California Senate approves smartphone killswitch bill

That kill switch lawmakers have so earnestly been trying to implement passed an important hurdle this week. After failing to pass just two weeks ago, the bill has been approved and now must go through a lengthy legislative process before hitting the desk of California Gov. Jerry Brown. If signed into law, all smartphones sold in California would be required to include a “kill switch” capable of rendering a phone inoperable. The kill switch idea has been vigorously opposed by wireless carriers.

A California bill that mandates smartphones sold in the state come preloaded with antitheft software cleared its first legislative hurdle on Thursday. SB962, introduced by state Sen. Mark Leno and sponsored by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, asks that device makers including Apple and Samsung put so-called “kill-switch” technology on every smartphone and have the switch automatically turned on when people buy a phone. A kill switch lets users lock the phone if it is stolen, making it inoperable. The bill, which was initially shot down by senators on April 24 — now has to make it through the California Assembly. Eventually it will need to be approved by California Gov. Jerry Brown, as well.


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