Carriers shoot down plan for remote kill switch on handsets

Carriers shoot down plan for remote kill switch on handsets
San Francisco Attorney General George Gascón sent out a tweet on Tuesday, revealing that major carriers have shot down plans for a remote kill switch for smartphones that was developed by Samsung. Gascón and  New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman have been trying to get manufacturers to add a kill switch to all smartphones so that service could be completely shut off remotely in case a phone is stolen. By turning off service and preventing stolen phones from working, it was hoped that thieves would not have the incentive to steal a phone since it could easily be deactivated


Both Gascón and Schneiderman are law-enforcement officials in two cities where smartphone theft remains a major problem. Schneiderman wrote to major manufacturers like Apple, Samsung, Motorola and Microsoft, asking them to come up with a way to prevent their devices from being targeted by thieves. Apple has such a feature in iOS 7. Apple iDevices stolen or lost cannot be activated without punching in the user's iOS user account name and password.

San Francisco's DA wants a remote kill switch on smartphones

San Francisco's DA wants a remote kill switch on smartphones

Jamie Hastings, vice president of external and state affairs for CTIA, is trying to get a national stolen gadget database together. "We're pleased the carriers met all of the deadlines so far, and are on track to meet the final one to integrate the 4G/LTE database by November 30, 2013," said the CTIA exexcutive. The CTIA has placed its support behind a bill written by Sen. Chuck Schumer,that would increase the penalties for those who steal a smartphone or modify one. This past summer, Gascón said that both Apple and Samsung had shown improvements in developing ways to reduce strong arm thefts of smartphones.

source: @SFDAOffice via PCMag

FEATURED VIDEO

20 Comments

1. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Woah, back up. "The CTIA has placed its support behind a bill written by Sen. Chuck Schumer,that would increase the penalties for those who steal a smartphone or *modify* one. " Umm, did I read this correctly? What would fall under this term. If it means modify with intent to sale a stolen device, then whatever. But if this is any kind of modification, it needs to be stuck down immediately.

2. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

Yes *modify one* seems like a term that if you root or unlock the bootloader then you might face criminal charges. That term *modify one* makes me shiver

6. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

XDA will not be happy to hear this if it were true.

9. JC557

Posts: 1917; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

The fact that the CTIA would support this POS is troubling as well. Chuck Schumer hasn't done any good for his constituents so no surprise there.

13. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Sounds like a plot by manufacturers and carriers to snuff out the jailbreak/rooting community.

18. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

I love rooting. Once you go root, you'll never go back.

20. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

So I guess there is no comment from PA to clarify the situation?

3. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Yes this would be an additional security and thieves would think twice to steal the phone where we can remotely kill or switch off the phone.

10. JC557

Posts: 1917; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Except who would control it? I don't trust any carriers to be in control of such a thing. Though there may be other motives as to why they would shoot down this bill.

4. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Is the SF District Attorney a 14 year old girl?

11. JC557

Posts: 1917; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

This is San Francisco we're talking about. Former hippies who now want the government to take care of things for them. From what I've gathered here in NYC is that the people having their phones stolen are mostly iphone users who just prance around with their device without any regard to their surroundings. Hipsters.

5. diyi75

Posts: 72; Member since: Oct 30, 2013

Good call, I don't like that "modify" detail either. Looks like they're trying to sneak some ish in.

7. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

So you're telling me after paying the full retail price on the phone, I can't modify it? What the f--k?

14. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

And you thought you 'owned' your phone? Silly boy. You are nothing more than a consumer who will be discarded the moment you can't pay the service fees. Welcome to life in the american corporatocracy.

8. oNEWorld

Posts: 140; Member since: Aug 01, 2013

guys apparently the nexus 4 kit Kat has finally gone OTA.

12. g2a5b0e unregistered

Way to stay on topic, bro.

15. breathlesstao unregistered

The US of A - where keeping tabs on and reading emails of thousands of civilians without any actual reason is perfectly alright, but gods forbid somebody implementing some anti-theft measures...

16. muhsen

Posts: 281; Member since: Jun 07, 2012

windows phone has this feature since day one and not just remote kill (remote wipe out), u can ring,lock and locate (also install apps even though this feature is irrelevant to this article )the phone remotely independently of any carrier. its such a fail that phonearena mentions the 2 month old ios7 with remote kill and don't mention the platform that adopted remote control (not just kill) of phones since its birth.

17. Ninetysix

Posts: 2933; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Nobody steals windows phones.

19. Rayvelynn

Posts: 124; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

lmbo you can say that again

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.