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updated: 2/7/2014 4:45 PM

California leaders announce 'kill switch' bill

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Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- Officials in California have announced proposed legislation requiring smartphones to have a built-in "kill switch" to render stolen or lost devices inoperable.

State Sen. Mark Leno, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and others said Friday the bill would require mobile devices sold in or shipped to California to have the anti-theft devices starting next year.

They believe the bill that Leno plans to introduce this spring would be the first of its kind in the United States.

The wireless industry says a kill switch could allow hackers to disable phones belonging to individuals along with government and law enforcement agencies.

The industry launched a national stolen phones database in November.

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