Skip to comments.Minnesota passes nation’s first smartphone ‘kill switch’ law
Posted on 05/15/2014 3:53:54 AM PDT by markomalley
Minnesota on Wednesday passed the nations first law requiring smartphones to have the ability to be remotely disabled.
The law requires smartphone manufacturers to introduce so-called kill switches in devices to allow users to make lost or stolen phones unusable. In so doing, the state hopes to remove the incentive for such robberies, which are on the rise. A Consumer Reports survey released last month found that 3.1 million Americans had cellphones stolen in 2013, nearly double the 1.6 million thefts reported the previous year. Some of those robberies can become violent, as was the case for a Minneapolis mayoral candidate who received nine stitches after being assaulted by teenage thieves in December.
This law will help combat the growing number of violent cellphone thefts in Minnesota, Gov. Mark Dayton said in a statement to announce the bills signing. Minnesota is the first state to pass such a law. A similar measure is working its way through the California legislature.
Between 30 percent and 40 percent of robberies in cities involve cellphones, according to Federal Communications Commission statistics from 2012. The number of cellphone thefts last year rose in San Francisco, New York, Washington and Philadelphia, the Huffington Post reported.
Businesses and industry groups have argued against imposing kill switch mandates because they could pose risks, such as mistaken or malicious disabling of devices.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Once again, the gubmint knows best.
This sounds good, but when you are talking on the phone and someone grabs it, how are you going to press the kill button on the phone? This sounds like another “nice idea” with very little results. I guess the best is that MAYBE if they allow the various phone companies to “kill” the phone that might be the better way.
More Nanny state rules. My iphone already has this feature. Let the market and consumers decide.
remotely from the PC. iCloud has a function where I can remotely find my phone, or disable it.
There are applications that will allow a user to remotely kill/lock/erase the phone. I think Apple has one for its iPhone.
The thing is that this "kill switch" would be controlled by the phone carriers...and, consequently, the government.
There are two different issues - closing your account, and bricking the phone. All of the providers will let you close your account, and all of those that are using SIMs will let you unregister the SIM. Either of these will prevent thieves from using your phone on your dime. But they won’t prevent a thief from installing a new SIM.
My thoughts exactly! With the flip of a switch, no more pesky citizen journalists taking those embarrassing pictures of government overreach.
This will fix NOTHING in the way of crime.
It will be used for the wrong purposes by the .gov however.
The ONLY reason this went through is because some scumball mayor got mugged.
Try locking the scumbags up for 20 years to life for violent theft and threats. Criminals know they will not serve time now.
Or of LEO's in action.
I have a sim pin #. Every time I turn on the phone I have to input the number. That goes to the network to be verified before I can make a call, use the net. Then another pin to unlock the phone. They can have the phone...I can get another, but they won’t be using my account to make phone calls before I can report it..
The death penalty would be more effective.
Eliminate the criminals, eliminate the crimes
What if Minnesota concentrated instead on not providing a haven for Somali criminals?
For the longest time the carriers and the phone manufacturers resisted this because they were happy to sell people a new phone once theirs was stolen (and ends up in Asia). A technology that allows the phone to no longer be usable would overnight remove the incentive to commit the robbery in the first place. Enough of an outcry resulted once consumers found out the technology is already here but all these bastards didn’t want to use it, that it’s finally here.
Too many people got robbed of $600-$700 worth of smartphone. Hopefully this will stop it.
Question is, is this feature a one way street? Or can it be reversed or even timed out? I’m picturing a protest or demonstration... The on scene commander realizes he and his troops are going to have to get physical to break this up. It is going to get ugly. But the controlling elite don’t want any pesky and inconvenient pictures and video showing up on the news. He signals one of his men. That support troop slowly pans a megaphone like device across the restless and unruly crowd. All smartphones in that crowd are now bricked, completely disabled. Maybe they auto reactivate after 24 hours. Maybe you have to go to the police, who will cite you for disturbing the peace and unlawful assembly before activating your phone. In effect they are holding your other pictures, emails, and contacts hostage...
3.1 million stolen
I believe that
Big Brother will soon be...
...disabling your cell phone.
If my cell phone turned violent, I would crush it and throw it away. I would NOT wait for it to be stolen.
And obviously there is not danger of an oppressive government mis-using this feature, so it’s ALL good!
If some one steals my cell now do I not call the provider and they shut it down.
May be the do gooders will try to push a braclet that talks to the device as they are trying to push for guns.
Then they perp can cut you hand off and take the bracket too.
same thing LEO=Gmnt
Cell service providers can already effectively “kill” a stolen device, if they wanted to. Each phone associates a unique ESN with an account. If they would disallow authentication of a device with a stolen ESN, the market for stolen phones would evaporate.
Its much better when states try stuff like this than the Federal government, lets see how it goes.
My Sprint phone can be located, to within 50 feet, locked and I can turn on a very annoying alarm, all from any PC.
And on of the the “unintended consequences” of this technology will be that the government can turn off the portable camera of those capturing images of government abuse.
We have a winner here folks. No more entries please.
They are doing this to increase their power, not yours.
And he probably had some *cough* inappropriate selfies on his phone.
The 2nd ammendment provides the real solution, a kill switch for thieves!
...or just cause the robbers to kill you so you can't turn it off. That's about how it usually works when the government decides they're going to "help" you.
Never forget the nine most frightening words in the English language:"I'm from the government and I'm here to help! "
Ah! The weiner- phone!
I bet your guns and SUV don’t get out of line!
Violation of the first amendment.
Yes, but the phones end up going overseas where they get defaulted back to new and resold. They have a barcode so why don’t they just make the phone companies check that to see if it was stolen?
Nut-job Conspiracy Theory Ping!
To get onto The Nut-job Conspiracy Theory Ping List you must threaten to report me to the Mods if I don't add you to the list...
California will be right behind
Minnesota - the land of ‘we don’t get it’ and we’re proud of it...
Cops will love this when you are ‘caught’ filming them in public beating someone.
And here I thought this was about giving our government (yeah the one that is supposed to work for us) the power to kill our communications, the cell system and the internet.
No, they do not.
I have an “application” I can “press” which allows me to remotely kill the guy who just grabbed my cell phone - but it didn’t come from Apple.
I have that same app too:o)
lol. I think that is the best ever.
Why not put a kill switch in a six pack of beer.
Put a capsule of hemlock in each can that can be remotely triggered to mix upon opening a tin of suds.
People steal smart phones when they rob somebody so that the victim cannot call for help.