Cellphones

Calif. Mulls Mandatory Kill Switches for Smart Phones

Pushed by law enforcement officials to discourage theft

|

Kill-switch technology that can render a lost or stolen smartphone useless would become mandatory in California under a new bill that will be proposed to the state legislature in January.

The bill will be introduced by Senator Mark Leno, a Democrat representing San Francisco and neighboring towns, and George Gascón, the district attorney for San Francisco. Gascón has been spearheading a push by major law-enforcement agencies across the U.S. for more to be done to prevent smartphone theft.

The proposed law could reach well beyond the borders of California. Because of the difficulty and added cost of producing handsets solely for sale in California, it could serve to make kill-switch technology a standard feature on phones sold across the U.S.

NEXT: Former CIA Chief Says Snowden Should Be Hanged for Treason

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Why doesn’t California just ask it’s BFF Barry ‘O’ to have his BFFs over at the NSA to set up a hotline where owners of lost or stolen phones can just call and have their phones turned off.

  2. Californicators SEIL HEIL!!! Californicators SEIL HEIL!!! Let us PLEASE conduct a NEW war to End All Wars Against Those Who Think for Their Own Un-Government-Almighty-Approved selfish selves!!! BEEEE All for The Hive, Seig Heil! Are ye FOR us, or AGAINST us!?!?!

  3. I spent a decade down there working and this guy is a special strain of stupid.

  4. Great, just another needless government interference.

  5. Working link: http://www.computerworld.com/s…..onomyId=17

    The snatching of smartphones, often at knife or gunpoint, has become one of the biggest types of street crime across the country. It accounts for around half of all street crime in San Francisco, according to Gascon’s office.

    But California gun control, San Francisco no concealed handgun licenses…

    Yeah, it’s the smartphones.

  6. OT:
    Telephone User Protection Act of 2014: Phones required to have “Kill Switch” ap installed.

    Telephone User Protection Act of 2015: Phones required to have “Kill Switch” activated at sale, and it must require 14 steps to opt out.

    Telephone User Protection Act of 2015: Users must leave “Kill Switch” active.

    Telephone User Protection Act of 2016: Police can stop users and verify “Kill Switch” is active.

    Telephone User Protection Act of 2017: Phones made so they won’t work unless “Kill Switch” is active.

    Telephone User Protection Act of 2018: All phones must be transferred through licensed dealers who must insure “Kill Switch” is active.

    Meanwhile, a week after TUPA 2014, #ResurrectionAp goes available on PhoneSnatch.crim. Let the techrace begin.

  7. Kill switches are a fabulous idea – for politicians.

    If say, 51% of the voters in a politician’s ward/riding/state click ‘ctrl-alt-delete’ on his web-site within any 3 month period, he’s gone.

    Not dead, silly, just out of office. Although, actually dead, head exploded, his cretinous brain vaporized, has a certain attraction, but no, no, no, must be strong.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.