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California lawmakers introduce a bill forcing mobile devices sold in the state to have a kill switch

0. phoneArena posted on 08 Feb 2014, 02:02

The lawmakers in the state of California have introduced a bill that could reduce the number of smartphone thefts in the state. Introduced on Friday, the bill requires new smartphones and tablets sold in the state to come with something akin to a digital kill switch. This would allow a stolen device to be remotely bricked, thus making it worthless to any thieves...

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posted on 08 Feb 2014, 02:20 5

1. chocowii (Posts: 470; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)

Just for fun, why not put a self destruct feature on all phones? That would be great! LOL!

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 02:31

2. Sparhawk (Posts: 75; Member since: 10 Mar 2012)

Hasn't Android and IOS included this feature in it for several versions now? Whether or not people USE it is a different story.

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 04:45 2

4. Ant34 (Posts: 193; Member since: 10 Aug 2013)

I would be hesitant to use to it. If I killed the phone and the phone is recovered then I might as well throw it in the garbage because it's useless to me.

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 09:35 2

5. johnehms09 (Posts: 50; Member since: 17 Jan 2014)

The purpose of this just letting snatcher to know that all stolen phone is useless.. If thats the case who will steal your phone now.. T

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 03:22 1

3. Reality_Check (Posts: 277; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)

Of course the bl**dy carriers will oppose a 'kill switch.' It's them that are losing their business :|

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 09:50 1

6. Augustine (Posts: 1043; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)

Theft is already illegal, so this is less about crime than about sneaking a dictatorial feature. Imagine that America would let it happen here what's happened in Egypt, Tunisia and Ukraine where the people organized themselves to topple their petty tyrants using cell phones. If the switch exists, anyone can flip it.

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 09:58 5

7. mclifford81 (Posts: 76; Member since: 26 Jan 2010)

Yes let's give the government more power over our freedom. Good choice California. Oh wait I forget you also had the Terminator as your governor before. Remember how that movie turned out?

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 11:25 1

8. Joshing4fun (Posts: 1237; Member since: 13 Aug 2010)

I love the idea. That way people won't even bother trying to steal them anymore knowing they will be deactivated.

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 11:29 2

9. bigstrudel (Posts: 523; Member since: 20 Aug 2012)

Sounds familiar to me.

Syria shut down the internet to its citizens to curtail civilian uprisings. No communication = No resistance. And now the Govt', (Or anyone who hacks the system the kill switch is on) will be able to stop all long distance communication in California by flipping 2 switches.

If you don't want your Phone stolen....don't leave it places. Take it out of your pocket to use it, then put it back in your pocket when you're done. It's extremely simple. Treat the device like the half a grand its worth.

And let me keep my freedoms instead of the government babysitting people who cant take care of themselves or their belongings.

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 12:51

10. bigstrudel (Posts: 523; Member since: 20 Aug 2012)

On a side note. Disabling the Kill Switch may be a great reason to Root devices again :)

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 17:06 1

11. Dingy_cellar_dweller (Posts: 261; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

Kill switch = more sales.
Win win.

posted on 10 Feb 2014, 03:36

12. allenzhang (Posts: 5; Member since: 25 Jan 2014)

hoh, interesting

posted on 10 Feb 2014, 08:37 1

13. PhantomSectre (Posts: 9; Member since: 25 Sep 2011)

Right... the phone is stolen and the thieves simply reflash the phone with new firmware. So much for the kill switch idea, eh? You need software to operate the hardware. The kill switch would have to be operated with software. When software is involved, it's only a matter of time before they find a way around it. Look at iOS. Every time they "fix" iOS to prevent jailbreaking, the dev team finds a way around it.

posted on 10 Feb 2014, 09:14 1

14. tokuzumi (Posts: 1203; Member since: 27 Aug 2009)

I can see a lot of eBay/CL ripoffs occurring because of this. Someone could sell their perfectly working phone, say it's stolen, and brick the new user's device. The new user would have basically 0 recourse, and could potentially be out hundreds of dollars. There would need to be some type of phone transfer documentation, like a car title, so something like this wouldn't happen. But that just leads to more gov't intervention, or some third party selling this service for some crazy fee.

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