The California Senate on Thursday voted down a state measure that would require smarter anti-theft security on smartphones. The bill, introduced by State Senator Mark Leno and sponsored by George Gascon, San Francisco's district attorney, would have required a so-called kill switch which would render a smartphone useless after it was stolen on all smartphones sold in California. The proposal needed 21 votes to pass in the 40-member chamber. After debate on Thursday morning at the Capitol, in Sacramento, it fell two votes short of passing, with a final count of 19 to 17 in favor.
The crime rate related to smart phone theft is ridiculously high in larger cities. Requiring this feature to be present and to be easily accessible by the phone owner would tank the market for reselling stolen phones. Smaller resale market would result in fewer thefts.
Spending "tax dollars" on this legislation would reduce the number of "tax dollars" spent on dealing with these crimes (from taking initial police reports, to making arrests, to prosecutions and trials, and finally to incarceration). Sometimes removing the target of crimes is a good investment.
I disagree. Different AC here. If people want to spend more money for "smarter", more NSA-friendly smartphones, then let them. But people should also be able to choose cheaper, less NSA-friendly smartphones that have no mandated kill switch if they want. I don't want any kill switch. If the argument is simply "it's cheaper to do X than Y", then we should outlaw many, many things, because they can just be stolen, and that creates more work for cops, etc., which I don't think is a reasonable argument. I'd rather have the freedom to choose. The economic advantages of requiring by law this feature and outlawing all other phones are very debatable, and should not be the sole reason to outlaw phones without a kill switch.
Have you ever had your smart phone stolen?
Have you ever had your freedom stolen?
As an American, I feel like my freedom has been stolen under Eminent Domain, and rented back to me through the "generosity" of our corporate overlords, and is subject to cancellation at any time.
But then, I'm one of those crazy people that doesn't have an addiction to "reality" TV or MMO video games. Your mileage may vary.
What would that have to do with anything?
It's devastating to know that all your personal information is in the hands of a stranger. Email, photos, Dropbox. I wanted a kill switch when that happened.
Y5hwb1 http://www.qs3pe5zgdxc9iovktapt2dbyppkmkqfz.com/ [qs3pe5zgdxc9iovktapt2dbyppkmkqfz.com]
So why isn't the legislation demanded for cars? Trucks? Computers/laptops/netbooks/chromebooks/tablets?
Let's make sure EVERY consumer good has a"kill switch" then. We're very close to enabling Internet-of-things attachments for every physical device, so let's make it easy to fry everything on demand...
In other words, this idea sucks. And I was starting to get swayed by your argument too.
(original AC, yo)
The reasons to do this are not to save money. I was just addressing the "taxpayer dollars" portion of your sentiment (the part that you put right in the title).
There is no comparison between the number of armed or forceful thefts of "cars? Trucks? Computers/laptops/netbooks/chromebooks/tablets?" and that of smart phones. The rapid rise of these crimes has garnered enough attention that the CA legislature proposed the bill. Big, bad "government regulation" isn't the solution to most things, and may not be the ultimate solution to these types of crimes. But heaven forbid that some portion of one of the many useless parts of government is actually trying to take action with the best interests of its citizens' safety in mind and we lambast them.
Is this a great idea? No. But neither is "if I can find any flaw in any idea then nothing should ever be done, ever!" Many of our cars already have GPS systems that can broadcast our location, and some even have kill switches.
The whole OMG! NSA! PONIES! argument is weak too. If the NSA wanted to kill your phone they would have the carrier deactivate your SIM card. Going into any local phone store to get a new one would just let them know where to pick you up at that very moment. But they already know where you are by tracking you via your phone, and they'd much rather listen to your calls and read your texts/email than to kill your phone.
The crime rate related to smart phone theft is ridiculously high in larger cities.
This should never be done on a state by state basis. It should be done at the national level, or not at all. Seriously, which phone manufacturer is going to make a California Model?
But first and foremost, the legislation must, absolutely MUST, be only in the hands of the owner, and not the police. This is just too easy to abuse. Want to shut down a rally, or a protest? Kill all the phones.
You're right, it shouldn't be done state by state. I'm sure California's intention was to force manufactures to do it to all phones in order to comply with California's law.
As far as shutting down a rally, in Oakland they shut down the cell service [sfgate.com] when they didn't like the protests.
Its not exactly true that they shut down cell service.
Bart shut down their own cell repeaters in stations, but not cell service on the street. Lets not exaggerate the incident beyond what it was.
But its not a phone kill switch, which would render the phone permanently unusable.
Shutting down your own cell repeaters is a far cry from damaging someone else's equipment. (Not that I would put it past some police departments to do that as well).
It should be stated, the even in the days of rotary dial phones, (70s) the phone company had mechanisms in place to shut down all phones, or selective phone in an emergency. I was touring the local exchange with a friend of mine who was relatively high up in the technical section of a major phone company.
He showed me the huge 18 foot tall racks of connections, every wire coming into the exchange went through a blue or red plastic jumper that were all lined up vertically.Each rack covered a different area. He also pointed out a long rod with a hook on the end.
He explained that in an national emergency, they would get orders via Teletype , and they were supposed to rip out all the blue jumpers with the hook, rendering those phone lines dead leaving only the red jumpers.
Incredulous, I asked if it had ever been done, and he said no. The Teletype hadn't had any paper in it for years. And they had no intentions of destroying their rack.
All thats gone now, with digital switching.
Uh-oh.. now California Law becomes Global law. Oh oops, has happened so may times already...
Sometimes removing the target of crimes is a good investment.
Wait a minute.... that's exactly what those criminals are already doing. And doing it for free, on their own initiative, no upfront investment required.
They could also spend that money reducing the incentive to commit such crimes.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/12/23/1264917/- An-Improbable-Solution-to-Homelessness-Arises-in-U tah-Provide-the-Homeless-With-Homes# [dailykos.com]
In 2005, Utah calculated the annual cost of E.R. visits and jail stays for an average homeless person was $16,670, while the cost of providing an apartment and social worker would be $11,000.
So, in at least some cases, you can reduce the money spent on crime by giving that money to the criminals themselves!
even better, you can actually prevent them from ever becoming criminals by giving them money/spending it on them. in lots of places with harsh winters, lots of homeless folks intentionally commit crimes so they can ride out winter in jail; 3 hots and a cot in a warm concrete box beats freezing to death.
there's also the issue that in lots of states, if you've ever been convicted of a drug crime, you can never ever get food stamps, often forcing them to resort to crime just to eat. its disgusting.