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posted by martyb on Friday May 09 2014, @12:52PM   Printer-friendly
from the what-could-possibly-go-wrong? dept.

The California Senate on Thursday voted to approve a state measure requiring smarter anti-theft security on smartphones, reversing its decision last month to reject the bill. The proposal, introduced by State Senator Mark Leno and sponsored by George Gascon, San Francisco's district attorney, requires a so-called kill switch (which would render a smartphone useless after it was stolen) on all smartphones sold in California. The bill passed with a final count of 26 to 8 in favor. It now requires approval from the California State Assembly and, eventually, California Governor Jerry Brown, who could review the bill around late August.

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  • (Score: 1) by EQ on Friday May 09 2014, @01:54PM

    by EQ (1716) on Friday May 09 2014, @01:54PM (#41242)

    A legislator and a DA making fundamental engineering decisions? Wrong on so many levels. There is the base technical consideration they seem to have overlooked (at least publicly): Remote bricking a phone, what could possibly go wrong? Did it not occur to them that somebody will figure out a hack that allows access to trigger the "stolen" functionality - and when the skriptkiddies get hold of it, they start bricking phones. I can hope they start with the idiots who proposed and voted for this lunacy. Have these idiots any clue about reality. and the engineering science of reliability and our communication networks/devices? We worked hard to get these system stable and reliable, and these idiot politicians want to deliberately build-in a fatal malfunction, for their convenience in prosecuting crimes? Madness.

    This might not simply be about stolen phones. Think about politicians - what do they want? Control. If you want to silence an opponent, but not permanently? Brick his smart phone - loses time, connectivity, and possibly even loses valuable (unsync'd) data. Imagine some politician doesn't like a flash mob that's rumored to be brewing for a rally - so before it can build, she (via whatever channel) bricks the phones of the leaders - or of political opponents. The possibilities of abusing this for targeted and timely DOS, and use as a tool for repression of communication are worrisome.

  • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday May 09 2014, @04:40PM

    by bob_super (1357) on Friday May 09 2014, @04:40PM (#41307)

    I am still waiting for all the On-Star cars to just die simultaneously one day.
    I'm highly surprised that nobody has hacked it yet. There aren't disgruntled employees at GM suppliers?

  • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Saturday May 10 2014, @04:25AM

    by Reziac (2489) on Saturday May 10 2014, @04:25AM (#41478) Homepage

    I predict a serious uptick in the smartphone business in every town just over the state line, wherever someone can claim a temporary address and get an out-of-state phone.