It's not uncommon to see politicians blame gadgets for crimes, such as cameraphones for happy slapping, or white earphones for MP3 player theft, since it's far easier to blame faceless corporations and their products than to actually do something about the underlying crimes that occur. Now, in the UK, a government minister is taking things a step further by saying that gadget makers need to "design in features which reduce crimes". He also suggests that people buying new mobile phones should "ask how does this prevent people actually stealing it and selling it again, what are the anti-crime characteristics?" It's not entirely clear what he's after (apart from some political brownie points), but he cites the way mobile operators in the UK blacklist stolen phones so they can't be used, which means that stolen phones just end up getting sold overseas, not that they don't get stolen. It seems like this is just a way to shift some responsibility away from criminals, but particularly away from the police, and blame device manufacturers for making their products too attractive and too easy to steal. What's he want, anyway -- taser-equipped iPods and mobile phones with pepper spray?
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