California Senate changes tune, approves smartphone kill switch legislation

By Shawn Knight ยท 5 replies
May 9, 2014
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  1. Two weeks ago, lawmakers in California shot down legislation that would have required smartphone makers to implement a kill switch on handsets sold in the state. The bill initially fell short by just two votes but when it was brought...

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  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    I like this. I always thought it was a great idea but I got flamed for it although that won't change my stance.
  3. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,304   +648

    Heck, why stop at cell phones, why not your house, car, anything else that gets stolen? No problem, just chip it and let someone turn it off.
    How about when something is stolen, you simply call the police, your cell provider and have them turn it off? Why do we need a "chip" to do that? All they have to do is block the IMEI number and it won't work.
    You are giving up your personal liberties, in the name of security. They will sell this as a way to make you "feel" safe, all the while laughing at you sheeple behind your backs. You know how easy it will be eventually for a hacker, or government, to turn off all the phones, in the event that they do something that ticks off the whole country? Then where will you social media types be? Stuck in now where land.
    Wendig0 likes this.
  4. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,920   +751

    What is to stop a determined hacker or group of hackers from blocking IMEI numbers?

    Since the means has not been implemented, yet, there is no telling how it will be implemented, and the article states that it would likely be up to manufacturers to determine the means.

    A chip to turn off your house? Well, they probably already exist in some home automation scenarios or in houses with alarm systems, however, I really do not get the intended analogy as unless a robber has a miniaturization ray, they just cannot pocket your house, and walk off with it.

    Personally, I think this is a good idea because if there is a chance that a phone will become useless when stolen, my bet is that it will be a deterrent to theft of phones. Heck, why not go one step further and make the chip activate the GPS and tell the police where it is? Seems that might be an even better approach - it is not like that technology does not already exist even with its privacy issues.
  5. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,335   +843

    My sis just got her phone stolen a couple of days ago, they can't track it unless it's turned on and inside the borders. Something like kill switch would be usefull but depends if the phone has to be on or it can be off.
  6. bexwhitt

    bexwhitt TS Guru Posts: 354   +70

    A mobile phone has a unique IMEI number on the GSM networks (ESN on CDMA) all that is needed is a way is to ban that number on all networks when reported stolen and make it an offense to change the IMEI.

    This already happens in Europe no extra chip is needed

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