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Do our phones need a kill switch?

on November 22, 2013

Gigaom

A showdown is brewing with local politicians on one side and mobile carriers on the other about whether mobile phones should contain “kill switches,” the New York Times Bits blog reported earlier today. The idea is that if phones could be remotely bricked when stolen, then we’d have a big theft deterrent.

Apparently San Francisco’s District Attorney George Gascón has been working with Samsung on an agreement that would include such kill-switch software on all devices that the handset maker sells in the U.S., but carriers have come out against it. Gascón gave Bits a rather nefarious reason for their opposition: carriers make a lot of money off selling phone insurance, so a decrease in phone theft would cut into this lucrative revenue source.

If true, that’s a ridiculously cynical position for the carriers to take. I question the carriers intentions on many, many things, and I know their…

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