Lawmakers push bill for smartphone kill switch

TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) - Elected leaders and police announced support for a federal law requiring a so-called “kill switch” on smartphones.

Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, signed on to co-sponsor the Secure Our Smartphones bill in the House of Representatives.

Phone makers would have to include a “kill switch” that would be used if the phone was stolen.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says that would prevent a costly crime that’s happening more often.

“There is a huge market, thieves know that they can get the money, and the only way to make this crime wave stop is for them to understand that this phone can be cancelled like I can cancel a credit card and there’s no point in stealing it,” Schneiderman said.

Schneiderman says a stolen smartphone can fetch up to $2,000 in foreign markets including Hong Kong.

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