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Second Federal 'Kill-switch' Bill Introduced Targeting Smartphone Theft 158

Posted by timothy
from the there's-a-downside-to-this dept.
alphadogg writes "A second federal bill that proposes 'kill-switch' technology be made mandatory in smartphones as a means to reduce theft of the devices was introduced Monday. The kill switch would allow consumers to remotely wipe and disable a stolen smartphone and is considered by proponents to be a key tool in combating the increasing number of smartphone robberies. The Smartphone Theft Prevention Act was introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives as H.R. 4065 by Jose Serrano, a New York Democrat, as a companion to a Senate bill that was introduced Feb. 13. The two follow a similar law proposed by officials in California last month."
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Second Federal 'Kill-switch' Bill Introduced Targeting Smartphone Theft

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  • by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @01:22PM (#46397857) Journal
    Yeah, right. What they want to do is be able to shut down everyone's line of communications just in case the hoi polloi get too uppity.
    • by DriveDog (822962) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @01:25PM (#46397903)
      Yeah, I wondered about that. Wouldn't this be a double-edged sword, for theft? Either discourages theft, or encourages hiding the victim's body so nobody will disable the phone?
      • by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @01:32PM (#46398003) Journal

        Yeah, I wondered about that. Wouldn't this be a double-edged sword, for theft? Either discourages theft, or encourages hiding the victim's body so nobody will disable the phone?

        I'm not a robber, but if I was, I'm pretty sure that if I was going to rob someone, I'm going to take their phone regardless of whether it can be bricked or not simply to reduce the likelihood of them calling the cops. In essence, it won't prevent the theft of phones, it will merely prevent the thieves from reselling them. Why not a remote kill switch for Rolexes?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TheCarp (96830)

          I'm not a robber, but if I was, I'm pretty sure that if I was going to rob someone, I'm going to take their phone regardless of whether it can be bricked or not simply to reduce the likelihood of them calling the cops. In essence, it won't prevent the theft of phones, it will merely prevent the thieves from reselling them. Why not a remote kill switch for Rolexes?

          Because everybody and their mother doesn't have rolexes? Notice nobody is taking about Rolex theft? Can you think of a single other device that c

          • Can you think of a single other device that can cost several hundred dollars, most people want, and everyone from little kids to 60 year old grandmothers carries around in public?

            Yes. Cars. Except they're generally worth thousands of dollars, instead of hundreds. (And though little kids generally want them, they generally don't own them.) Also, unlike watches and phones, we tend to leave these many-thousand-dollar devices laying around.

            Cars are in some ways both more and less "portable" than watches or cell phones, so they pose somewhat different problems from a theft perspective. But it seems like we have developed a whole boatload of regulations and various technologies to

            • Except you risk the car being lo-jacked.

              However, I can see your point.

              If phones had reliable loud alarms when stolen and had reliable lojack technology that might also be a viable solution.

              However, it's easier to stick a phone in a soundproof faraday cage than a car.

              When I was in my 20's cars were stolen a lot more than today. It's apparently harder to steal a car and get away with it today.

              • by rtb61 (674572)

                How about if phones once reported where not allowed to be connected to a phone network. You could do neat stuff like say, you want to connect that phone (stolen), we can only connect used phones to the network with a personal visit, how about you drop by the nearest network store and we will arrange (the police to meet you) for that. Bricking the phone is stupid setting up a system to return it to it's owner is smarter. Want the easy fix, fine telephone network companies when the connect a stolen phone to

          • Oh, and if you're willing to expand the term "device," we might include things like rings, necklaces, and other jewelry. Not so much little kids, but sometimes teenagers also some valuable jewelry; definitely grandmothers.

            Even people without a lot of money often tend to wear wedding or engagement rings worth hundreds (often even thousands) of dollars around in public every day.

          • by Agent0013 (828350)
            I can certainly see the point that stealing a phone that will be disabled will prevent the victim from calling the cops. On the other hand, the theft deterrent in car radios has done a lot to make that crime pretty much disappear.
          • it does existe, it's called google device manager or cerberus or .... etc for Android. Or iCloud or something like that for iphones/ipads
            On android, for instance to brick the phone destoy the EFS partition and "voila" ( dd if=/dev/random of =PATH_TO_EFS) the phone is useless for the thief! (if you recover it and have a back up you can restore it).
            • I almost forgot this: what you want it the ability to track the phone, for that you need a functioning phone not a bricked one.
              having control over the trust chain in the boot process with prevent the thief from installing anything on the phone hence preserving any tracking software present!
        • Not just Rolexes, all exes.

