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The Almighty Buck Cellphones Technology

Smartphone Kill-Switch Could Save Consumers $2.6 Billion 218

Posted by samzenpus
from the kill-it dept.
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Creighton University professor William Duckworth has released a report finding that kill-switch technology that remotely makes a stolen smartphone useless could save American consumers up to $2.6 billion per year — mostly from reduced insurance premiums. Duckworth estimated that Americans currently spend around $580 million replacing stolen phones each year and $4.8 billion paying for handset insurance. If a kill-switch led to a sharp reduction in theft of phones, most of the $580 million spent on replacing stolen phones would be saved. And a further $2 billion in savings could be realized by switching to cheaper insurance plans that don't cover theft."
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Smartphone Kill-Switch Could Save Consumers $2.6 Billion

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  • Go to hell (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tom229 (1640685) on Monday March 31, 2014 @11:00AM (#46621315)
    Remote wiping is already possible. What they want is centralized control over the functionality for governing purposes. We're not idiots. Well... not all of us.
    • I would like a switch to kill the person who steals the phone. i support this kill switch idea. explosive charge through the ear?

      • Lets get reasonable.
        It will overheat and catch fire. Often burning down the residence of the crook, or the poor sap that he sold it too.

        Now as a victim of a theft you feel love this feature.
        However in terms of justice it is much too extreme. Loss of a few hundreds of dollars, doesn't justify endangering the lives of people, or damaging property that costs exponentially more.

        This is why our justice system when it is working, doesn't try to fully compensate the victim. As the hurt party they will demand mor

        • by ganjadude (952775)
          Sure it is a little extreme, but how fast would phone thefts drop if a handfull of peoples heads explode when they steal a phone?
          • by mccrew (62494)

            Sure it is a little extreme, but how fast would phone thefts drop if a handfull of peoples heads explode when they steal a phone?

            Probably about the same as murder rate drops in death-penalty states. Which is to say, not much.

            • by Lumpy (12016)

              Or the rate of shootings that go up in cities where guns are banned.

              Chicago has the strictest gun laws on the planet and they are the murder capitol of the world.

            • by Joce640k (829181)

              A death penalty only affects a very small number of people - family and friends of the death-sentenced.

              An explosive phone would leave mutilated bodies in the street for everybody to see. Six months of seeing that and people would be afraid to go near stolen phones, let alone carry them around.

              If there was a way to guarantee this sort of "instant karma" justice then crime rates _would_ drop through the floor, trust me.

              Unfortunately we have to factor in the collateral damage. There's no way to guarantee that

              • Re:Go to hell (Score:4, Interesting)

                by ultranova (717540) on Monday March 31, 2014 @01:54PM (#46623337)

                If there was a way to guarantee this sort of "instant karma" justice then crime rates _would_ drop through the floor, trust me.

                Death for petty theft is neither karma nor justice. It's just you demonstrating exactly why we need chaos, for example in the form of the ability to sometimes get away with crimes: humanity can not be trusted with perfect control.

          • You made me immediately think on the poor Lemmings looking at the decreasing counter on the top of their heads, only to grab their heads in distress upon reaching zero... Exploding in a gory feast of blood, leaving their poor mammal corpse for their brethen to remind them of their probable fate.

            One of the cruelest games in game history. But, yes, one of the best ones as well.

          • Error: 25367. Watchdog timer failed. This phone will now self destruct.

            You're the legit owner and now your head has assploded. Welcome to the weird world of embedded systems, where the not every combination of failure can always be accounted for. I get the sentiment you have, but I'd never buy such a device.

            • by Joce640k (829181)

              Error: 25367. Watchdog timer failed. This phone will now self destruct.

              With a slight modification, that might work:

              "Bleep! Bleep! Watchdog timer failed. Any attempt to use this phone will cause a self destruct. Please contact your nearest phone store for assistance."

              (phone shuts down) ...

              (press power switch)

              "Bleep! Bleep! Watchdog timer failed. Any attempt to use this phone will cause a self destruct. Please contact your nearest phone store for assistance."

              (phone shuts down)

        • by morgauxo (974071)

          >>"This is why our justice system when it is working, doesn't try to fully compensate the victim. As the hurt party they will demand more then what is fair."

