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DOJ objects to kill-switch on mobiles

/ 04:19 AM October 06, 2014
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MANILA, Philippines–The Department of Justice (DOJ) has backed several pending House bills requiring the registration of users of prepaid subscriber identity module (SIM) cards, saying the measures, if enacted into law, could aid authorities in tracking down stolen mobile phones and people using cell phones to commit crime.

But Justice Secretary Leila de Lima expressed reservations about a proposal mandating the National Telecommunications Commission and service providers to pre-install “kill-switch” software in all cell phones so they could be remotely disabled and cleared of all data and private information when stolen.

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“We laud the intention of the proponents [but] this department has reservations as to the method of pre-installing the kill-switch software considering that hackers may be able to gain access to the ‘kill message’ that would be installed in these mobile phones,” De Lima said in a letter to Rep. Joel Roy Duavit, chair of the committee on information and communications technology.

The proposal, authored by AMA party-list Rep. Lorna Velasco, mandates all public telecommunication entities to pre-install a “reliable and perfectly functioning” kill-switch software that can only be activated upon the request of the registered subscriber, after proper verification.–Jerome Aning

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TOPICS: Department of Justice (DOJ), House bill, Joel Roy Duavit, kill-switch, Leila de Lima, Lorna Velasco, mobile phones
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