        • by bsDaemon (87307)

          With Rolex, when you buy it the jeweler usually registers it with Rolex for you. If it is ever sent for servicing (which legitimate owners should do about every 5-7 years if they actually care about the movement of the watch), Rolex checks the registration and check to make sure that it hasn't been stolen. Pawn shops could (but many probably don't) call Rolex and ask. Other thing is -- don't forget to have the registration updated in your will or something, otherwise your children might be in for a hassl

        • by Lumpy (12016)

          Then let me remotely detonate it. Take my phone, BOOM your pocket explodes 10 minutes later.
          In fact that should be required, Solves the robbery problem overnight.

        • True .. it's like the stupid car radios where you have to enter a code when the battery dies.
          If it gets stolen, the thief realizes sometime later that it's useless, and it's still stolen.
          Meanwhile, every time YOU have a dead battery or replace it, you have to dig around and find the stupid tag, or pay the dealer $100 to tell you.
          • Except it's not like that, because if it's mandatory then the robber knows ahead of time that the thing is useless to steal. That's the idea, at least.

        • Why not a remote kill switch for Rolexes?
          Or money ..

          be careful what you ask for.
        • If they can't sell them, they might stop stealing them after a while

        • A lot of phone thefts in big cities like NYC/Chicago go like this:

          Person is on the train, engrossed in their facebook news feed (and probably have their headphones on so as to be further zoned out). Train pulls into stop and doors open. Thief rips phone out of person's hand and dashes out the closing doors. By the time the victim or anyone nearby recognizes what just happened, the doors are closed and the train is pulling away (and to an outside observer on the platform, it just looked like a guy who fo

          • Mine's trackable, lockable, and erasable from any web connection.

            It's also password protected and encrypted.

            I'm not sure what a kill switch would do that's better than that.

            • To play devil's advocate--If I stole your phone...I'd probably want to wipe all of your crap off of it anyways. Flash a fresh OS on there and it is good as new.

              Just like if I stole your laptop to use it myself, I would wipe the drive first (though many thieves are not so clever), or if I wanted to sell it, I would put a clean OS on it. Might be some valuable information stashed on your drive, but if I am a petty thief, I probably care more about the easy money of selling electronics vs the more complex pr

              • I can report the IMEI number to my provider if I really want to brick it. I have a hunch that a portion of these "mysterious black man stole mah phones!" are people that dropped them and just want to get a new one on their insurance.

                I believe that they get stolen, sure, but at least 10% are mishaps.

        • The catch is that a LOT of people are being robbed specifically for their phones.
          And (no idea why) there is a high rate of violence associated with the thefts.

          If the only reason you were going to rob someone was for their phone, then knowing the phone will be worthless kills your incentive.

        • by CODiNE (27417)

          I don't see the kill switch reducing the number of stolen phones being sold...
          I see it increasing the number of stolen phones being sold "as is".

        • by mjwx (966435)

          Yeah, I wondered about that. Wouldn't this be a double-edged sword, for theft? Either discourages theft, or encourages hiding the victim's body so nobody will disable the phone?

          I'm not a robber, but if I was, I'm pretty sure that if I was going to rob someone, I'm going to take their phone regardless of whether it can be bricked or not simply to reduce the likelihood of them calling the cops.

          In addition to this, 5 minutes after the technology is introduced, there will be a way to disable it before it kicks in. 5 minutes after that the information will be available to street thugs.

          What people forget is that a lot of smart people are born and grow up in the "hood". Not all of them can leave due to them family, poverty or prejudice. So these people are more than capable of disabling a kill switch and they learn to survive in violent neighbourhoods by being useful to someone who's powerful enoug

        • It won't prevent anyone from reselling them.
          Cell phones can be broken down to parts and resold regardless of any kill switch that might be put in.
          You can't kill switch a led screen.

      • For most criminals, it is a huge leap from stealing a phone to murdering a person.
        Most criminals steal either due to desperation (the really need the money, often for drugs) or convenience (the phone was was just sitting there unlocked, or at least an easily broken into).