          What is fair? The penalty must be higher than the amount stolen. Otherwise, what is the deterent? A thief could just hold on to the loot for a while until it is clear that he/she got away with it. If caught, just return it and try again another day. Of course in the real 'justice' system the penalty to the thief is not just making a payment to

        • by daem0n1x (748565)

          Lets get reasonable. It will overheat and catch fire. Often burning down the residence of the crook, or the poor sap that he sold it too.

          Poor sap??? Anyone who buys stolen stuff deserves, at the very least, a month-long diarrhea.

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        That is called C4 packed into the phone and a detonator. Sadly Homeland Security frowns upon this modification.

        • Unless they can control when it goes off...

          I bet there would be actual fistfights over which federal agency would "oversee" this feature.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Problem reaction solution... create the problem, wait for the reaction from the public demanding something be done about it, implement draconian agenda that the public would otherwise have opposed if it had been proposed without the problem stage. Cell phones and smart phones are just over glorified tracking devices. They happen to have some pragmatic uses and they're really convenient, but they're also really convenient for the new fascist surveillance state that has emerged.

    • by imrahilj (3553503)
      Well said. Apparently, the price of freedom (where smartphones are concerned) is only 2.6 billion dollars. That's a lot cheaper than the TSA, Homeland Security, or the wars we are waging right now.
      • Somehow they state that people spend 5 times more on insurance than it costs to deal with the problem... Why should I belive the numbers weren't manipulated (upwards, obviously)?

    • by PackMan97 (244419) on Monday March 31, 2014 @11:12AM (#46621477) Homepage

      They think a centralized kill switch would be a FANTASTIC idea! Just brick the phones for anyone who dares challenge the state.

      I can really see how this might be useful in the US. Instead of the IRS investigating tea partiers, we could just selectively brick their phones. Or if you swing the other way, disable those iPhones from all those annoying hispter Occupy protesters. Seriously, you have an iPhone and you complain about the 99%? You are the 1% globally.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Of course that fear doesn't apply in the U.S. No one but the deeply paranoid wingnuts and the foolish cult of Greenwald dudebros are afraid of the "state" turning off their phone.

        The IRS didn't just investigate the teabaggers, they investigated political groups on the right and the left, it was just the mentally-ill right-wingers with their persecution complexes (we're not persecuting them, we're making fun of them and their superstitious, backward, bigoted beliefs) that went nuts over it.
      • by DaveV1.0 (203135)
        Now you are being a foolish, naive American. Those countries don't need a kill switch. They control the cell networks and they disappear people all the time, especially North Korea. Why kill the phone when you can kill the person?
      • by Joce640k (829181) on Monday March 31, 2014 @12:31PM (#46622481) Homepage

        They think a centralized kill switch would be a FANTASTIC idea! Just brick the phones for anyone who dares challenge the state.

        I can really see how this might be useful in the US. Instead of the IRS investigating tea partiers, we could just selectively brick their phones.

        Huh? A protestors phone is far more useful to a government if they can listen in and/or use it to track your movements.

        PS: If they want to stop you making calls they can already do that, but why would they? See above.

      • by jmcvetta (153563)

        Seriously, you have an iPhone and you complain about the 99%? You are the 1% globally.

        That may have been true five years ago; but it no longer holds today: http://www.theguardian.com/tec... [theguardian.com]

      • by maccodemonkey (1438585) on Monday March 31, 2014 @03:55PM (#46624571)

        They think a centralized kill switch would be a FANTASTIC idea! Just brick the phones for anyone who dares challenge the state.

        I can really see how this might be useful in the US. Instead of the IRS investigating tea partiers, we could just selectively brick their phones. Or if you swing the other way, disable those iPhones from all those annoying hispter Occupy protesters. Seriously, you have an iPhone and you complain about the 99%? You are the 1% globally.

        Yes, with centralized accounts, routing and billing for cell networks, the government definitely is totally unable to disable phones of people they don't like without a kill switch. /sarcasm

    • Remote wiping is already possible.

      Remote wiping protects your data. It doesn't destroy the value of the stolen phone. This would prevent the phone from being ever reused with a new SIM card, eliminating the market for stolen phones for anything other than scrap parts, and probably drastically reducing theft.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Remote wiping is already possible. What they want is centralized control over the functionality for governing purposes. We're not idiots. Well... not all of us.

