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Old Apr 24, 2014, 08:54 PM   #1
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California Rejects 'Kill Switch' Requirement Legislation for Smartphones




California legislators narrowly rejected a bill that would require smartphone manufacturers like Apple to preload and automatically enable antitheft "kill switch" in their phones, according to CNET. The law was backed by California State Senator Mark Leno and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon.
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Failing to reach a minimum of 21 votes in favor, the final tally was 19 yes's to 17 no's, with one senator not voting. Leno told CNET that he plans to take the bill up again next week. "The game is not yet over," he said.
Gascon accused opposition of the bill of protecting the interest of the "billion dollar industry profits" of the wireless industry and their insurance partners. Though some critics of the plan note that wiping software and locking phones would be ineffectual as thieves are likely to sell the device's hardware components.

The law was unlikely to affect Apple much, as the company introduced its own antitheft technology with iOS 7's Activation Lock feature, which locks a device to a user's iCloud account and is automatically turned on when Find My iPhone is enabled. However, Apple would likely have to make Find My iPhone mandatory to meet the requirements of Leno's bill.

Activation Lock won cautious optimism from both Gascon and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman when it was announced at 2013's WWDC.

The Smartphone Theft Prevention Act, a federal bill that would also mandate the inclusion of a "kill switch" in smartphones, has been introduced at the national level.

Article Link: California Rejects 'Kill Switch' Requirement Legislation for Smartphones
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 08:55 PM   #2
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 08:56 PM   #3
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What's the point of the bill if everyone is going to copy Apple anyway?

Edit: ~50% of cellphone thefts in CA and NY are of iPhones, and the other 50% are just people mistaking a Galaxy for an iPhone. The problem is going to fix itself.
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 09:00 PM   #4
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NOOOOOOOOO NOW WHAT WILL I DO TO MAKE SURE MY PHONE DOESNT GET STOLENNNNNN??????

Oh, wait. Activation Lock was already in iOS 7? So innovation occurs without the involvement of government bureaucrats??? Who knew?
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 09:04 PM   #5
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Proud to be a Californian
Lol, us Californians aren't the quickest...

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Lame.
Yes, correct. That is a lame first post.
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 09:06 PM   #6
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California would rather worry about Marijuana than that
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 09:09 PM   #7
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A law so stupid not even the California legislature would pass it.
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 09:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Nermal View Post
While having an anti-theft solution is a good idea, I don't believe that a government should be dictating what software must be preinstalled on a computer (in this case, a phone). It just seems like a bad precedent to me.
That is true but a little idealistic. Reality would like a word with you.
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 09:20 PM   #9
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Though some critics of the plan note that wiping software and locking phones would be ineffectual as thieves are likely to sell the device's hardware components.
What use is hardware if it can't be used beyond a movie prop? At least in San Francisco, the market is for quickly flipping a device and selling it for a few bucks. From now on, anyone involved in the iPhone black market is a sucker if they purchase an iPhone without checking its functionality. Now if they want to make money, they have to take it to someone who knows what to do with camera modules, flash chips, etc.?

Am I missing something, or doesn't this still seriously deflate the incentive to steal an iPhone? Even if not 100% of users enable it, I feel like it would be a "poison pill" type deal where it seriously complicates a thieve's job.

1) Fewer thefts will be profitable 2) Transactions will take longer and involve greater contact between buyers/sellers 3) The market shifts from selling whole phones to components 4) Overall risk/reward ratio goes way down.
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 09:20 PM   #10
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That is true but a little idealistic. Reality would like a word with you.
Gah, I thought better of my post but you quoted it while I was deleting it!
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 09:32 PM   #11
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Good. The features of a smartphone are best left between companies and their customers. The legislature of California has far more important issues it should be working on. If there ever were a need for government involvement, it should be at a national or international level so that a huge amount of time and money isn't wasted debating this over and over again in tens or hundreds of local governments.
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 09:35 PM   #12
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If all it takes is a vote, I'm sure they'll be soon forcing companies to put kill switches in other things.
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 09:39 PM   #13
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Gah, I thought better of my post but you quoted it while I was deleting it!
Sorry It happens to all of us!
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 09:46 PM   #14
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I bet a disassembled iPhone is worth every penny of a new phone, sans the price of a screwdriver
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 09:52 PM   #15
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In California, they suspend your license when you reach 4 points; silly but true.

But listen to this: if you get a DUI, you get 2 points!

If you are involved in a HIT AND RUN, you get 2 points. THEY'RE GIVING YOU THE OPPORTUNITY to DUI AGAIN AND TO HIT AND RUN AGAIN!

