To be properly alarmist, there should be a profit motive, like selling advertising time.
"Kill switch" sounds cooler to politicians.
A mechanism that can kill cell phones, known to local police forces, and presumably to cellular service providers and probably others, might be very interesting to criminals and foreign powers, as a way to increase chaos and reduce response during a major crime or terrorist event. And you know that eventually the code or technique or whatever will eventually fall into criminal or enemy hands. It's too good a secret not to sell to someone. So, never mind trusting our government not to use this for nefarious purposes, we should also think about what nefarious people outside the government or belonging to some other government would do with it.
I have a Golden who lives inside with me (he has a doggie door he can open himself if he needs out) and most of the time I am at home he follows me around the house carrying a toy (currently a knotted rope we use for tugging play). When I work on the computer at home he lies across my feet. He sleeps in my bed, sits on the couch next to me when I read, and inspires me to nightly walks. I can't imagine a better companion.
On the other hand, we once rescued a lab mix with scars around her neck from being chained outside without a collar. (The chain wrapped around her neck and tied off with a piece of wire.) So yeah, if you're up for treating a dog as a companion, get a dog. If you're going to treat the dog as furniture, do all of us a favor and take the pill instead.
Right, exactly, which makes me wonder if there isn't some other purpose to this bill.
I mean, is this a thing? Is cell phone theft so rampant and costly that mandatory kill switches are a viable solution?
I appreciate where you're coming from. But if you carry a gun, in most states, the cop will know ahead of time.
My previous laptop had an actual hardware killswitch that physically broke the connection between the camera and the USB bus, and a similar one for the wifi. My current one doesn't, it just has a key combination that disables the camera, presumably in software. This is stupid.
I'm actually wondering why this (a physical kill switch) isn't a required thing by businesses such as, oh, gyms, and companies concerned about corporate espionage. Awhile back there was a push in some companies to only issue company phones without cameras, but that seems to have fallen by the wayside.
And also: "and there was a case in the news where a woman had nude pictures taken of her without her knowledge". Heh heh. Those zany FBI analysts...
Brilliant. That's it. It's the explanation that fits all the facts. Compiling a database of drivers who decline to be swabbed is only a bonus.
There is a huge amount of information to collect based on subjects' reactions to these requests for DNA. At the very least, the cops must be compiling a naughty/nice list indexed to license plate based on who accepts a cheek swab. Making the link from license plate to individual is pretty easy, especially if they're also taking video of their proceedings. People are forced to play the game and there's no way to win.
That was my thought, also. So you're driving home at 2:00 AM from a late night code hacking marathon, the cop checks your plate, which is common practice for cars on the road late at night,  sees that you declined an optional cheek swab 3 months ago, and pulls you over for "weaving". It's easy to imagine getting extra scrutiny in the future for declining a swab now.
 I worked nights for an 18 month contract once, going home in the wee hours, and was pulled over... oh, maybe eight or nine times during that stint, for really bizarre reasons, including "weaving" and not signaling a lane change when two lanes converged into one. (Seriously?) They'd check my papers, and let me go. I finally asked an officer, respectfully, why this was happening so often, and in a rare moment of candor, he said they consider a single car late at night to be a warning sign, and "we have to pull you over for something" in order to check you out.
Is that before or after the guy
with the gun and the radio
This doesn't really have anything to do with TOR.
It has to do with TOR insofar as they knew the threat came from the Tor network, so they looked at campus network logs for anybody who happened to be connecting to TOR during that time period.
Granted, but the important thing is "during that time period". When analyzing encrypted messages, you can get valuable information just by the timing of messages, even if you can't read their content. He could have used any anonymizing service or technique -- it was the timing that tripped him up. That, and he was stupid enough to use the campus wifi, thinking his use of TOR would be enough to prevent identification.