      Possible, but doesn't' prevent resale. And the same ability to remote wipe can be used to remote kill like how Apple does it.

      Someone steals your cellphone, you remote wipe. However ,that someone has a wiped cellphone they can fence to someone for a hundred bucks, still, while you're out the cost of a replacement.

      On iOS, you remote wipe, that device i

    • Re:Go to hell (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Kenshin (43036) <kenshinNO@SPAMlunarworks.ca> on Monday March 31, 2014 @11:56AM (#46622001) Homepage

      This goes a bit further than remote wiping.

      It's already somewhat available with iOS devices, and is completely under the user's control. Basically, without your AppleID and password, the phone cannot be wiped and reactivated by a thief, essentially making it a fancy paperweight. (So it's not really a "kill switch", just a really strong theft deterrent.) The owner can wipe it themselves remotely, for security, but it would still *also* require their AppleID and password inputted directly into the device to reactivate it.

      It's been working since September, and no one's found a way to bypass it. (Yet.)

    • But the idiots who don't remotely wipe their phone increase the insurance costs to everyone, leading us back to the costs.

      Furthermore, I'm not sure that handing them a kill-switch is ceding a whole lot of ground. If the government wants to track your cell phone, they already do. If they want to shut down your cell phone, I'm pretty sure they can just tell AT&T or verizon to turn it off, they'd save maybe a few hours. If they want to shut down all cell phones in an area, say one where there's a pr
    • Remote wiping is already possible. What they want is centralized control over the functionality for governing purposes. We're not idiots. Well... not all of us.

      Oh, the theft rate is still high! The kill switch does nothing! No worries citizen, now that the capability is in place, instead of a black list we will institute a white list, whereby you must authenticate the phone periodically with approved government services in order for it to function. What's that you say? Carriers already have to authenticate devices? Ah, but that doesn't render the CPU inoperable, eh? You know, just like Intel demonstrated. Oh, we should get PCs on board with this "anti-theft

  • In before all the people who say this will never work because:
    a) Hackers
    b) Government
    c) Capitalists who *want* to sell you new phones/insurance.

    • Well, the "saving Americans $2.6 billion" part is unlikely to work, in any case - it'll just go towards increased profits for the insurance companies.

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Monday March 31, 2014 @11:03AM (#46621349)
    A stolen phone is an opportunity to sell a replacement - and maybe persuade someone to upgrade and go onto a new contract. The stolen phones are usually sold abroad or to people who would not buy an expensive phone otherwise, so its not much of a loss - they might even use more data!
    • A stolen phone is an opportunity to sell a replacement - and maybe persuade someone to upgrade and go onto a new contract.

      In what way will remotely destroying the phone remove this revenue stream?

      At one time it was said that carriers were just as happy to sell services to the person with the stolen phone, however, as you say they are mostly sold abroad these days, which in the vast majority of cases will be a different carrier anyway.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      And why would someone go to their mobile network provider, and not the independent shop around the corner to buy a new one, or maybe a second hand one? Let along upgrading their contract, just because their phone is stolen? Just doesn't make sense.

    • by rolfwind (528248)

      I suspect a kill switch may hurt or help handset makers another way. The loads of people who thought they lost/had their phone stolen but find it shortly after again.

      Will they demand free replacements and the manufacturers bow to their demands or will they just go out and buy a new one?

  • by Connie_Lingus (317691) on Monday March 31, 2014 @11:03AM (#46621353) Homepage

    since when do our corporate overlords ever do anything that really saves the consumer money?

    a study needs to come out how such a technology will save the corporations billions...then perhaps a change will be made.

  • Sure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Monday March 31, 2014 @11:03AM (#46621355) Homepage

    There are two ways such a kill-switch could go:

    1.) It can be circumvented with sufficient effort and hardware access. Then it is useless as a theft deterrent.
    2.) It cannot be circumvented. Then it renders the handset vulnerable to the malice or incompetence of whoever controls the killswitch, and thus useless.

  • by Andreas . (2995185) on Monday March 31, 2014 @11:03AM (#46621361)
    Instead of sending everyone in a defined area a "registration" Message, you can simply kill all phones of the protesters. That way there will be almost no footage of police violence and such! Let's not forget that the batteries of police cameras are always empty when it comes to such point.
  • Markup (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WPIDalamar (122110) on Monday March 31, 2014 @11:04AM (#46621381) Homepage

    >> $580 million replacing stolen phones each year and $4.8 billion paying for handset insurance.

