It seems that someone has discovered a “kill switch” in the Thunderbolt source code. Through the Droid Rage, it was pointed out that this bit of code is not exclusive to the Thunderbolt.
You can find the snippet of code that I will be referring to HERE.
This code, more commonly referred to as the Master Clean command, it not some evil weapon that carriers, manufacturers, or even Google would wield over you for committing some heinous crime. In fact, this code exists on every Android device, including ones compiled via AOSP. It’s there for local network administrators. This is a corporate feature to enable a sys admin to wipe a phone that’s been misplaced, stolen, or even picked up by a wannabe reporter in a strange bar. It’s a simple security feature to protect a company from losing valuable or secure data.
So in a couple of months, when the next insanely hyped Android phone comes out, and a week or so later you hear that a super secret “kill switch” was installed to brick your phone if you misbehaved, please remember this article, as I am sure it will be just another retelling of this same old tale.
P.S. I’m a Java programmer, and I didn’t have time to take a look at the Android API, but I really like the following method’s name:
int k = Log.wtf("MasterClear", "Still running after master clear?!");
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