        Jumping to murder offers a new set of risks.
        1. If the person knows he is going to get killed, he will most likely fight back, and chances are the thief will get hurt or killed in the process, if hurt he will end up in jail. As it was self d

        • by Lumpy (12016)

          3. their chances of being killed instead go way up. there are a lot of concealed carry people out there that will empty their gun into the scumbag if they think they will be killed.

          Take my wallet, but even a hint of real danger and I empty 13 9mm rounds into you as fast as I possibly can.

          • Two things:

            1. Evidence is that for the most part, just showing the gun to the bad guy convinces him to go bother someone else. Note that we seldom see news stories about people emptying their pistol into a (potential or actual) robber, which suggests it doesn't happen all that often.

            2. Whyever would you be using an old Browning Hi-Power (that's about the only gun I know of that carries 13 9mm rounds in a magazine), when there's a much better .40 caliber Browning Hi-Power? Much less a variety of other

            • by Lumpy (12016)

              CZ75 carries 14 rounds, and you can get extended mags for nearly any pistol. Plus you would never dump the whole mag into the perp, you leave one round just in case.

              a CZ75 is a fantastic platform It's the AR15 of the 9mm pistol world.

    • by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @01:27PM (#46397917) Homepage

      someone's going to label you as paranoid here.
      but the patriot act was passed to "target terrorists" and was used to target everyone.
      the cellphone owner is the only person who should have the option to "kill" the device.

      • The patriot act's language always targeted everyone.

        the cellphone owner is the only person who should have the option to "kill" the device.

        Until some enterprising young hacker finds out the developer, paid too much for too little work, used the same packet with a obvious identifier for all phones, and you can start trolling people in very expensive ways.

        • The patriot act's language always targeted everyone.

          the cellphone owner is the only person who should have the option to "kill" the device.

          Until some enterprising young hacker finds out the developer, paid too much for too little work, used the same packet with a obvious identifier for all phones, and you can start trolling people in very expensive ways.

          ... or until someone develops an app that exploits insecurities in the phone's software to remotely brick specific/all phones nearby and sells the app or gives it away. Then anyone could brick anyone else's phone for fun or use the threat of bricking to extort money from the phone's owner.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'm assuming this will also allow officials to kill all the nearby smartphones when there are protests to stop people showing police violence.
      Of course they'll say its so they cant text for more people to show up.

      • by Joce640k (829181)

        I'm assuming this will also allow officials to kill all the nearby smartphones when there are protests to stop people showing police violence.
        Of course they'll say its so they cant text for more people to show up.

        Why would they do that? They can use the phones to identify the owners (and track them afterwards).

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      Herp Derp, they already have that and DO that. they can disable all Cellphone towers instantly. That went into place right after 9/11

      • by Artraze (600366)

        Temporarily disabling cell towers is completely different from permanently disabling phones. In one case a phone will work the next day or in the next town or as a music player. In the other, you're out a couple hundred bucks and all the data you had on it.

        • by mjwx (966435)

          Temporarily disabling cell towers is completely different from permanently disabling phones. In one case a phone will work the next day or in the next town or as a music player. In the other, you're out a couple hundred bucks and all the data you had on it.

          Erm, if things get that bad, they're going to have to disable entire towers because disabling a few thousand phones is not going to cut it and identifying that many people is going to be expensive, time consuming and painful (it's like worrying about a leaky pipe compromising the wall when barbarians are battering the gate).

          Further more, if they disable individual phones, they'll just have a few dozen burn phones so that communications can continue unabated. The govt knows targeting individual phones is

      • It's for targeting just the vocal the activists not everyone. [theguardian.com] This way less people bitch about their inability to access the networks. Gasslighting works. The majority can remain non silenced, and complacent while the activists are silenced, as usual. [wikipedia.org]

        Bonus, the bricked devices don't start working again if the protesters leave the protest.

    • by alta (1263)

      what makes you think this isn't already available, on many, many levels?

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      Yeah, right. What they want to do is be able to shut down everyone's line of communications just in case the hoi polloi get too uppity.

      It it's done right you could have a little scratch card with a secret number on it. You need the number to kill the phone and the Men In Black don't know it.

      • If someone is able to remotely brick your phone, you obviously don't control your phone, and it consequently can't be trusted. This is the problem with proprietary garbage, and it's partly why I don't own a cellphone (other than them being tracking devices by their very nature).