    Whoa whoa whoa... If every person got insurance, that's over an 8x markup for insurance. Since many don't, it's even a higher markup.

    Here's an easy way to save $4.3B - Stop buying the insurance.

    • by hendrips (2722525)

      It says that the phone owners themselves spend $580 million - it does not say how much Asurion (by far the largest handset insurer in the U.S.) pays. Asurion's website says they handle 30 million claims per year, though they don't say how many dollars they pay out, to give you an idea of the scale. Of course, you are still correct that the insurance is "overpriced" in the sense that the expected present value of the premiums is greater than the expected payment on claims; that's true of any insurance poli

    • by DaveV1.0 (203135)
      Insurance covers more than just stolen phones. It covers non-warranty repairs and replacements, such as from water damage, abuse, etc. When I worked for Nokia, we repeatedly got calls about being pushed into the pool, dropped in the toilet, washed in pants, baby drooled on it, we even had one phone damaged by water because the owner charged it in the bathroom while taking a hot shower causing condensation. They all wanted warranty repair for things not covered by the waranty. Stolen phones are only a small
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, I think we should bake this in to all phones so that big brother can kill your phone whenever he wants to. It'll be really useful for making any anti-government protests hard to coordinate.

  • by ljw1004 (764174) on Monday March 31, 2014 @11:07AM (#46621417)

    This doesn't add up...

    If the carriers currently take in $2bn in theft premiums but only pay out $0.5bn in payouts, then they're pocketing a huge $1.5bn/year difference. Therefore

    (1) We can expect them to lobby strongly against anything that will reduce this free money, and attempt to water down any proposed legislation

    (2) If the legislation goes through we can expect them to try to gain that money in different ways, maybe with a "remote wipe services fee"...

  • by loshwomp (468955) on Monday March 31, 2014 @11:08AM (#46621423)

    Americans currently spend around $580 million replacing stolen phones each year and $4.8 billion paying for handset insurance.

    At that factor of 8, folks, is why insurance is a bad investment. Americans could save $4.3B per year by not buying insurance with a poor ROI.

    • by DaveV1.0 (203135)
      Insurance covers and pays out for more than just stolen phones. It is like saying "people spend around $500 million to replace cars from damaged in car fires and pay $50 billion in car insurance".
      • Bad example. Most places require liability insurance in case you hurt someone or damage something that doesn't belong to you. If you own your car there is no requirement to insure your own vehicle against damages you cause. Perhaps the problem is people are being force to buy insurance if they want credit for that super fancy phone just like the bank demands full coverage insurance if you borrow their money to buy a car.
    • Seems the 8x bigger theft from Americans is the insurance.
  • by Decker-Mage (782424) <jack_of_shadows@yahoo.com> on Monday March 31, 2014 @11:09AM (#46621431)
    The annoying facet of this topic is the repetitious use of belief rather than actual data on whether this even works. Surely this regulation exists somewhere. I neither have, nor want, a phone.so I have no horse in this race. Ask yourself how many phones are going to be remote wiped and/or killed by silly users who "think" they have "lost" or had their phone stolen. Be interesting to see which groups are pushing, and who financing, this service. Cynical much? Why yes.
  • This is not the answer! Cellphone carriers should not register stolen phones.

    Soon, each citizen should wear at all times a helmet with an attached remote controlled pistol. Lol!

  • The last time I had phone replacement insurance, I was paying almost $8 a month for it (I think that was with Verizon). I think I've used phone insurance one time in the 12+ years I've spent owning a cell phone. It seems absolutely useless for someone like me who puts the phone in a front pocket and actually takes care not to drop it or put it where it will end up in a toilet or sink or coffee cup or pool.

    Combine dropping the handset insurance with the 50%+ savings that are had by dumping the contract carrier and moving to a "prepaid" carrier and you've got enough saved cash after four months (at ~$48/mo saved) to PURCHASE A TOTALLY NEW PHONE. Not a cheap crappy one either: I remember Virgin Mobile had Samsung Galaxy S2 phones for $200 and Galaxy S3 phones for $300 at one point, both of which are really nice phones.

