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California to Mandate Smartphone Kill Switches

Article Comments  25  

Feb 7, 2014, 8:27 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

California has decided to legislate what the wireless network operators won't do voluntarily. California State Senator Mark Leno and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon are expected to introduce legislation today that will require all phones sold in the state to be equipped with an antitheft solution or kill switch. Gascon worked with New York lawmakers and Samsung to craft such a solution, but the carriers balked at the idea of implementing it. Leno and Gascon believe stronger measures are needed to deter cell phone thefts and to protect consumers. They want the law to go into effect January 1, 2015, and have proposed penalties of $2,500 for each phone sold in the state thereafter. "With robberies of smartphones reaching an all-time high, California cannot continue to stand by when a solution to the problem is readily available," said Leno. "Today we are officially stepping in and requiring the cellphone industry to take the necessary steps to curb violent smartphone thefts and protect the safety of the very consumers they rely upon to support their businesses."

more info at New York Times »

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Comments

This forum is closed.

This forum is closed.

neurocutie

Feb 10, 2014, 10:17 AM

Kill switch -> kill owner?

This law is intended to curb violent thefts of smartphones but to me it is just as likely to increase the murder of smartphone owners who would otherwise report the theft and trigger the kill switch...
poncho524

Feb 10, 2014, 9:59 AM

People's Republic of CA

Supposedly looking out for the little guy is just going to cost the little guy more money... either in technical implementation or to cover the penalty.

Where is John Galt already?
tjobrien21

Feb 7, 2014, 2:42 PM
edited

Well maybe they should...

If robbery is the problem, maybe the state of CA should issue more concealed carry permits, they are known to stop robberies in general. After all, people get robbed for more than just their smartphones.

Here in the Southeast, we don't have nearly the problem with robbery/mugging that CA and the northern states have. Why? Because almost any law abiding person, from a college kid to an elderly lady, might be armed. Simply put, attempting robbery of an armed victim can result in the robber having a Bad Time. We really don't have very many bad guys getting shot, but their knowledge that there's a good possibility it could happen tends to keep them at bay.

The great part is the effect trickles down, so those who choose not to carry are pro...
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Well said,

"California has decided to legislate what the -yada yada yada------won't do voluntarily"

This phrase is what troubles me most about California legislatures. Its said over and over and over again with various topics ranging from eggs, ...
(continues)
bluecoyote

Feb 8, 2014, 12:58 PM

Will Kill Switches Work?

What's to stop someone stealing a cell phone from simply parting it out (or selling it to someone who will)

Screen = $140.00
Battery = $40.00
Back Cover = $40.00

Not to mention any of the individual pieces that may be worthwhile (replacement camera module, etc.)
netboy

Feb 7, 2014, 10:39 AM

International Note3 has this Kill Switch!

what is does is when you reset your phone, it requires you to enter your password before you can process.
But who pushes this reset button? Is this the software reset button that can be overrode when you root your phone? From my understanding they are wanting a hardware Kill switch that will completely brick your phone, from my understanding by frying th...
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...
johnhr2

Feb 7, 2014, 10:45 AM

California your a state not a country!

California is a state not a country so there are a few workarounds I see business that sell phones doing.

1. Cell phones are sold in other states and not in California, so people in California will have to go to Nevada, Arizona, or Oregon to buy phones.

2. California people will have to go start ordering their phones online.

3. OEM think this is stupid, and ship phones without storage to California with it saying TO BE SOLD ONLY IN CALIFORNIA because then no one will want to steal those phones. (most unlikely)

4. OEM's decide to ignore California because they do not want to completely disable a good working phone, i.e. an ex trys to get back at you and disables you phone completely.

5. How about people use Android Device Mana...
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why would you want to that?? go to another state to buy a phone??
it' like your car comes equipped with alarm system but you rather go out of state to buy a car without car alarm?
remember? you can set a PIN for your simcard and wireless carriers...
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das grammar on this post is killing me! nein! Laughing
Tofuchong

Feb 7, 2014, 12:42 PM

Killswitches should be in everything.

based on their logic, a killswitch should be in EVERYTHING.

Stolen Car? Don't worry. Hit the kill switch to melt your engine block! People should have killswitches in them too, so if you get kidnapped, your life can be ended quickly without the need to pay a ransom, giving the terrorists NO LEVERAGE, which is really the important thing.
KOL4420

Feb 7, 2014, 10:20 AM

sigh

I really wish California would step in and fix a lot of its other more important problems. >_>

In my opinion a better and faster public transportation system will greatly benefit and help California's economy the Freeways get more and more congested every year. Its no longer driving, its more or less fighting to not get hit by an idiot.
Yes, but that would require actual work on their part. It's much easier to gain votes by passing laws they think the pubic wants, but have to be carried out by others.
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