As expected, lawmakers from across the country have joined forces to prevent the rash of smart phone thefts that have terrorized the streets of every major U.S. city, according to press statements released on June 14 by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón.
According to the petition, 1.6 million Americans were victimized for their smartphone in 2012. In San Francisco, where the petition began, 50 percent of all robberies involved a "mobile communication device." In New York City 20 percent of all robberies were reported to be smartphone or cell phone related, that being a 40 percent increase from the past year, according to the petition.
Here's what you need to know...
1. It's Brilliantly Being Called 'S.O.S'
The plan is being called "Secure Our Smartphones," or "S.O.S." The project, according NY Attorney General:
The epidemic of violent street crime involving the theft and resale of mobile devices is a very real and growing threat in communities all across America.
2. 'S.O.S' Has Been Discussed With the Big 4 Smartphone Providers
The plan is specifically targeting: Apple, Google/Motorola, Samsung and Microsoft. Schenidermann has already spoken with representatives of the four companies at a Smartphone Summit in New York. The New York Attorney General was curious to find out what they were doing "to protect its brand and assure public officials it is acting responsibly."
The announcement of the plan comes the same week that Apple have announced further security improvements to the ios7 operating system. The new features make it impossible for an iPhone to be operated without the Apple ID of the owner. Though this security is only available to iCloud users.
3. There Are Five Key Initiatives at Play in the Plan
"S.O.S" brings in intiatives that will analyze patterns, causes and trends behind the thefts, and how companies like Apple can help lawmakers in making stealing and operating smartphones more difficult.
The petition requests that all phones be installed with a "kill switch" that would be able to deactivate a phone as soon as it is reported stolen or tried to be hacked into.
4. The Project is Gaining Support
"S.O.S" is proving to be a popular initiative. There are 55 signatures to Eric Schneiderman and George Gascón's initiative, deep breadth, it's signed by:
· Attorney General Martha Coakley, Massachusetts
· Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Illinois
· Attorney General Beau Biden, Delaware
· Attorney General Lori Swanson, Minnesota
· Attorney General David Louie, Hawaii
· Attorney General George Jepsen, Connecticut
· Attorney General Jon Bruning, Nebraska
· Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, California
· State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, New York
· District Attorney Nancy O'Malley, Alameda County District Attorney's Office
· District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr, New York County District Attorney’s Office
· District Attorney Kathleen Rice, Nassau County District Attorney’s Office
· District Attorney Mark A. Peterson, Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office
· District Attorney Jeffrey F. Rosen, Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office
· District Attorney Donald DuBain, Solano County District Attorney’s Office
· District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office
· District Attorney Sandra Doorley, Monroe County District Attorney’s Office
· District Attorney David Soares, Albany County District Attorney’s Office
· District Attorney R. Seth Williams, Philadelphia County District Attorney’s Office
· District Attorney Jackie Lacey, Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office
· Comptroller John Liu, New York City
· Mayor Jean Quan, City of Oakland
· Senator Mark Leno, California State Senate
· Senator Leland Yee, California State Senate
· Assemblyman Marc Levine, California State Assembly
· Council member Libby Schaff, Oakland City Council
· Board Member Betty Yee, California Board of Equalization
· New York State Association of Chiefs of Police
· Superintendent Garry McCarthy, Chicago Police Department
· Chief Greg Suhr, San Francisco Police Department
· Commissioner Thomas V. Dale, Nassau County Police Department
· Commissioner Charles H. Ramesy, Philadelphia Police Department
· Chief Greg Suhr, San Francisco Police Department
· Chief Michael Davis, Brooklyn Park Police Department
· Chief Edward Flynn, Milwaukee Police Department
· Commissioner Anthony Batts, Baltimore Police Department
· Chief Susan Manheimer, San Mateo Police Department
· Superintendent Colonel Rick Fuentes, New Jersey State Police
· Commissioner Ed Davis, Boston Police Department
· Chief Jane Castar, Tampa Police Department
· Chief Kim Jacobs, Columbus Police Department
· Major Cities Police Chiefs Association
· President Marty Halloran, San Francisco Police Officers Association
· Executive Director Chuck Wexler, Police Executive Research Forum
· Director Sue Rahr, Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission
· Richard Van Hauten, East Division Representative, Fort Worth Police Officers Association
· Sean Smoot, Chief Legal Counsel, Illinois Police Benevolent and Protective Association
· Christine Cole, Executive Director of the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management, Harvard Kennedy School
· Malcolm Sparrow, Professor of the Practice of Public Management, Harvard Kennedy School
· Bernard Melekian, Paratus Group
· Psychologist Richard G. Dudley Jr., MD, Vera Institute Trustee
· David Weisburd, Professor of Criminalogy, George Mason University
· Tracey Meares, Walton Hale Hamilton Professor,Yale School of Law
· Anthony Braga, Don M. Gottfredson Professor of Evidence-Based Criminology, Rutgers School of Criminal Justice
5. Apple Think They're Being Unfairly Targeted
Techhive.com reports that Apple Chairman Arthur Levinson apparently reached out to New York City Comptroller John C. Liu. He told him that his company share the concerns of lawmakers about the rise in smartphone thefts but that he believes Apple are being unfairly targeted as being unhelpful about the issue.
The letter wrote:
Fairly or not, wireless industry leaders such as Apple have been portrayed as disinterested when it comes to collaborating with law enforcement agencies in the effort to develop a meaningful technological solution that would effectively eliminate the secondary market in which criminal elements realize their profits. While the nationwide database is a step in the right direction, it is clear that more needs to be done to protect customers.