    As for kill switches...meh, just use the Android 4.x full device encryption.
    • Combine dropping the handset insurance with the 50%+ savings that are had by dumping the contract carrier and moving to a "prepaid" carrier and you've got enough saved cash after four months (at ~$48/mo saved) to PURCHASE A TOTALLY NEW PHONE. Not a cheap crappy one either: I remember Virgin Mobile had Samsung Galaxy S2 phones

      Except isn't Virgin Mobile itself a "cheap crappy one"? Boost, Virgin, and Ting all use Sprint's network. And though I've had satisfactory voice service on Virgin for the past several years, I've read bad things about the quality of Sprint's data network.

      • I think it's highly dependent on where you are and how the coverage is there. The only places I have problems with Virgin, I have had problems with almost everything else except maybe Verizon. I don't know that paying double the cost per month is worth having coverage in fringe areas, especially since I'm in an office 90% of the day, but for highly mobile people it may be worth it. Also, I never use voice service, but frequently use data service; no serious problems to report. Then again, these anecdotes on
  • by Jason Pollock (45537) on Monday March 31, 2014 @11:23AM (#46621635) Homepage

    Databases already exist with stolen IMEIs. This will prevent those devices from registering on a carrier's network, rendering them wifi-only.

    Both systems require the owner to report the theft, which you wouldn't do if your phone is >2-3 years old - value is > insurance deductible.

    Since the existing systems are already not used, there won't be any change by any new system.

    http://www.t-mobile.com/verify... [t-mobile.com]
    https://prod.eie.net.au/portal... [eie.net.au]
    http://www.imei.info/blacklist... [imei.info]

    The response is that thieves change the IMEI number (which can be hard). What is says is that any new system would have the same result - the thieves would change the identification number used to lock out the device.

  • Is anyone falling for this?

    • by spacepimp (664856)

      Not here. Not too many. However the rest of the world buys right in to the fear. I guarantee the enxt time there is some sort of protest or unrest that we will see phones in an area cut and they'll deny being involved.

      • by roc97007 (608802)

        I think you're right. So it seems that the job for those of us in the know is to spread the word as much as possible. The first vendor that implements this should immediately get a bunch of free advertisement. Not the good kind.

        I'm actually considering going back to a flip phone or a burner if this is implemented.

  • While the cellphone kill switch is a fascinating and debatable idea, with trepidation I am waiting for the first study for human kill switch devices. We saw those prototypes in the movie The Running Man. They no longer need to be intrusive and look like dog collars. They can be discreet and miniature like cardiac pacemakers. The kill switch needs not be messy and explosive: all you do is switch off the current. Human Kill switches have enormous potential. If widely adopted, billions of dollars could be sav
  • by Galaga88 (148206) on Monday March 31, 2014 @11:33AM (#46621763)

    You know, if humanity in general was as negative and paranoid towards every bit of technological change as the commenters on here trying to find every reason this won't work... We'd have never come out of the damned trees.

    My iPhone 5 has a killswitch through the form of iOS 7 and my iCloud account. I like this. If you're so damned determined to believe that this feature will only be used by the government to oppress you, why do you own a smartphone to begin with?

    • by ichthus (72442) on Monday March 31, 2014 @11:53AM (#46621957) Homepage

      if humanity in general was as negative and paranoid towards every bit of technological change

      There was a time when the idea that the government would capture and store every phone conversation and email of its citizens was paranoid. There was a time, not too long ago, that nobody would ever have believed that we'd have naked body scanners at the airport -- people like you would call anyone claiming this as a possibility "paranoid." Drone surveillance of the masses? Paranoid. Law enforcement roadblocks for obligatory cheek swabs? Paranoid. National database of private medical records available to unelected government entities? Paranoid

      Fuck you and your labels -- you and your naivete. If a new technology can be used for control, obviously, it will be.

      • by Galaga88 (148206)

        Let's just stop all technological advancement until we overthrow the US government. It sounds like that's the only way you'll let anybody invent anything novel or useful.

        The government could use Siri to monitor everything I say, so let's disable that even though I use it every day. My girlfriend and I use "Find my Friends" to see when we might be coming home, but the government could use it to spy on us, so let's get rid of that. Let's stop using Gmail because the government can snoop on us through there. L

        • But it's a separate problem from giving consumers a kill-switch on their phone in case it gets stolen.