        Yes, if it's done 'right', it doesn't have to be that way. But let's face it... corporations rarely do things the moral way.

    • This is perhaps a stupid question but one worth asking. For what it's worth I originally agreed with your stated concern and I'd much prefer the ability to disable this functionality on any device I own but I digress.

      What would this hypothetical ability to brick your phone give the government that they don't already have? The government having this ability in the event of a revolution presupposes cooperation with the carriers. The very carriers that can already block your phone by number or location. Fo

    • > What they want to do is be able to shut down everyone's line of communications just in case the hoi polloi get too uppity.

      I wonder if dumb-phones would have the kill switch? I don't see them, or maybe I just don't notice, but I hear that a lot of people use dumb-phones.
    • Oh, that's silly, the President of Ukrane would never have ordered the protesters' phones bricked!

      The only thing I have to add is that the Statists will keep coming back and back for this kind of killswitch, and eventually it will pass, and they'll have the FCC mandate such a feature.

      In such an environment, Free Hardware will have to become illegal. But keep voting for those who seek to rule you - it's for your own safety.

    • > What they want to do is be able to shut down everyone's line of communications just in case the hoi polloi get too uppity.

      Actually, a more effective way to do that is to have a way to shut off communication at the towers. This would preserve the ability to send out mass propaganda to still working phones in the event of an 'emergency'. Also, I hear that there is some value in the metadata. Also the phones are tracking devices. It might be more effective and valuable to fake busy signals, and oth
    • by poetmatt (793785)

      Actually, don't forget - if there's a killswitch on your phone, then the people up top would also have it.

    • by CODiNE (27417)

      However, be warned that, when you say "the hoi polloi" you are actually saying "the the herd." Indicating that you too are "hoi polloi".

      - Robin Williams. Dead Poets Society

  • by blandcramration (2636571) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @01:27PM (#46397925)
    I think it's more realistic that poor security measures will be set in place, thereby making it easy for malicious crackers to disable peoples phones remotely.
    • This has been an iPhone/iPad feature for a while, yet I don't recall hearing a lot of stories about maliciously erased iPhones.

      There seems to be a lot of assumptions that phones will be targeted, but given that hasn't happened, why assume some new system would fall victim to this?

      • by Mark4ST (249650)
        THIS. Apple has their Activation Lock system (AKA Find My iPhone) already, and I think this law is asking for something like that-- not a remote bricking system that can be activated by just anyone. Unauthorized bricking can only be done if someone guesses the person's Apple ID password, which is exactly as easy as it sounds. Apple's Activation Lock makes in more difficult to resell Apple phones, whether they be legit (like a phone you returned to the store) or stolen. More phones' system boards end up i
    • by rsborg (111459)

      I think it's more realistic that poor security measures will be set in place, thereby making it easy for malicious crackers to disable peoples phones remotely.

      s/malicious crackers/the security state/

      Well, disregard that, they're essentially the same thing.

  • by Valdrax (32670) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @01:29PM (#46397947)

    Fine, if and only if it is also mandatory that a customer be allowed to disable the feature and not activate it. I do not want this on my phone. I consider it remote disabling to be a bigger risk to my enjoyment of my phone than physical theft.

    • by Andy Dodd (701)

      Yup. There are plenty of "opt-in" solutions to mobile device management right now.

      Thing is, I know of none that can completely brick a device after a wipe, and I have grave concerns over such a capability because of the damage it does if it accidentally goes off. If it can't completely brick a device, at best it can protect your data but not the smartphone itself.

      The thing is, there are already solutions for smartphone theft. A smartphone, to be fully useful, needs service from a wireless carrier. To ge

      • It doesn't necessarily need to be a permanent kill switch. It could disable the phone until it is returned to the rightful owner. Besides, if the kill switch doesn't physically damage the hardware of the phone in some way (or some other irreversible action), people will almost certainly find a way to bypass it.
        • It doesn't necessarily need to be a permanent kill switch. It could disable the phone until it is returned to the rightful owner. Besides, if the kill switch doesn't physically damage the hardware of the phone in some way (or some other irreversible action), people will almost certainly find a way to bypass it.

