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Canada Mulls Licensing System Amid Controversy Over Flipper Zero Ban

Canada appears to be backing down from a complete ban on the Flipper Zero device, a multi-tool popular with security researchers. The government’s focus is now on preventing criminals from using such devices for car theft.

The Innovation department (ISED) clarified its stance, emphasizing a ban on the “illegal use” of devices for car thefts. They aim to restrict access only to those who misuse them.

This shift comes after criticism from the security community, including a petition launched by Flipper Devices. The CEO argued such bans are based on a lack of understanding of security and won’t solve car theft issues.

While a full ban seems unlikely, the details of how Canada will achieve this remain unclear. One possibility is a licensing system to control access.

Flipper Devices itself maintains there’s no evidence of their device being used in real car thefts. They argue modern key fobs with “rolling codes” prevent simple signal copying. However, some researchers have demonstrated ways to bypass these codes.

The company believes car manufacturers should prioritize fixing security weaknesses rather than banning tools that expose vulnerabilities.

Interestingly, Flipper Devices points to more expensive radio repeaters as the real culprits behind car thefts, exploiting keyless entry systems.

Canada’s revised approach suggests a focus on the true bad actors, not legitimate security tools. But the question remains: how will they effectively separate the two?

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