Back in November, Biden signed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill into law. Little was made of it at the time, but, as is usually the case with these massive bills, it contained a litany of new la\ws and regulations that the American people were not consulted on at all.
One of the many new rules signed into law as part of this infrastructure bill was a regulation that new cars be fitted with “kill switches” that presumably allow the government to control your car remotely.
Former US Representative Bob Barr (R-GA) wrote about the new law:
Buried deep within the massive infrastructure legislation recently signed by President Joe Biden is a little-noticed “safety” measure that will take effect in five years. Marketed to Congress as a benign tool to help prevent drunk driving, the measure will mandate that automobile manufacturers build into every car what amounts to a “vehicle kill switch.”
As has become standard for legislative mandates passed by Congress, this measure is disturbingly short on details. What we do know is that the “safety” device must “passively monitor the performance of a driver of a motor vehicle to accurately identify whether that driver may be impaired.”
Everything about this mandatory measure should set off red flares.
First, use of the word “passively” suggests the system will always be on and constantly monitoring the vehicle. Secondly, the system must connect to the vehicle’s operational controls, so as to disable the vehicle either before driving or during, when impairment is detected. Thirdly, it will be an “open” system, or at least one with a backdoor, meaning authorized (or unauthorized) third-parties can remotely access the system’s data at any time.
This is a privacy disaster in the making, and the fact that the provision made it through the Congress reveals — yet again — how little its members care about the privacy of their constituents.
So the government will soon control your car.
The lack of ultimate control over one’s vehicle presents numerous and extremely serious safety issues; issues that should have been obvious to Members of Congress before they voted on the measure.
For example, what if a driver is not drunk, but sleepy, and the car forces itself to the side of the road before the driver can find a safe place to pull over and rest? Considering that there are no realistic mechanisms to immediately challenge or stop the car from being disabled, drivers will be forced into dangerous situations without their consent or control.
The choice as to whether a vehicle can or cannot be driven — for vehicles built after 2026 — will rest in the hands of an algorithm over which the car’s owner or driver have neither knowledge nor control.
I’m sure this technology will never be abused.
I’m sure there won’t be calls to use it against, say, people who refuse to get the Covid-19 vaccine.
If that is not reason enough for concern, there are serious legal issues with this mandate. Other vehicle-related enforcement methods used by the Nanny State, such as traffic cameras and license plate readers, have long presented constitutional problems; notably with the 5th Amendment’s right to not self-incriminate, and the 6th Amendment’s right to face one’s accuser.
It seems like, as with traffic cameras and license plate readers, the ever-growing Nanny State will simply blow past any and all objections as it pertains to the vehicle “kill switch.”
Ironically, or perhaps intentionally, there also is no detail in the legislation about who would have access to the data collected and stored by the system. Could it be used by police, and could they access this information without a warrant? What about insurance companies, eager to know with what frequency their customers drove after drinking alcohol, even if it was below the legal limit? Such a trove of data presents a lucrative prize to all manner of public and private entities (including hackers), none of which have our best interests at heart.
Adding what amounts to a mandatory, backdoor government “kill switch” to cars is not only a violation of our constitutional rights, but an affront to what is — or used to be — an essential element of our national character. Unless this regulatory mandate is not quickly removed or defanged by way of an appropriations rider preventing its implementation, the freedom of the open road that individual car ownership brought to the American Dream, will be but another vague memory of an era no longer to be enjoyed by future generations.
Any vestige of individualism must be eradicated by the State. Cars = freedom, which means cars must be Regulated™ to the point of being literally controlled by the government.
Driving will be a privilege available only to those with the right politics.
The government already has the power to hack into your car and take control of it. They’ve had this power for a while now.
In 2013, a journalist by the name of Michael Hastings was killed in a suspicious single-car accident in Los Angeles:
DID the CIA assassinate journalist Michael Hastings?
