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Proposed California Law Would Mandate Smartphone Kill Switch 252

Posted by timothy
from the kill-kill-kill dept.
alphadogg writes "Kill-switch technology that can render a lost or stolen smartphone useless would become mandatory in California under a new bill that will be proposed to the state legislature in January. The bill will be introduced by Senator Mark Leno, a Democrat representing San Francisco and neighboring towns, and George Gascón, the district attorney for San Francisco. Gascón has been spearheading a push by major law-enforcement agencies across the U.S. for more to be done to prevent smartphone theft. The proposed law could reach well beyond the borders of California. Because of the difficulty and added cost of producing handsets solely for sale in California, it could serve to make kill-switch technology a standard feature on phones sold across the U.S."
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Proposed California Law Would Mandate Smartphone Kill Switch

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  • by demachina (71715) on Thursday December 19, 2013 @05:46PM (#45740577)

    Very uaseful for law enforcement to kill the smartphones of anyone they consider problematic, like leaders of streets protests or occupy movements.

  • by ZombieBraintrust (1685608) on Thursday December 19, 2013 @05:57PM (#45740719)
    Federal Communication Commision regulates cell phones. Federal law preempts state law. Any California law could be nulified by the FCC.
  • Re:Watch (Score:5, Interesting)

    by maliqua (1316471) on Thursday December 19, 2013 @06:19PM (#45740949)

    except the kill switch could also disable video recording and picture taking. quickly followed by loud yells in the background "stop resisting stop resisting"

  • by Taelron (1046946) on Thursday December 19, 2013 @06:27PM (#45741041)
    Its already possible to do, but the Phone companies do NOT want to do this. They make money off you buying a new phone and the selling coverage to the user of your lost/stolen phone.

    There was an article about this less than a month ago in the huffington post... []

  • Re:No... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LunaticTippy (872397) on Thursday December 19, 2013 @07:26PM (#45741625)
    You don't have to brick it. Other countries use a blacklist of IMEI numbers. Phone theft has decreased because stolen phones won't be able to connect to any mobile networks. Yeah, there are various workarounds and hacks but it's not intended to stop smart people.
  • by TehZorroness (1104427) on Thursday December 19, 2013 @09:42PM (#45742483)

    From my perspective it was mostly about finding consensus. It was a great opportunity to talk to completely random people from a variety of demographics about the issues we care about as individuals, which are different for each person (as opposed to issues the media wants to push, or use as a distraction). A lot of people made a point about what our demands were, or what our direction was. The truth is, it was never about demands, and our only universal goal really was to reach out to our fellow citizens and establish that if you are worried about the direction our nation is heading in, you are not alone! I think our biggest problem as a nation is apathy. The government can kill American citizens with drone strikes, covertly archive all our personal communication, take natural resources and allow corrupt monopolies to form around them, waste trillions of dollars, preserve crooked business institutions, incarcerate more people than any other country in the world, and flat out lie to it's people, and we just shrug our shoulders and say, "Oh well..." The Occupy Movement was one of our biggest opportunities in a while to get together and affirm that we do care, and that if things head south, the people do have the power to change things. I think that was our greatest accomplishment. As far as government policy goes, I don't think the movement changed all too much, but if you look back, the womens' suffrage and civil rights movement didn't reach their goals overnight either. People have been fighting for gay marraige for years. These things take a long time. One day, the government will behave and listen to it's people again, but it won't happen overnight.

    Another thing I noticed is that the camp also served as a training ground for the next generation of activists. A lot of the young people came out to participate (possibly because of the Anonymous affiliation) who had never participated in political activism in person before. If you are not familiar with the environment of a political protest that the local and federal institutions dread, you can find yourself in serious trouble very quick. First of all, where there are crowds, there are thieves. On top of that there are hundreds of cops that will not lift a finger for you if you are in need of help. There are spies, undercovers and sometimes agent provocateurs. People get very connected to their cause and are willing to make extreme choices, sometimes en-masse. You need to be aware of the groupthink, and look out for potential problems, because riots or stampedes can occur almost spontaneously. All it takes is an idiot cop to start pepper spraying (or in NY, for the police to pull out the orange mass-arrest nets) or a riot squad to start shoving a large crowd of people, or some idiot to attack the cops and give them an excuse for an all out brawl. I think a lot of people joined in thinking it would be all fun and games, and came out ready to handle themselves in the next political uprising.

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