Tuesday, October 9, 2007

GM and OnStar- Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Spying

OnStar in the spy businessThe AP reports that GM will equip nearly two million of their 2009 OnStar equipped vehicles to be remotely disabled on the request of law enforcement. They claim that this will not be done without the owner's permission, for example, in the case of vehicle theft. Will OnStar resist a police request or a court order? I suppose we're all confident that the police would never abuse this capability- you know, the guys with the tasers, Heidi Gill's best friends. Guess again, sheeple, the law has already abused the system, and OnStar helped. Visit TonyRogers.com for details.

An OnStar system can listen to you without your permission or knowledge. The FBI has already used one to eavesdrop on vehicle occupants in a simple criminal case- not a national security case, nothing needed to thwart terrorism, just a criminal case. OnStar helped, and then filed a protest lawsuit. It took nearly two years to work its way through the courts and didn't stop the spying. The 9th Circuit eventually ruled in favor of OnStar, but only because the passive listening feature disables the emergency signal. The Court didn't care that the FBI was spying, and as soon as the passive listening feature can be used without disabling the emergency features, it's open season on OnStar customers. Note that this ruling applies only within the jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Outside of Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands, the ruling doesn't protect you- but all you Cadillac drivers in the Northern Mariana Islands can continue your seditious conversations.

Now you have a reason to shun Cadillacs besides their inflated price and gas-sucking habits. If you're happy with being spied on by your own government and paying for the privilege, go buy a GM vehicle equipped with OnStar.