          You mean like iOS 7. To use the phone, you need the passcode (unless the user didn't bother to use a passcode, in which case it's their own fault). To reset the phone, you need the AppleID + password. If you buy a used phone, the seller has to reset it before sending it to you.

    • by alta (1263)

      What if, for the feature to work, you had to contact the carrier and give them the phone's PIN. Only then would it wipe. The carrier wouldn't be able to wipe until you contacted them with said PIN.

      Or maybe when you set up the phone a 'wipe pin' that doesn't get reset when the phone is wiped?

    • In addition to making it Opt-In, or even Opt-Out, there is no reason that the government needs to hold the switch to remotely disable a phone. If the purpose is as stated, then only the carrier needs to be able to remotely disable a phone, and only on a one-by-one basis.

      So make sure that the bill makes it illegal for anyone but the carrier to remotely disable a phone, and then only with the express permission of its owner. Make it expressly illegal for the government to have direct access to the kill s
  • The federal government has no constitutional authority to mandate this technology.

    • The federal government has no constitutional authority to mandate this technology.

      And that has stopped them from doing these things when exactly? Ignoramuses will point to the Interstate Commerce clause, which was specifically put in place to prevent one state from interfering with the commerce of another state (i.e. New York imposing a levy on goods moving from Pennsylvania through New York to Massachusetts, etc.), not the way the SCOTUS has "interpreted" it.

    • The federal government has no constitutional authority to mandate this technology.

      Oh yes, they do, and wishful thinking doesn't make Congress's Article I powers go away. They have the right to regulate this under the Interstate Commerce Clause for several reasons:

      1) The sale of the physical phones across state lines.
      2) The sale of telecom services across state lines.
      3) The fact that the phone is a radio transmission device whose signals cross state lines.
      4) The fact that some phones are used to conduct business across state lines.
      5) The presence of an interstate black market in sto

      • by The Cat (19816)

        No. They don't. The Interstate Commerce clause does not give the federal government the authority to mandate the process of manufacturing a product. They can only regulate its sale and only if it crosses state lines.

        1) The sale of the physical phones across state lines.

        Which this proposal is not limited to.

        2) The sale of telecom services across state lines.

        Which this proposal isn't even related to.

        3) The fact that the phone is a radio transmission device whose signals cross state lines.

        Which has nothing to do with interstate commerce.

        4) The fact that some phones are used to conduct business across state lines.

        Then the business might be regulated under Article I, but that by no means gives the government blanket permission to alter the design and manufacture of the device

        • by Valdrax (32670)

          No. They don't. The Interstate Commerce clause does not give the federal government the authority to mandate the process of manufacturing a product. They can only regulate its sale and only if it crosses state lines.

          Yeah, find that in the Constitution. The actual text of the clause is "[The Congress shall have Power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes."

          You'll note that there is no definition of "regulate" that limits them to only the powers you ascribe. It isn't defined at all, leaving it up to the Supreme Court to decide, like the vast majority of the Constitution, which was written for a common law system in which courts had long held the role of stat

          • Basically, what it comes down to is that, you don't seem to respect the Court's authority to define words in the Constitution that are ambiguous in nature when they don't come to a conclusion that you like. Who exactly does have the right to define "Commerce" and "regulate," then?

            What it comes down to is that if words don't have meaning, then the entire point of having a Constitution to limit the power of government is meaningless. Also, the meaning of those words you ascribe as vague had very clear meanings when written [constitution.org], and were never intended to be used as they are today.

          • by suutar (1860506)
            They've also decided that it covers production of stuff for personal use (specifically, growing corn in your back yard), because that affects whether you would buy it from a market which could include selling across state lines. So in practice, the ICC means they can regulate anything.
    • by bsDaemon (87307)

      Regulation of Interstate and International Commerce? They could ban the importation of devices which do not have this feature. Maybe they can't require you to purchase a phone that has it, but they can make it impossible not to. Or, do you know of a cell phone that was made entirely in the town/state you live in and which doesn't at any times cross state borders? Didn't think so.

      At least, that's the argument that they'll make -- the same one they always make when people claim that the Federal government

    • > The federal government has no constitutional authority to mandate this technology.

      Friend, you use such strange words. What is this 'constitutional authority' thing you speak of?

      The overlords have always had the authority to do anything they please. It has been this way since the ancient time of the great change that came after the falling of two towers.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This could never be abused by governments or hackers.

