The Canadian government intends to prohibit Flipper Zero and similar devices, categorizing them as tools that thieves could exploit to steal cars.
On Wednesday, Canadian Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne said that some individuals employed sophisticated tools for car theft, causing legitimate concern among Canadians. Due to this, he announced the prohibition of importing, selling, and using consumer hacking devices, like flipper, which criminals use for their activities.
The announcement follows a national summit on combatting auto theft organized this week by the Government of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario.
According to authorities, every year, criminals steal approximately 90,000 vehicles, resulting in $1 billion in losses. The figures provided by the Canadian government regarding the surge in car theft align with the latest data from Statistics Canada. This indicates a rising number of car theft reports since 2021.
Canadian law enforcement also noted that motor vehicle theft significantly contributed to an increase in the national Crime Severity Index in 2022.
The Innovation, Science, and Economic Development (ISED) department of the Canadian government, responsible for industry and commerce regulation, pledges to “pursue all avenues to ban devices used for vehicle theft via wireless signal replication, such as the Flipper Zero, collaborating with law enforcement agencies to eliminate these devices from the Canadian market.”
Flipper Zero Can’t Do That
The manufacturer of Flipper Zero stated that cars manufactured after 1990 are safe from the device. This means criminals can’t utilize this gadget on cars made within the last 24 years. They stated this in response to the Canadian government’s claim that the device contributes to the recent surge in car thefts.
The CEO of the firm said that, actively blocking the owner’s signal to capture the original signal would be necessary, a task beyond Flipper Zero’s hardware capabilities. He added that it is “designed for security testing and development, and we have implemented the necessary precautions to prevent its misuse.”