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Posts: 5,366
Registered: ‎12-16-2013

Proposed mobile phone and tablet kill switch in California

There's a bill being introduced that would require all mobile phones and tablets to have a kill switch, to discourage theft.  What do you guys think?  Good idea, or ripe for exploitation?  Read more about the proposed bill here.

Retired Webrooter
Posts: 1,288
Registered: ‎03-13-2013

Re: Proposed mobile phone and tablet kill switch in California

They have had a similar feature over here in Europe for as long as I can remember. It will stop your phone being used on any network however the phone can be still used offline. Its the type of thing that can be open to abuse though Smiley Sad 

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Registered: ‎12-16-2013

Re: Proposed mobile phone and tablet kill switch in California

Good to know.  Has it reduced the incidence of mobile phone theft?

Retired Webrooter
Posts: 1,288
Registered: ‎03-13-2013

Re: Proposed mobile phone and tablet kill switch in California

It has in one way but people will still try to rob iPhones due to the market for them in countries outside the EU where the IMEI ban isnt help up.

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Registered: ‎12-16-2013

Re: Proposed mobile phone and tablet kill switch in California

[ Edited ]

I see, so the device isn't actually bricked, they just ban the IMEI so that it can't be re-used within the region. I think the California bill requires the device be rendered completely non-functional, so it wouldn't matter where you exported it to.

Retired Webrooter
Posts: 1,288
Registered: ‎03-13-2013

Re: Proposed mobile phone and tablet kill switch in California

Yeah back in the day before smartphone`s that was effective as it meant you really couldnt do anything. But now a phone even minus the ability to call can still do a lot. 

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Registered: ‎02-03-2012

Re: Proposed mobile phone and tablet kill switch in California

You are so right Roy...it is almost a sin to call modern smartphone a 'phone'...in fact in many cases the phone part is not even the reason the phone is bought.

 

Personally, I think that if it were possible the IMEI switch should go pan region making the phone useless anywhere as a phone...but bricking the phone is dangerous as I know a couple of people who thought their phones had been stolen, repirted it and they were disabled...and then they found they had been misplaced...if they had been bricked where would they have stood?

 

I think that the ability to trace a device, reprt back its location, lock out all features as is available in some security apps...is the way to go...but that may just be me.

 

Cheers, Baldrick

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Registered: ‎06-02-2014

Re: Proposed mobile phone and tablet kill switch in California

The following article is a update on kill switch in California

(California phone kill-switch law could lead to abuse)

 

By: HNS Staff/ Posted on 27 August 2014.

 

On Monday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill (SB 962) that will require any smartphone sold in the state after July 1, 2015, to include a software or hardware (or both) "kill switch" that "can render inoperable the essential features of the smartphone to an unauthorized user", i.e. anyone who is not the rightful owner of the device.


This kill switch will have to be able to withstand a hard reset and should prevent anyone who is not the device owner from reactivating it, so that the smartphone cannot be used or sold on the black market.

"According to the Office of the District Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco, in 2012, more than 50 percent of all robberies in San Francisco involved the theft of a mobile communications device," it is noted in the bill, and the trafficking of stolen smartphones has become a lucrative business for criminal gangs.

 

Help Net Security/ full article here/ http://www.net-security.org/secworld.php?id=17303

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