  • Central Control (Score:5, Insightful)

    by edibobb (113989) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @01:38PM (#46398067) Homepage
    This way, the federal government can prevent those irritating demonstrations like this ones in Ukraine.
    • by slew (2918)

      This way, the federal government can prevent those irritating demonstrations like this ones in Ukraine.

      Don't worry about it, the government can already just commandeer the cell tower backhaul network and/or central office. This would be a simple escalation from what they are doing in the Ukraine right now [nytimes.com] by identifying phones near a protest area and sending them this text message...

      "Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a riot."

      The whole illusion of being able to use your cell phone when the government doesn't want you is really just a delusion anyhow...

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Yes you try and capture and upload free speech in your community. You may find your fancy new networked HD recording device stops until the speakers have been herded into a small, distant free speech zone.
      Good luck getting that city parade permit to enjoy free speech next time.
  • This is a piece of legislation dangerous to our freedom. During peaceful demonstrations cellphones could be id'ed can be gathered and be deactivated at will.
    If we are ever in a war in the mainland, an invading army could deactivate our cellphones, thereby compromising our infrastructure.

    A better piece of legislation would be to require a 3-day delay and used cellphones to be checked against a national database to check for theft.

    • This is a piece of legislation dangerous to our freedom. During peaceful demonstrations cellphones could be id'ed can be gathered and be deactivated at will.

      And what exactly is to prevent said people from using someone else's phone? Furthermore people managed to protest successfully long before cell phones existed. Cell phones are helpful but hardly vital.

      If we are ever in a war in the mainland, an invading army could deactivate our cellphones, thereby compromising our infrastructure.

      I think you are grossly underestimating the difficulty of actually doing that. An invading army could simply bomb the cell towers and accomplish substantially the same goal if we're going to talk about unlikely hypothetical situations. That said, exactly what army are you worried about given the size and s

    • by BoberFett (127537)

      This already exists. Buy a phone off Craigslist or eBay and you're taking your chances on the IMEI being blacklisted. No need for some federally mandated killswitch.

      The whole "theft" excuse is a smokescreen for something else.

  • by PackMan97 (244419) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @01:50PM (#46398229) Homepage

    ...they all stopped by to give a +1 to this idea. They'd love a way to be able to brick cell phones of protesters and stop videos from getting out into the world.

    • by sjbe (173966)

      They'd love a way to be able to brick cell phones of protesters and stop videos from getting out into the world.

      Last time I checked regular digital cameras still worked and the internet was still a thing. Might be less efficient but if they shut down the internet the cell phones wouldn't be any help either.

  • Anyone want to take bets on how soon someone figures out how to disable every cell phone in their office?

  • This has nothing to do with Theft.

    I am glad most people on this forum understand what it is really about.

    Although this is just another banker instigated piece of mischief, what you should be really paying attention to is the bankers, now knowing they have no way to destroy Syria and Iran, are now going after Russia.

    Russia, is not a country full of old 1960's military grade hardware like Iran, Syria and Iraq.

    They have Nukes.

    These bankers try to do to Syria, Iraq, Libya thing in Russia, guys we are going to w

  • How about, instead of wiping it, it just automatically sends all outbound calls to the carrier's customer service number for stolen phones?

  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @02:50PM (#46399189)
    There are many aps that show where your phone is located. Cops could go retrieve your phone for you. I bet they even find more criminal activities nearby. Win win.
  • Cerberus and Lookout for Android pretty much do this already. I believe Apple has the same thing in iCloud. Verizon will not activate a phone if it's been reported stolen.
  • So let me get this straight. The federal government is concerned enough about the theft of consumer personal electronics, that they want a mandated kill switch installed in each device.

    So as far as I remember, the feds want kill switches in three basic areas -- cell phones, cars, and the internet. Does anyone see a pattern here?

    And the feeblest excuse by far is the one justifying a cell phone kill switch. Not a tablet kill switch (because they already have that functionality with an internet kill switch,

  • 1. Take some issue and blow it out of proportion
    2. Get a pet legislator (preferably in an easily corruptible state) to introduce legislation mandating some feature or restriction
    3. Introduce similar bills in the Federal space to "harmonize" the legal framework
    5. ...
    4. Suppression capabilities fully operational.

    Source: http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

  • Get your popcorn.

Natural laws have no pity.

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