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Cellphones Crime Handhelds

California Passes Law Mandating Smartphone Kill Switch 233

alphadogg (971356) writes "Smartphones sold in California will soon be required to have a kill switch that lets users remotely lock them and wipe them of data in the event they are lost or stolen. The demand is the result of a new law, put into effect on Monday, that applies to phones manufactured after July 1, 2015, and sold in the state. While its legal reach does not extend beyond the state's borders, the inefficiency of producing phones solely for California means the kill switch is expected to be adopted by phone makers on handsets sold across the U.S. and around the world."
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California Passes Law Mandating Smartphone Kill Switch

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  • Bets on first use (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @09:35AM (#47756011)

    How many want to take up a bet when the next 'troublesome' protest gets targeted with the kill switch... in the name of public safety, of course....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @09:36AM (#47756017)
    I'm sure they can live without for a while. Why should everybody suffer is some state in some backwater country makes a bad decision?
  • by edibobb ( 113989 ) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @09:42AM (#47756071) Homepage
    ... and the federal government will use the tool whenever they darn well please.
  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @09:57AM (#47756241) Journal

    How many iPhones and Android devices are currently being remotely wiped? I ask because both have the feature to do so currently.

  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @10:01AM (#47756275)

    iPhones have had the ability to be remote wiped for a long time. Yet I have not heard of a pandemic of hacker-led mass bricking of iPhones. Dirty hipsters and their iPhones have been at the center of a lot of protests yet we haven't heard of mass iPhone shutdowns by the police in response to demonstrations.

    I think government/law enforcement already have the powers they physically need to fuck with cell phones. Between Stingray devices and the ability to present national security letters to carriers or service providers, if they wanted to they could get IMEIs blacklisted or get someone like Apple to brick a specific phone.

    I think this just finally cuts off the ability of the cell carriers to encourage and profit from theft by activating stolen phones. Maybe if we treated AT&T stores like pawn shops and told them it was loss of their licenses and jail time for trafficking in stolen property if they activated stolen phones the kill switches wouldn't be necessary, but because corporate profits and lobbying we don't.

  • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @10:18AM (#47756407)

    The language in the law matters because it mandates that carriers must make it technically possible for law enforcement to use the killswitch. Otherwise, it could have been implemented in such a way that only the owner could do it (e.g. by requiring a user-set access code).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @10:22AM (#47756459)

    NSA apologist and shill above. The NSA broke the law, with a watchdog, and a citizenry that knows they broke the law, and they are still continuing to break the law.

    Your statements do not match up with recent history. The cynic above you is actually provable correct.

  • by qbast ( 1265706 ) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @10:25AM (#47756497)
    So you live in a world where almost every single person accused of a crime in US gets a trial by jury of their peers? What colour is sky in your world? Because here, in real world jury trial is a very rare thing - 97% prosecutions end with plea bargain ( http://www.thecrimereport.org/... [thecrimereport.org] ) . This is a real problem, because plea bargain has nothing to do with justice.
  • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @11:27AM (#47757081)

    Choosing not to go to trial is very different than never being offered one.

    Except that the "offer" is accept a plea bargain and go to prison for five years, or go to trial and risk going to prison for twenty years. A trial by jury should be a right of every citizen. You should not have to spend your life in prison just for asserting that right.

    Many of the people exonerated and freed by the Innocence Project [wikipedia.org] had plead guilty, to avoid a harsher sentence, despite being innocent of the crime.

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