WikiLeaks’ release on Tuesday of a massive trove of secret CIA documents has reignited conspiracy theories which have swirled since 2013, with revelations the spy agency was attempting to remotely hack vehicles.
“As of October 2014 the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks,” WikiLeaks writes. “The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations.”
Hastings, an acclaimed war correspondent and vocal critic of government mass surveillance, died in the early hours of Tuesday, June 18, 2013, when his Mercedes C250 Coupe apparently lost control and burst into flames before slamming into a palm tree.
Witnesses to the accident, which occurred around 4:25am in the leafy Hancock Park neighbourhood of Los Angeles, said the car appeared to be travelling at top speed and was creating “sparks and flames” before it went off the road.
Los Angeles police said there was no sign of foul play in the crash.
Just over 12 hours earlier, the 33-year-old BuzzFeed and Rolling Stone contributor had sent an email to colleagues and friends, warning he was onto a “big story” and was under investigation.
Hastings was also the author of a 2010 Rolling Stone article entitled “The Runaway General” that ultimately led to the resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal.
And they killed him for it.
“The Feds are interviewing my ‘close friends and associates’,” he wrote in an email sent at around 1pm on Monday, June 17. “May be wise to immediately request legal counsel before any conversations or interviews about our news-gathering practices. I’m onto a big story and need to go off the radar for a bit. All the best, and hope to see you soon. Michael.”
Hastings’ final published article, ‘Why Democrats Love To Spy On Americans’, was highly critical of President Barack Obama and the US government’s domestic spying program, which had just been revealed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Hastings accused the Obama administration and its allies in the FBI and Department of Justice of waging a war on “transparency supporters, whistleblowers and investigative reporters”.
According to his widow, Elise Jordan, Hastings was working on a profile of CIA director John Brennan at the time of his death. But Ms Jordan didn’t buy into the conspiracy theories.
“I have no doubt that he was pursuing a hot story,” she told CNN six weeks after the accident. “He always had at least five hot stories going. That was Michael. Right now the LAPD still has an active investigation … my gut here is that it was just a really tragic accident and I’m unlucky in the world, the world was very unlucky.”
Of course she would say this. She was probably terrified.
At the time, however, former US National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism Richard Clarke told The Huffington Post the crash was “consistent with a car cyber attack”.
“There is reason to believe that intelligence agencies for major powers [know how to remotely seize control of a car],” he said.
“What has been revealed as a result of some research at universities is that it’s relatively easy to hack your way into the control system of a car, and to do such things as cause acceleration when the driver doesn’t want acceleration, to throw on the brakes when the driver doesn’t want the brakes on, to launch an airbag.
“You can do some really highly destructive things now, through hacking a car, and it’s not that hard. So if there were a cyber attack on the car — and I’m not saying there was — I think whoever did it would probably get away with it.”
WikiLeaks itself appeared to suggest Hastings’ death was the result of foul play. Hours after crash, WikiLeaks tweeted: “Michael Hastings contacted WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson just a few hours before he died, saying that the FBI was investigating him.”
Following that claim, the FBI took the unusual step of denying any investigation. “At no time was journalist Michael Hastings under investigation by the FBI,” agency spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said at the time.
Well, that settles that!
The people that killed Martin Luther King Jr. and then tweeted about him today to give their respects–they’d never lie!
The government should not be allowed to have ultimate control over your vehicle. We have to draw the line somewhere.
This is completely beyond the pale.
Look, I understand that there would be many undeniable benefits to installing this technology in cars. Algorithm detects you’re drunk and swerving, it shuts your car down before you plow headlong into a family of 4. Fugitive on the run from the cops, algorithm shuts his car down before it escalates into an OJ Simpson-esque police chase. I get it. There are undeniable benefits.
But it comes at a great cost. Too great a cost.
Not only could they deprive you of the freedom that comes from having a car, they could also just straight up murder you for whatever reason they want and nobody would ever know about it.