NY AG Says Android, Windows Phones Will Have "Kill Switch"

Tyler Durden's picture

"It's for your own good, remember." As Bloomberg reports, based on a study showing the "stunning effectiveness of kill switches," Google and Microsoft have agreed to NY AG Schneidermann's calls that such 'security measures' be incorporated in all new Android and Windows phones (following Apple's inclusion in September). With Android phones making up 80.2% of global shipments this year, "control" will be pleased...


Via Bloomberg,

Google and Microsoft will incorporate a “kill switch” into the next versions of their smartphone operating systems as evidence mounts that such security measures may be deterring theft, the New York attorney general’s office said.


Mobile phone technology companies have faced pressure from public officials during the past year to add mechanisms to allow smartphone owners to disable the devices if they are lost or stolen, limiting their resale potential.


More than 30 percent of robberies in major cities involve mobile phones, with some instances of theft also including violence, according to the Federal Communications Commission. Following Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s release of a kill switch in September, thefts of iPhones in some cities “plummeted,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who helped start a law enforcement coalition aimed at addressing the thefts.


The Secure Our Smartphones Initiative group said in a report today that robberies involving Apple products in New York dropped 19 percent in the first five months of 2014 compared with the same period last year. In San Francisco and London, robberies involving Apple products dropped 38 percent and 24 percent, respectively, according to Schneiderman’s office.


“The statistics released today illustrate the stunning effectiveness of kill switches and the commitments of Google and Microsoft are giant steps toward consumer safety,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

We are sure this is well intentioned... but worry of the unintended consequences (hackers able to entirely kill phones) and of course the libertarian perspective where 'control' is given to TPTB... how many more police violence cellphone clips? Turkey killed Twitter, why not kill all phones for a weekend?

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Xibalba's picture

root it and never 'update' it.  

A Lunatic's picture

Never buy it, learn to function without it........

LetThemEatRand's picture

Theater.  They can kill the land lines too, and they've been tapping into those since the '60's if not before.

Xibalba's picture

operator?  Is that you?  

Oh, hi there. 

LetThemEatRand's picture

A lot of young people think the answer is to try to outsmart the government spying, rather than replacing the government.

Xibalba's picture

Most likely, the young ppl aren't aware that they can replace .Gov


Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

If theft were the real reason for a kill switch, then why not use the GPS in all smart phones to track down the thieves and arrest them?

A Lunatic's picture

Because that would be RACIST.........

zhandax's picture

It would also be work and the union won't stand for that.

zhandax's picture

Rescinded...Already flushed out the statists.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



Want a driver's license in Texas? You must submit to having all 10 0f your finger prints scanned. It's for your protection.

sylviasays's picture

Want a driver's license in Kalifornia? No proof of citizenship or other documentation needed because that would be R A C I S T! 

PT's picture

I'm a little confused here.  When I don't pay my phone bill, doesn't the phone company stop me from making calls?  Can't the gubmint already simply walk into a phone exchange, (okay if you insist - they may need to wave a piece of paper around or point a gun at somebody)  and "turn off" any phone they like?

zerocash's picture

There's already an app called Prey that can do that (except the arresting of course).


HardAssets's picture

Ask a young person, high schooler to 20 something, who we fought in 1776. Ask them when was the next US fought war after that and who we fought in it. Ask them what 'branches of government' mean and to name them.

And then ask their Boomer parents these same things.

'Education' and the 'teachers' have done a helluva job in producing ignorant people who can be easily manipulated.

Pee Wee's picture

I asked a 'things-go-boomer' and they confirmed the FISA court was under the executive branch.  Nothing to see here from the boom'er demographic.

Sun and Moon's picture

You mean like sabotaging the government by putting idiots in control? Ah! That's why they voted for big-O.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Actually, the opposite of that.  It's the illusion that anyone we elect from the options given to us are in control of anything.

