Subject: my problem with OnStar
The problem I have with Onstar and related systems
is pretty simple, they can be used to spy on a car, even to the point of
turning on the internal microphone and listening to every word said inside
the car. The FBI has already used it in this fashion, and was told
by a judge to cut it out, not because of invasion of privacy but because
the safety features of Onstar at that time were disabled by this action.
We now have digital Onstar, which does not have the limitations of it's
We should note that this was not some Patriot
Act business, this was a simple criminal case. Apparently the judge
had no problem with the listening or tracking, just the disabling of the
safety features. Cell phones are also vulnerable, but at least you
can pull the battery on them or leave them home. With Onstar, you
have it all the time.
Check this out:
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said Tuesday
that the FBI is not legally entitled to remotely activate the system
and secretly use it to snoop on passengers, because
doing so would render it inoperable during an emergency.
Do you remember how we started with drug testing
under Reagan? How we were all promised it was never ever to be used
for anything but testing airline pilots and bus drivers and all those other
people who were in positions where they could endanger the public at large?
And how that expanded with requirements for testing in any company that
does business with the Federal Government - after all, cooks working for
KBR may have access to secrets! And now we've got high schools demanding
drug testing for after school activities.
Migod, there is no privacy or expectation of
privacy at all now!
Onstar is going the same way, and so are cell
phones. It is very close to the point right now where Onstar
and car computer records are going to be demanded
for traffic court. Or for tax court.
Does that creep you out? Sixteen million
to study a plan to require planting GPS in every car, and tax them all
by how much mileage they actually drive. And Onstar is the granddaddy
of this piece of obscenity. About ten minutes after that plan is
implemented, you'll start getting traffic tickets by computer, since they
tracked you speeding by remote control.
And that, for me, was the final nail in the Onstar
coffin. Cheaper insurance if they can watch where you drive, how
fast you drive and how far you drive? Think what some of the
crazy Holy Joes could do with that! Will anyone dare to go to Las
Vegas ever again? And it can be hacked, I guarantee. Any computer
system can be hacked.
Luck to you Bart!
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