So why do you expect the Kill Switch bill to pass?
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 09:56 PM   #16
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If their customers want it, companies will do it on their own without being forced to. And if company doesn't implement it, then customers are free to leave for the competition.
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 10:14 PM   #17
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If their customers want it, companies will do it on their own without being forced to. And if company doesn't implement it, then customers are free to leave for the competition.
Indeed. Pressure from customers as well as the PR effects of public shaming from various individuals and police forces would have led to this type of feature without government intervention making said intervention a redundant waste of money. Meanwhile governments sit by silently on issues where they actually could make a difference, such as net neutrality. People need to learn the proper place for government intervention.
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 10:25 PM   #18
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There has been no good anti-theft method for any of them, even for iPhone. All fails, if you know how to do so. Also, no matter what, they can still sell it for parts (low value) as mentioned here. AFAIK, CDMA ESN block is the most effective method. They will never be able to use it on other network. GSM has IMEI blacklist but isn't so effective.
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 10:32 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by proline View Post
Good. The features of a smartphone are best left between companies and their customers. The legislature of California has far more important issues it should be working on. If there ever were a need for government involvement, it should be at a national or international level so that a huge amount of time and money isn't wasted debating this over and over again in tens or hundreds of local governments.
There is no difference between a 'nanny state' and a 'corporate nanny'. If anything, most of the time the nanny state is trying to protect you, your interests, and your freedom from the corporate nanny who has significantly more influence over your information, decision making and purchases.

Corporations do not care about you. They only care about your money.

This is the government legislating to give users control over their devices, to protect the user's data and deter theft.
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 10:36 PM   #20
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...require smartphone manufacturers...
Honest question: What does the manufacturer have to do with it? Can't Google just built it in to Android?
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 10:39 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Ichabod. View Post
What's the point of the bill if everyone is going to copy Apple anyway?

Edit: ~50% of cellphone thefts in CA and NY are of iPhones, and the other 50% are just people mistaking a Galaxy for an iPhone. The problem is going to fix itself.
How do you mistake a galaxy for an iPhone. I can tell the diffrience without my glasses from pretty far away. Come on ones twice the size and doesn't really have much on the top or bottom of the phone(I'm talking about the border thing with the home button and speaker for phone calls).
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 10:41 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by acslater017 View Post
What use is hardware if it can't be used beyond a movie prop? At least in San Francisco, the market is for quickly flipping a device and selling it for a few bucks. From now on, anyone involved in the iPhone black market is a sucker if they purchase an iPhone without checking its functionality. Now if they want to make money, they have to take it to someone who knows what to do with camera modules, flash chips, etc.?

Am I missing something, or doesn't this still seriously deflate the incentive to steal an iPhone? Even if not 100% of users enable it, I feel like it would be a "poison pill" type deal where it seriously complicates a thieve's job.

1) Fewer thefts will be profitable 2) Transactions will take longer and involve greater contact between buyers/sellers 3) The market shifts from selling whole phones to components 4) Overall risk/reward ratio goes way down.
I was thinking the same exact thing when I read this. It doesn't matter that you would have to part out the phone. Most thieves don't have a clue on how to do that. So, the risk now does not outweigh the reward.

----------

Personally I think this is about AT&T and Verizon having deep pockets for lobbyist. They don't want this bill. They see a stolen iPhone as a new customer.
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 10:54 PM   #23
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How do you mistake a galaxy for an iPhone. I can tell the diffrience without my glasses from pretty far away. Come on ones twice the size and doesn't really have much on the top or bottom of the phone(I'm talking about the border thing with the home button and speaker for phone calls).
You're lucky, without my glasses I can't tell an iPhone from a Nokia N97...
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 10:54 PM   #24
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A little uneasy with the kill switch concept

I don't know if I want a 'Kill Switch' available in the phones. I am not normally paranoid, but it seems like something governments would use against their people. I imagine that the Arab Spring a few years ago, which relied heavily on phones to tweet, Facebook, and text each other, might have had different results if their oppressive leaders could convince the phone companies to "kill" the phones of suspected protestors.
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 10:59 PM   #25
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I was thinking the same exact thing when I read this. It doesn't matter that you would have to part out the phone. Most thieves don't have a clue on how to do that. So, the risk now does not outweigh the reward.

----------

Personally I think this is about AT&T and Verizon having deep pockets for lobbyist. They don't want this bill. They see a stolen iPhone as a new customer.
Honestly the only thing I see them doing is probably trying to sell it on eBay for parts, probably getting banned eventually.

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Originally Posted by SnarkyBear View Post
I don't know if I want a 'Kill Switch' available in the phones. I am not normally paranoid, but it seems like something governments would use against their people. I imagine that the Arab Spring a few years ago, which relied heavily on phones to tweet, Facebook, and text each other, might have had different results if their oppressive leaders could convince the phone companies to "kill" the phones of suspected protestors.
If it makes you feel better, it is just as likely that they already have the kill switch in place and not revealed publicly.

/devil's tinfoil hat
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