That's what NPR was saying (more likely, repeating from an administration official; I don't remember), in reporting the news that the biggest carriers ("only" the top four. So, that's like, what, 99% of the market?) and the government are working together to create a database of stolen smartphones. The idea is that no phone from that database will be able to be activated.
I have mixed feelings about the whole enterprise. It feels awfully Big Brother-ish, but it could also be very useful.
Where I had a significant problem, though, was in the assertion that it would reduce the value of a stolen phone down to zero. That's certainly false, as the phone likely provides a treasure trove of info for ID theft-like activities. Going phishing?
Oh, and is it possible to remove phones from this database?