Senators propose the Smartphone Theft Preventation Act; bill would require kill switch on a new phone

Senators propose the Smartphone Theft Preventation Act; bill would require kill switch on a new phone
Last week, we told you that in California, legislation has been proposed that would require all smartphones sold in the state to include a kill switch. The theory is that with the inclusion of a way to remotely brick a phone, thieves wouldn't be so quick to continue to rob people of their Apple iPhone 5s, or Samsung Galaxy S4.

Now, the Smartphone Theft Prevention Act has been proposed by Senator Amy Klobuchar, who cites stats showing that one out of every three robberies includes cellphone theft. One of the other Senators co-sponsoring the bill is Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). Senator Mikulski says that victims of a smartphone theft should not have to be a victim again when their personal data is stolen out of their phone.


Others involved in the bill are Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI). If the bill is passed into law, each phone sold in the U.S. would have to include a free kill switch. The carriers would have the burden of providing the technology to all of the phones on its network.

source: SenatorAmyKlobuchar via AppleInsider

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19 Comments

1. Dingy_cellar_dweller

Posts: 339; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Does Apple get an exception like they did in Europe for the micro USB plug.

2. sipha

Posts: 440; Member since: May 12, 2012

Or how Obama lifted their ban in US!!

6. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

Or, how people still blindly buy their useless phone!

12. Ashoaib

Posts: 3276; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Or how judge invalidate samsung's patent and never invalidate any nity bity patent of Apple

13. Ashoaib

Posts: 3276; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Or how USPTO grant patents to apple in tons and even grant patent to those ideas which sound so obvious n crazy?

4. Aploine

Posts: 445; Member since: Oct 24, 2013

Senator Barbara Mikulski should do something for poverty in California that makes people desperate. And if "Our cell phones play an essential role in our day to day lives – from connecting us to family and friends to paying our credit card bills and accessing our bank accounts" as she says, why not make a campaign for the use of already existing solutions for that with owner control, than give a kill switch for our phones to the government? Same time that Obama wants to take from NSA and give to "private company or other "third party entity" to manage metadata collection from phones. All I see is, by excuse of security, another people's control measure so they can kill your phone, kill the switch off your car, and then kill you with 50 bullets (the police) in it, for no reason. All that in the name of our safety - ofcourse. Pandoras' box. Senator Barbara Mikulski should do something for poverty in California that makes people desperate.

9. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

Worst part is, I bet she still has a flip-phone and doesn't know what Gmail is???? smh Babs' M should hire a male escort to put her out of her misery because, 'she needs to ........ BIG TIME'!

16. designerfx

Posts: 76; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

I was a bit concerned that they probably don't understand the impact of a so called kill switch, in terms of both a: who controls it and b: how it's implemented. Let's hope some people write to this woman before things are completely undefined and come out in a really poor/crappy way.

11. Ashoaib

Posts: 3276; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Or how judge invalidate samsung's patent and never invalidate any nity bity patent of Apple

3. eisenbricher

Posts: 973; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

Kill switch should be there. Those pesky thieves shouldn't be able to retrieve any money or information from those phones they've stolen. That way we'll definitely see less theft cases.

5. quesoesgrande

Posts: 217; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

This isn't about smartphone theft. This is about the government wanting more control over you and your property. I have serious doubts about the constitutionality of this anyway. I won't buy phones in America if they have a kill switch, and you shouldn't either.

7. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

Exactly. If sheep (Regular citizens, not fans of any brand) want that, then by all means, they can do so. I, however, refuse to be a part of that and I will take any and all measures necessary to obtain phones that have no such crippling mechanisms.

10. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

One can already wipe a phone out to protect the information stored in it, be it iOS or Android. The hardware has value to thieves, not so much the pictures of cats. As the senators are at it, why not propose a kill switch to vehicles as well, since car theft generates multi-billion dollar losses? BTW, CA is the worst state in car theft. Or could this bill be about something else, like denying the citizenry to organize themselves as they did in Egypt, Tunisia, Ukraine, etc? No, it's for our own good that our overlords are so concerned about... sure.

8. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

These Senators should all be removed from office; we have greater problems in this once great country and should focus improving areas like: 1. Education 2. Literacy 3. Immigration Reform (kicking out illegal Aliens) 4. Tax Code Reform 5. Infrastructure Reform 6. Welfare Reform & Reduction 7. Cable Companies Regulation; improvement thereof. Etcetera....Etcetera.... Etcetera....!!!!!!

14. Ashoaib

Posts: 3276; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Hey! Dont use hatred words "kicking aliens" for anyone... its ok to have reforms but its not ok to use harsh language for illegals... you should remember that almost all americans are illegals, no one took permission from so called "Red Indians" to settle and taking over of their land/country...

18. quesoesgrande

Posts: 217; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

Americans are not illegal immigrants.I won't deny that we have done some very questionable things, but Native Americans did some very questionable things too. Human sacrifice? Slavery? Furthermore, the natives did not have an organized nation like we do today. There was no law against foreigners entering their land. Also, "kicking out aliens" means the same thing as deporting illegals. It isn't hate speech. They're the ones at fault.

17. wilsong17 unregistered

let me guess the illegal alien are doing better job than you and cheaper

19. quesoesgrande

Posts: 217; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

Well, it's not like they're breaking United States law, illegally voting, benefitting from our government without paying taxes, or taking jobs from hard working Americans or anything...

15. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

No, there is no good reason for this, there are already measures in place that make it so the phones reported stolen cant be activated again. This is just a government grab for power.

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