A Flipper Zero device

Enlarge / A Flipper Zero device (credit: https://flipperzero.one/)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has identified an unlikely public enemy No. 1 in his new crackdown on car theft: the Flipper Zero, a $200 piece of open source hardware used to capture, analyze and interact with simple radio communications.

On Thursday, the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada agency said it will “pursue all avenues to ban devices used to steal vehicles by copying the wireless signals for remote keyless entry, such as the Flipper Zero, which would allow for the removal of those devices from the Canadian marketplace through collaboration with law enforcement agencies.” A social media post by François-Philippe Champagne, the minister of that agency, said that as part of the push “we are banning the importation, sale and use of consumer hacking devices, like flippers, used to commit these crimes.”

In remarks made the same day, Trudeau said the push will target similar tools that he said can be used to defeat anti-theft protections built into virtually all new cars.

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