Kill Switches: Phones Just The Start

Mandatory phone kill switches will hasten the arrival of the Surveillance of Everything. Consider these 11 technologies that come with strings attached.

Federal and state lawmakers have proposed to make it mandatory for phone makers to include a kill switch in mobile communications devices so they can be disabled remotely in the event of loss or theft.

Without a doubt, mobile phone theft is a serious problem: Between 30% and 40% of robberies in major cities involve a mobile device, according to the FCC. But mandating built-in anti-theft technology, as opposed to allowing individuals to make their own security choices, raises the risk of misuse and extends the scope of surveillance.

Of course, the Internet already is a surveillance system: Almost all online activity can be (and is) tracked. But apart from bulk and targeted data collected by intelligence agencies, individuals generally have an out. Internet users can erase and block cookies, use ad blocking and script blocking technology, prevent the transmission of specified local data, and even use encryption technology, given enough technical savvy. But as everyday objects become integrated with our networks, opting out is likely to become increasingly difficult.

via Kill Switches: Phones Just The Start – InformationWeek.

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