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California leaders want smartphone 'kill switch'

Published on Feb 8, 2014 8:26 AM

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Californian leaders want to make it compulsory for smartphones or tablets sold in the state to have built-in "kill switches" to counter the rocketing number of thefts of the devices.

State senator Mark Leno and other elected officials on Friday unveiled legislation requiring that new smartphones or tablets have technology that could be used to remotely render them useless.

Backers called the bill the first of its kind in the United States; opponents fear it may allow hackers to shut down people's devices.

"With robberies of smartphones reaching an all-time high, California cannot continue to stand by when a solution to the problem is readily available," said Mr Leno, a Democrat representing San Francisco.

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