according to conference attendee Dan Reynolds, a serving officer in Cheshire.
In May of last year, the UK police were already said to be working on remotely disabling phones through the Drug Dealing Telecommunications Restriction Orders Regulations, even if no crime was to be committed. In a section of the DDTRO, it is specified that the UK police could send a restriction order to a telecommunication provider in order for any phone service to be disabled remotely by the telco company, which is most likely what law enforcement is truly doing instead of a real DDoS attack on the dealers' phones.
According to a copy of the regulation, devices can be identified by their IMEI, its IMSI, an Android ID and much more.
This system would be put in place if the police cannot prosecute a drug dealer, but would still like to put a hold or interfere with the drug trades and their supply channel.
The West Midlands Police, as well as the National Crime Agency, both declined to further comment on the matter as they are not allowed to discuss the techniques used by law enforcement on stopping drug-related crimes.