Saturday, May 10, 2014

California Senate Resurrects "Kill Switch" Bill For Smart Phones To Combat Violent Robberies


California Senate Resurrects 
"Kill Switch" Bill For Smart Phones To Combat Violent Robberies

Sacramento-  Weeks after smart phone legislation was put six feet under bu the California Senate in a 19-17 vote outcome, they flip flopped the vote to a passing 26-8 on Thursday.  The bill would require all smart phones sold by retailers in California to have anti-theft software installed.  The softwares mail goals, according to the bill, would be to;

1.  Must make it impossible to use the device after it has been lost or stolen
2. Can’t be overcome by forcing a hard reset.
3. No-one but the owner should be able to reconnect it to a network.
4. Imposes a $2,500 per-device fine for smartphones sold without the kill switch installed

There has been talk of why the bill failed to pass previously. Statements recently read indicate that the original vote of 19-7, was due to misinformation and possible fear mongering by special interest groups.  Some of those who voted no, claim they were persuaded to vote against the bill because advocacy groups against domestic violence expressed fear that the kill switch might be used by abusive partners.

If this bill pass in California, there would most likely be a ripple effect across the country and any large cities where cell phone theft has become a violent issue.  California, with the exception of "Open Carry" laws, usually sets an example and leads the way for new legislation and laws passed.  If and when it gets sign by the governor, expect New York, Minnesota, Illinois and the Federal government itself to follow suit shortly thereafter.  

There are certain businesses that might be hoping this bill is never turned into law.  And that would be the companies that replace lost and stolen phones in a market that paid them well at an estimated $300 billion Dollars.  That is a lot green income that may be hit hard if this bill comes to pass. that is not counting the estimated $8 billion dollars taken in by theft and loss insurance policies sold by wireless carriers. The bill the California Senate passed, was altered  from the previous version that generated the losing vote.  

The new version seems to have the approval from Apple and Microsoft, who claim the can work with.