One can only imagine the nefarious purposes the state could use this for. We are a very connected society these days with things like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. Shutting this method of communication down would force most people to rely on local news. Smartphone 'kill switch' becomes law in California http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/aug/25/brown-oks-bills-on-kill-switch-obama-presidency/ Smartphone 'kill switch' becomes law in California News10/KXTV-Sacramento1:48 a.m. EDT August 26, 2014 A requirement that new smartphones be equipped with a kill switch in the event they are stolen was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown Monday. Senate Bill 962 directs smartphones manufacturers to equip their product with anti-theft technology that allows the owner to deactivate the device if it's stolen. How manufacturers meet the requirement is up to them. According to the National Consumers League, 1.6 million Americans had a handheld device stolen in 2012. The law applies to smartphones made on or after July 1, 2015, and sold in California after that date. Minnesota was the first state to sign a "kill-switch" bill into law. Google, Microsoft and Apple have already said they will install the feature into new versions of their phone operating systems, which means that by next year, new versions of operating systems on 97% of the phones used in the United States will have a kill switch. Kill switches that are already part of some operating systems are only partially effective, say some critics, because customers have to choose to set the feature. Many don't. The California bill takes the requirement a step further, making manufacturers prompt the owner of the phone to use the solution when they're setting up the phone. Customers who don't want to use it can opt out of it and disable it.