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Law enforcement officials hope kill switches will deter phone theft

By Shawn Knight
Jun 14, 2013
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  1. Law enforcement officials and consumer advocates have come together as part of a new initiative called Secure Our Smartphones. The goal here is to help to curb rising phone thefts by getting manufacturers and wireless carries on board with the...

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  2. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Maniac Posts: 817   +231

    Won't change much since even broken or not usble phones will sell well if only for parts.
     
    dennis777 likes this.
  3. Are we sure the guy in that picture is trying to take her phone? Or is he just trying to cop a feel of dat ***
     
    TheBigFatClown likes this.
  4. The NSA and others don't just want the ability to listen in, they want to interrupt communications as well. 'Stolen phones' is just the sales pitch for rolling out the capability. :(
     
  5. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,750   +1,105

    Isn't a kill switch sort of like shutting the door after the horse left the barn? So a thief steals a phone and finds he can't use it, then what? The phone is already stolen, he's not going to return it even if he could. Plus, doesn't he now have to steal more phones to make up for it?

    It might work if every single phone had one, but there are far too many already that don't. I'd think we'd need a software solution that could be rolled out to existing phones. Maybe an alarm that would go off if your phone was ever separated from your iWatch for an extended period of time.
     
    Mike Loess and misor like this.
  6. I agree, they just want a way to roll out this feature. If they want to stop crime, why don't they just use the phones GPS to track it to the thief.
     
    psycros likes this.
  7. Because the GPS feature can be turned off. And Apple would have user privacy complaints if they said they can track your phone.
     
  8. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,554   +2,894

    Kill Switch!
    Do we really want a hacker, with capabilities to kill our phones before they attack?
    Bad Idea!

    Say no now before you get caught without a way to communicate with phone in hand.
     
    psycros likes this.
  9. I think the current IMEI lost/stolen database is a good start to reducing phone theft. You steal the phone but can't activate because the IMEI has be put in a lost/stolen database that the carriers share. So the phone is only good for parts? Worth way less then a working phone. So in theory the thieves look for a more profitable target.
     
    psycros likes this.
  10. Bad idea, now they are wanting to kill mass communications in an area if need be. Strategic planning from the gov't liaisons to manufacturers and service providers. They know things are getting out of control, and want options in place. It's not hard to think from the point of view from a control state. WAKE UP PEOPLE.
     
    psycros and cliffordcooley like this.
  11. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,554   +2,894

    They can already do that by shutting down the cell towers.
     
  12. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,750   +1,105

    No kidding right... it's no wonder everyone is staring at their phones all day, they have to make sure they're still working. We check every minute or two to make sure the govt hasn't shut down all wireless communication and knocked us back into 1992. I carry a gas mask with me just in case the govt starts their comprehensive plan to brainwash us with airplane chem trails. I figure shutting off communication will be the first step. The ancient Mayans predicted that's how it'll happen.

    Have a good weekend :)
     
  13. If towers are down I can still connect my phone to wifi and communicate.
     
  14. For parts? How many people do you know who are trying to repair a busted iPhone by themselves? There's hardly anything user-serviceable inside there (or at least there's hardly anything that you can service yourself without specialized tools and specialized repair skills.)

    No, if it becomes harder to reactivate a stolen smartphone, then their theft will naturally decrease.
     
  15. Overzealous members of law enforcement, professionally otherwise but caught in the passion of the moment, are tired of seeing themselves on youtube striking already restrained/repeatedly tased suspects/alleged perpetrators.
     
  16. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TS Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    Isnt it amazing how paranoid the guests are.... There is no :wake Up" involved here. Stolen SmartPhones are a huge business. So much so that around christmas LOTS of cellphone companies get broken into. Handsets that can be taken down to Mexico and sold for around a grand a pop. Sooooooo....all your paranoia aside, it is a lucrative enterprise for thieves. Yes it may be too late after the thief has stolen the phone, but if I can frustrate that ******* by remote locking it out, then I will take justice where I can. Its not like I keep my life on my phone. I make it a rule to never do anything on my cellphone that I would have a problem with if someone stole or found it. But it is a giant pain in the *** to have to get a new one. So Im for this in the fact that it will SCREW the thieves, im just wondering if they will have steps in place that would allow you to get your phone back on the service if you got it back. That seems to be the only thing that would present a problem. Sending a killcode is easy, reversing it probably not as easy
     
  17. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,554   +2,894

    Do you think ISP's are somehow harder to shutdown than cell towers? Get real! If the government wants to shutdown widespread communications, there would be no way for you to do so period. This cellphone locking is a personal level lock, not an attempt at widespread lockdown.
     
  18. Theres always morse code...lol
     
  19. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TS Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    Cliff
    You are 100% CORRECT sir!! I certainly do love when someone else understands how the world works lol. PPl getting all butthurt over PRISM do not understand how cellphone companies work. THE GOVT IS THIER BOSS!! THE GOVT CONTROLS ALL COMUNICATIONS IN THE US!!! IF THEY WANT TO LOOK AT YOUR INFORMATION, THEY CAN! THEY ARE THE CELLPHONE COMPANIES BOSS!!
    If the govt decided too they could cut all wireless communications. That means cellphones and broadband. Its thier game, weve just been fooled into thinking SOMEONE else is in control. The reality is that if the govt chose to they could screw an individual or EVERYONE all at once. And there wouldnt be much that ANYONE could do. Oh sure ppl would complain. How much business or money they lost because they couldnt call anyone. Or that they didnt get that last phone call from granny before she died. But they hold all the power. That smartphone in your hand is the biggest illusion out there.
     
  20. Until police can't access your phone than they will want NO KILL
     
  21. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,979   +362

    Tygerstrike, ease up on the shouting please.
     
  22. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Maniac Posts: 817   +231

    There are programs that let you silently turn on the GPS again (and even send coordinates without them seeing), the only way to stop them is to turn off all signals completely. Phone needs to be rooted but they work pretty well, I have one on my phone and have tried a few of them.
     
  23. This sounds like one of Apple's great ideas to generate more iPhone sales.

    Most likely scenario: Someone lost their cellphone under the couch cushions when it was turned off; they call to report it stolen; "kill switch" is activated and phone permanently disabled; person goes and buys another iPhone; 2 weeks later, they find the first iPhone under the couch cushions - now rendered permanently useless.
     
  24. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,554   +2,894

    You mean something along the lines of Apple electronically killing an iPhone after a contract expires?
     
    psycros likes this.
  25. How about a self-destruct button? If the phone is reported stolen, the thief tries to turn it on and it spontaneously combusts. Of course that is incredibly dangerous, but it is a funny thought.
     

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