Xibalba's picture

They feed the voters bait. Here fishy fishy...come play with Uncle Sam.  Just give me your address, social, and I'll hand you a jury summons so you can serve your .gov

LetThemEatRand's picture

Do you mean the CIA head/former president dad, or the belt buckle wearing ass puppet spawn that worked for him?

alien-IQ's picture

if you can't see past the false red/blue dichotomy, then you are a bigger part of the problem than the whores in DC.

TheReplacement's picture

If you cannot see that the dichotomy is both real and false then it is you who is blind.  There are many well intentioned people on both sides who are ignorant of how both parties have owners in the shadows.  They are the ones who must be awoken as they will be the most disappointed with the truth and have the potential to unleash hell on earth against TPTB.  They are not the real enemy.  They are just people caught in the matrix.

Grumbleduke's picture

"There are many well intentioned people on both sides who are ignorant of how both parties have owners in the shadows..."


Let me answer with the words of Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson:


… but worse:

It’s not just duplicity or two-facedness – he’s stupid!

And frankly, I’m not sure that in our senate and in our house of representatives there are more than a handful not stupid people.

That scares me more than they being all criminals…"



nmewn's picture

Maybe we can "build that" ;-)

A Nanny Moose's picture

Replace? I look forward to it's inevitable demise, and to replacing it with...nothing.

ajax's picture



Carrier Pigeons? Go long...

Tsunami Wave's picture

Slight OT.. but do you ever get the loud ass warnings on your phone like an Amber Alert or a NOAA alert?  I am not sure at all why mine and other people get those warnings on their cellphones.  It's a little more odd that people don't really care

fallout11's picture

You can turn that off, or at least my phone allows me to.

Bendromeda Strain's picture

Most of my loud ass warnings are from mexican food...

seek's picture

Even better, dumb phones. Old school GSMs work just fine -- if you need a cell at all.

There are various gadgets like MP3 players with the other "smart" functions that don't need to be connected to function, if you need those features as well.

I have seen the future, and it's offline computing.

Andre's picture

Here's another one. Have you noticed how many cameras - up to and including DSLRs - are "WiFi enabled"?

It's just SO convenient....

smacker's picture

But in most cases the WiFi feature can be switched off. Or at least according to the instructions and menu systems on the device.

Bendromeda Strain's picture

My GMRS and 2meter HTs have neither GPS or OS, and I will communicate when the kill switch is thrown (but that doesn't mean they can't drop a strike on them thar transmissions).

rubiconsolutions's picture

I'm beginning to think Ted Kaczynski was correct.

StychoKiller's picture

Ted Kaczynski was correct, he just chose the wrong targets to send bombs to.

Nehweh Gahnin's picture

Just beginning, huh?  Well, that's good.

Colonel Klink's picture

I said that awhile back and was lambasted.  He was though.

Yen Cross's picture

    Have you guys ever heard this song? Old school but educational.

     Naked Eyes-Voices

alien-IQ's picture

same title, but more fitting is this:

Voices in my head

it's well worth a listen.

Yen Cross's picture

  Another great tune Seek. Thanks.

Grumbleduke's picture

a modern version of "Eyes in the Sky":

Tell em' the truth and they call you a traitor
Talk to em' honestly and they call you a hater


I am the eye in the sky

looking at you,

I can read your mind
I am the maker of rules dealing with fools,

I can cheat you blind



hidingfromhelis's picture

How about something with the "voices" theme from the 1980's?

Russ Ballard-Voices:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftcyFZxnTro

navy62802's picture

What they will eventually seek is an internet kill switch. What they want is an information kill switch. They want a bunch of uninformed idiots running around. What they will get is a bunch of well armed citizens fighting them. And when that happens you better own gold.

Global Observer's picture

What they will get is a bunch of well armed citizens fighting them.

Is that planned for this century or the next one? Just curious.

ajax's picture



"They want a bunch of uninformed idiots running around."

LOL They got what they wanted..