Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Freedom of What?

Someone remind me where in the Constitution the ability to regulate personal communication devices is found?

Now there’s a Federal bill to require a smartphone “kill switch”
Following on the heels of a California bill, four Democratic senators on Thursday proposed a federal law that would require those that make cellular devices to equip them with the ability to be permanently deactivated if stolen.

Unlike the extremely broad California proposal, the Senate bill appears to target only devices with a cellular connection, though it is still likely to encounter stiff resistance from portions of the cellular and electronics industries, many of whom oppose mandatory kill-switch laws or have significant reservations.

You see, folks, apparently the Federal government has solved all other problems and has now turned its attention to minutiae. They're going to mandate what services should come standard on your smartphone, because passing laws is all they know how to do. Well, that and take money from lobbyists, but they aren't going to call a press conference to announce the latest dumptruck full of money arriving from George Soros...

I do have to wonder what the real reason behind this seemingly innocuous bill turns out to be. It's highly doubtful that the Federal government is as altruistic as to give a hairy rat's patoot as to whether or not Joe Lunchpail has his personal data appropriated from a stolen cell phone. It's more likely that either the company that makes such "kill switch" technology contributes heavily to one or more of the bill's sponsors...

Of course, there's always the "more power" argument to be made - if you like how they run the post office, just think how great they'll run your cell phone...

That is all.

11 comments:

gunfreezone said...

"You see, folks, apparently the Federal government has solved all other problems and has now turned its attention to minutiae."

Just imagine that Kill Switch used in times when the Gov does not want people to be sending photographic or video proof of misdeeds like in Venezuela right now. No pictures posted in Twitter, Facebook Instagram. No communicating plans with each other...

Stretch said...

They loved The Arab Spring but sure as Hell don't want an American Spring.
We know the Revolution won't be televised. They're making sure it won't be blogged.

Dave H said...

I think you'll find there's actually a grassroots demand for rendering stolen phones inoperable. Right now high end phones are popular targets for thieves because cellular network operators will happily sell someone with his own phone a service plan, no questions asked. The operators have opposed regulations requiring them to block or identify stolen phones for that very reason.

Think of it in terms of motor vehicles. If someone stole your truck, rolled it up to a DMV office, and got a registration & title for it without anyone ever checking the VIN against the stolen list, wouldn't you be just a little pissed?

If the cellular operators won't make an effort to recover my phone, or at least make it not worth the effort to steal it, then yes, I want to be able to kill it myself. Not the government, but me.

Armed Texan said...

George Orwell, call you office. There's a new novel to be written here.

So, they already made it so I can't turn off "presidential alerts", whatever the hell those are, and now they want to be able to turn off everything else?

Ted said...

When a goblin steals a smart phone, the first thing they do is power it down since the first thing I'm going to do is track it's location and guide the LEO's to the goblin's location.


The only reason for this bill is to enable a workaround to thoose pesky amendments

BenC said...

Yeah I am with Dave H on this one. The phones already have the kill switch in them this just requires that the company brick them when stolen

Anonymous said...

gotta agree with Dave...if they know its worthless after they steal it,they won't steal it.Think of it as Lojack for a phone!
That said,I bet the phone companies are tired of eating the cost of the calls made on them.Follow the $$

Dave H said...

"That said,I bet the phone companies are tired of eating the cost of the calls made on them.Follow the $$"

The phone companies don't eat that cost. Not much of it, anyway. You report your iPhone stolen, they don't allow any more calls from it on your account. But if somebody walks into a Verizon store with that same phone and asks to start their own account, then Verizon is more than happy to oblige.

Anonymous said...

"The founders never foresaw smartphones!"
/prog

Gene in NC said...

Guys, its been my experience that the bulk of stolen cells are used until the service is interupted then tossed. The rest are sold to pawn shops. Thieves aren't going to pay for service when they can steal a smartphone from the hordes of dummies that leave them unattended. The only phones theyb would pay for are the throwaways with no way of tracing ownership that can be used in the drug trade.

Old NFO said...

Gunfree nailed it... Just sayin...