A couple of days ago, I read an article about a new bill that California has proposed which will require “kill switches” to be placed inside all 2015 smartphones sold in or shipped into California. It is Senate Bill 962.
I read nothing about this bill in my local newspaper nor did I hear anything about it on either the local or national news. The media was silent about this new legislation.
Right now, you may be asking yourself why you should care about this bill because after all it’s just California and they are always doing “crazy” things.
I have a different way of looking at it. “First California and then your state might be next” is how I view this agenda driven legislation. I believe this is yet another progressive left attempt at controlling our lives and a free capitalist society by imposing unnecessary legislation. This legislation, if successful, has the potential of starting in California and then sweeping across the United States.
State Senator Mark Leno, San Francisco Attorney George Gascon, other officials, and law enforcement officers co-authored the bill with the hopes that the wireless industry would “wake up” to the unusually high phone theft statistics in California, as the AP reported.
The Federal Communications Commission reports that cell phone thefts account for approximately one in three U.S. robberies. California’s rates are even higher at sixty percent of thefts in San Francisco and seventy five percent in nearby Oakland. No statistics were given for other areas of California.
The police chief of San Francisco was quoted as saying that he couldn’t “imagine someone would vote against” the bill. He cites $7.8 billion that is spent each year on cell phone loss and theft insurance as a reason why everyone should want it. If you are not for it then you must not be for victim’s rights because this bill is for the victim, right?
The authors of this bill argue that there is no resale value to the thieves when the phone has been rendered useless yet there is an option for the cell phone buyer to opt out of the kill switch. In other words, the owner of the cell phone could have the switch deactivated which would render the alleged purpose for the bill void.
If we can place kill switches in cell phones then why not take it a step further? Why not put kill switches on cars because cars are stolen at a high rate in California and elsewhere? Kill switches could also be placed on all computers, laptops, IPads, IPods, Kindle devices and other reader devices with Internet connections, telephones in your home, refrigerators, hot water heaters, and almost anything else that “needs to be regulated.” Where does it all end or does it?
We have all seen that once government enacts legislation it can extend beyond its original purpose or be abused in some other way by the government. One only has to look at the current administration to see government overreaching at its finest. The IRS, NSA, and unconstitutional re-writing of law in Obamacare by this President quickly come to mind as examples of excessive overreaching. What happens if the kill switch gets in the hands of these same overreaching government entities and even hackers? What if our government felt it “necessary” to cut-off all communication as was attempted by the government in Libya and Egypt during the 2011 Arab Spring uprising?
If enough people want a “kill switch” in their phones there are ways to achieve this without government regulation. Carriers could be petitioned by the consumer and if the consumer felt that a kill switch was really necessary then their voices, in a capitalist society, would be heard. Carriers could then devise their own kill switches without the need for government intervention.
Don’t be fooled that California is the only state that will have this type of legislation introduced. I believe other states are just standing by to see how the people of California react to this bill before moving forward with a bill of their own.
——- GB ——-
Susan Knowles is an author, psychotherapist and former practicing attorney. Her latest book, a political fiction, is entitled, “Freedom’s Fight: A Call to Remember” available on Amazon.com. Her website is www.susanknowles.com, where this article may also be found.
The article appearing on this site is the property of Susan J. Knowles. It is protected by U.S. Copyright Laws, and is not to be downloaded or reproduced in any way without the written permission of Susan J. Knowles. Copyright 2014 Susan J. Knowles All Rights Reserved.