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Smartphone Kill Switches Coming, But Critics Cry Foul
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anon8724146329
67%
33%
anon8724146329,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/16/2014 | 10:17:18 AM
This is bad. Very, very bad.
In an era where there are serious - and legitimate - concerns about government overreach and Orwellian invasion of privacy, giving the same Government the ability to just shut off individual communication mechanisms becomes a tool on the workbench of Totalitarianism. 


I'll skip the politcal paradigm nonsense and say that *any* Federal government - regardless of party - having this kind of control should be a serious concern for civil liberties of every US Citizen.
anon9406324789
IW Pick
100%
0%
anon9406324789,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/16/2014 | 10:35:48 AM
Re: This is bad. Very, very bad.
Government is not gettting any ability here. This is a function that owner of the phone can deploy. It is a way overdue feature that cell phone companies were fighting against in order to sell more phones.
Lorna Garey
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50%
Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
4/16/2014 | 10:42:40 AM
Parsing?
What does "preventing unauthorized reactivation "to the extent technologically feasible" mean exactly? Seems like a huge loophole. After all, this is the main thing that in theory will cut down on theft, that someone buying a stolen device won't be able to use it.
anon1921950389
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50%
anon1921950389,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/16/2014 | 12:42:42 PM
Re: Parsing?
The reason that carriers are objecting is very simple - they offer this very service already but as an extra added fee every month. If customers are allowed to do this and to protect their own property in this way, carriers might lose up to $20/month in providing it. Simply put this is large companies more worried about profit than they are about customers.
anon1921950389
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0%
anon1921950389,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/16/2014 | 12:43:44 PM
Re: This is bad. Very, very bad.
This is not about the govt being able to do this. This is about customers who own the phones being able to do it without having to pay extra to the carriers for the privilege of protecting their property. 
Tommmmy
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Tommmmy,
User Rank: Strategist
4/16/2014 | 12:45:38 PM
Phone Theft - NOT
The kill switch will NOT be used for cell phone theft (like that's what they care about).  It has a much larger purpose: to prevent American citizens from petitioning their government.  When the big protests begin the government will shut off the phones of the protesters and the media will barely say a thing.  It is all about the mafia staying in charge of the slaves.
Whoopty
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0%
Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
4/16/2014 | 1:06:56 PM
Bypass
I'm sure determined thieves will find a way to bypass this feature. If the phone can be reactivated, then it can be done so by someone other than the manufacturer I'm sure. 

That said, it's good to see some thought is being put into protecting personal privacy - companies and governments haven't done much to value that lately. 
anon2920314289
50%
50%
anon2920314289,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/16/2014 | 1:31:12 PM
Re: Phone Theft - NOT
Go be crazy somewhere else.
anon2920314289
50%
50%
anon2920314289,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/16/2014 | 1:34:38 PM
Re: This is bad. Very, very bad.
Do you see anywhere in any of these articles talking about how this enables to government? No, because that isn't the case and they leave it up the conspiricists and crazies like you to bring forth. Quit being ignorant, with these patches or not if someone who really knows tachnology and has to tools to do what they want... they can break into anything and most cetainly do this with or without these new features. 
cumulonimbus
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50%
cumulonimbus,
User Rank: Strategist
4/16/2014 | 1:54:55 PM
Smartphone kill switch
There are a number of apps can locate your phone in the event of loss, I have used one and was able to get the GPS coordinates to find it. It takes battery life, so the window is limited. I assume the kill switch would be the same. The idea is inline with the FCC regulation for electonic devices to accept input that is detrimental to operation. I believe there are sound reasons for this.
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