by Susanne Posel
April 18, 2014
from OccupyCorporatism Website

Spanish version







Thanks to the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA), Attorney General New York, Eric Schneiderman, and the District Attorney of San Francisco, George Gascón, by next year, all cell phones must be outfitted by the manufacturer with anti-theft kill switches.


Steve Largent, president and CEO of the CTIA said:

"This agreement gives consumers access to the best features and applications that meet your specific needs while adding protection for their Smartphones and containing valuable information."



  • Samsung

  • Apple

  • Google

  • Huawei

  • Microsoft

  • Motorola,

...and other smartphone manufacturers have agreed to make sure their products are pre-installed with kill switches and other security measures to 'protect against theft.'


These apps and security features that render the cell phone unusable can be remotely controlled should the device be stolen.


Earlier this year, California state senator Mark Leno and Gascón collaborated with other officials to push legislation (SB 962) that would mandate a "kill switch" be implemented on mobile devices that have been stolen or lost.


Gascón claims:

"More than half the robberies in his city involve theft of mobile devices."

He said the industry has debated the use of deterrent technology for too long.

"The wireless industry must take action to end the victimization of its customers."

The district attorney said:

"This is an important day for wireless consumers everywhere. This legislation will require the industry to stop debating the possibility of implementing existing technological theft solutions and begin embracing the inevitability. The wireless industry must take action to end the victimization of its customers."

The legislation reads:

"A technological solution may consist of software, hardware, or a combination of both … but shall be able to withstand a hard reset."

Leno stated that either the kill switch "or other protective features" would be mandated by law and require re-registering of phones currently not equipped with the device.


Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti explained that "this legislation is critical to reducing robberies."

The solution is to implore cell phone manufacturers to implant a kill switch so that,

"when consumers reported to providers that their cellphone had been stolen, the phone, like a stolen credit card, would be rendered inoperable."

The coalition will be comprised of:

  • Law enforcement

  • Consumer advocates

  • Political officials

  • Prosecutors

Schneiderman said:

"It is totally unacceptable that we have an epidemic of crime that we believe can be eliminated if the technological fixes that we believe are available are put into place."

Gascón explained:

"The industry has the 'moral' and the social obligation to fix this problem. There are very few things that can be fixed with a technological solution, and this is one of them."

Kevin Mahaffey, co-founder of Lookout, a mobile security corporation, warns:

"If there is a mechanism by which somebody can remotely disable and brick a device, we don’t want that to be a target for malware."

Lookout has collaborated with law enforcement agencies to build kill switches on smartphones so that,

"all of a sudden if there were a way that you can cause millions of devices to all of a sudden become inoperable, that can be a huge amount of money if somebody attacks that system."


(Big Brother in action, anybody agree...?)