          I think your problem is in assuming that the consumer will have any access to the kill-switch at all. Likely, we won't, and if we do, it will be via an intermediary at the carrier. Which, as anyone who deals with these telcos every day can tell you, means the same thing as not having access.

          • by Galaga88 (148206)

            I have a kill-switch, right now, and I have control over it. If my iPhone goes missing, I can lock or remotely wipe it, and they can't do anything to get it running again without my iCloud credentials. They can scrounge it for parts, but at least that's less appealing than a working iPhone, and it'll keep them from getting to any personal info I have on it.

            I don't see why we should assume a kill-switch from other vendors would work substantially differently.

            • I have a kill-switch, right now, and I have control over it.

              Right - exactly why you should find the idea of a universal, legally-mandated kill switch you do not have control over to be onerous.

              Why should carriers and the government have a key to your kingdom, in addition to the one you yourself possess?

        • by ichthus (72442)

          Let's just stop all technological advancement until we overthrow the US government.

          Nice straw man, man! Who called for the overthrow of the US gov't or the cessation of technological advancement? My point was that you're labeling people who are rightly suspicious of the motives behind a government-mandated kill switch as paranoid. Their suspicion is vigilance and skepticism, but not (at least in the pejorative sense) paranoia. If you think there's not potential for tyrannical abuse of this technology,

      • by wvmarle (1070040)

        I take it you're Amish?

        • by ichthus (72442)
          Electrical engineer and technology lover. I also love freedom, privacy and having full control of the devices I own. What a radical concept.
    • by hendrips (2722525)

      Because, as it stands now, you control the killswitch on your iPhone, and Apple, your carrier, and the government, don't, at least in theory. Is this a trick question?

  • Oh, come on... I have also lost several items only to find them later, misplaced in the most obvious places. Of course, I have also attributed to theft some of my losses. I guess that I have misplaced my stuff more than once.

    So, if thieves were to end up with a useless brick, would people lose less phones?

    Do thieves only get phones to resell them (and not, say, take your contacts information, for blackmail and similar stuff?) In my country, there have been countless campaigns telling people not to fall for

  • by MikeMo (521697) on Monday March 31, 2014 @12:04PM (#46622111)
    Doesn't the existing Apple passcode with fingerprint solution solve this problem (I think Samsung is doing something like this, too)? It appears to me that the device is useless to anyone except the original owner, since it can't be unlocked, even after a wipe and a re-flash. The fingerprint makes the passcode not a burden to the owner.

    Isn't that sufficient?
  • by Lumpy (12016)

    " mostly from reduced insurance premiums. "

    Anyone that thinks an insurance company will reduce premiums is smoking some amazing good hallucinogenics.

    Insurance companies will do everything in their power to RAISE premiums and not lower them.

  • That is, the only way the phone can be "killed" is via the additional specification of a password that the user chose and had previously assigned to the device, and is not erased from the device when the battery is taken out or sim card replaced. When a phone phone receives the kill signal that is intended for it, if the password does not match what is on the device, the signal should of course be ignored, so that in general the only person who can remote kill the phone is the person who assigned the pasw
  • Creighton University professor William Duckworth has released a report finding that kill-switch technology that remotely makes a stolen smartphone useless could saveInsurance companies up to $2.6 billion per year ...

    I highly doubt any savings would get passed down to the consumer from the likes of an Insurance company.

  • There is no guarantee that you will get the phone back, or that it will even be operational if you get it back, with this "magical" phone kill switch.

    You most certainly can be be guaranteed it won't work if any of the globalists get whimsical and decide to shut it off. They WILL shut it off.

    Furthermore, whatever system they implement most certainly will be wide open to hacking, that is something you can also count on.

    My bank J.P. Morgan for example, regularly calls me about charges on my Credit Cards for my

  • 580 million is a small price to pay for not having to worry about your gear getting "rendered useless" by social engineers, hax0rs, oppressive governments and carriers.

    Besides there are plenty of outstanding fellow citizens selling phone parts online (displays, touch sensors, batteries, housings..) less noble sort are still able to make money one way or another.

    What TFA seems to be asserting IMEI blacklists and software features are not "good" enough... we need the kill switch to handle specific case of thi

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