Nemo Me Impune Lacessit

Sunday, 26 November 2017

About Those Self-Driving Cars . . . .

Filed under: Politics, Resistance, Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 8:38 PM (20:38)

One question for those reading this —

How many of you remember this commercial from OnStar that aired a few years ago?

There’s plenty more where that came from —

YouTube search: onstar stolen vehicle slowdown

YouTube search: onstar stolen vehicle slowdown commercial

I’m sure that when your car gets stolen or jacked away from you, this sort of thing sounds fantastic.

With that in mind, there is a downside to giving law enforcement this sort of access.

What happens when they have a warrant out for you, for whatever reason (drugs, terrorism, securities, unpaid taxes or fines, bench warrant, use your imagination here)?

If your car has one of these tracking systems built into it, they can go to the dealer, show their paperwork to whoever is working at the service desk, and not only demand a location for your vehicle, but real-time tracking information about it, and have the dealer rep shut it down when they need it shut down.

If you happen to be driving down the road when they give that order and your vehicle “loses” power, it will be your problem, not theirs.

There are ways around this sort of thing — white-hat hackers to the rescue here:

How to disable Onstar without losing bluetooth and without setting error codes

  1. Remove Onstar Module from vehicle.
  2. Remove the 6 T10 screws from the bottom of the Onstar Module.
  3. Pull up on the main board to separate it from the antenna board.
  4. Remove the Male/Male connector that connects the main board to the antenna board.
  5. Drop the main board back in without the Male/Male connector and reinstall the screws.
  6. Reinstall the Onstar Module in the vehicle and enjoy!

No error codes and no Onstar connectivity.

So when self-driving cars and trucks are mass-produced and in use by the general population, what can we expect?

I won’t be surprised if Congress mandates that the manufacturers include a backdoor to the cars’ operating system for law enforcement use. That way when the cops have a warrant for you, they don’t need to swarm (“stack”, in SWAT element parlance) up at your front door and conduct a legalized home invasion[1], they can just hack your car to deliver you to the local station, and lock you inside upon arrival.

And of course, the how-to on that will never, ever get out to the criminal element.

Is there a solution to this?

Yes — insist that you have control over who has access to your vehicle’s operating system and connectivity, so that anyone wanting this level of remote control has to have your explicit, knowing sign-off beforehand.

Or disconnect your car’s autonomous mode, unless that becomes impractical or de facto illegal[2].

Are you going to have that level of control with outfits like OnStar?

And then there’s the issue of operating system vulnerabilities. What sorts of holes will be exploitable by third parties, officially-sanctioned or freelancers?

At least with a cell phone, you can block the signal when you want by putting the phone into a plastic bag, then wrapping the bag with aluminum foil (a Faraday cage). I’m not sure how that would work with a car.

In the mean time, I recommend getting friendly with your local hacker space, 2600 meetup[3], or Linux User Group [LUG].


  1. Compare and contrast SWAT “dynamic entry” techniques versus home invasions conducted by the criminal element
  2. I refer to the self-driving cars in Vernor Vinge’s Rainbows End
  3. As of September 2017: Meetup pages / sites, Meetup list
  4. Published in The Libertarian EnterpriseNumber 950, 26 November 2017
  5. Approximate reading level – 12
  6. Reposted –
    1. Personal blogs and micro-blogs – Diaspora* / Ello / Facebook / FetLife / Gab / Google Plus / / Liberty Society / Minds / Tea Party Community / Twitter / VK


Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Responding to the BCSO “Buy-Back”

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Responding to the BCSO “Buy-Back”
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2013 00:19:37
From: Mike Blessing
To: Tom Zdunek, Debbie O’Malley, Art De La Cruz, Maggie Hart Stebbins, Lonnie C. Talbert, Wayne A. Johnson, Dan Houston
BCC: [89 individuals]

Dear Commissioners, Mr. Zdunek:

Recently I was surfing the web and found the following:

BernCo Compass: Gun Buybacks, Strip Club Rules and Downtown Housing

Here’s the pertinent part:

Issue: Gun Buyback

The county conducted its first gun buyback day on Saturday, Feb. 9, in the North Valley. People who anonymously surrendered their firearms were compensated – no questions asked. If the weapons were stolen, they were to be returned to their rightful owners. Deputy County Manager Tom Swisstack said the program brought in 333 weapons, seven of which were assault rifles. The $50,000 put up by the county for purchasing the guns ran out within two hours.

Swisstack added that it’s the most successful buyback day in the state so far. He thanked Sheriff Dan Houston for doing an outstanding job, and Commissioner Debbie O’Malley for moving the program forward.

BernCo View

O’Malley thanked everyone for the compliments but said when she got to the North Valley Command Center on Saturday, she was surrounded by other gun traders in the parking lot. They waited outside harassing folks, she said, telling them they would buy the guns for more than the county was paying. She said she was surprised people could do that kind of gun trading in a parking lot without permits.

Swisstack assured that next time, the sheriff would block off the area around the substation. The next buyback day is Saturday, Feb. 23, at the South Area Command Center (2039 Isleta SW).

First, this wasn’t a buy-back event at all – the word “buy-back” assumes that you originally owned them and are buying them back, when the truth is that the firearms purchased by BCSO weren’t owned by Bernalillo County in the first place.

Second, this event was advertised and reported upon as some sort of “public service,” in order to “get the guns off the streets.” This is code-speak from the victim disarmament crowd for getting firearms away from private citizens, whom as “we all know,” “can’t be trusted” with any weapon more powerful than a plastic straw loaded with spitballs.

Third, the ONLY good thing about these “buy-back” events is that BCSO is apparently to return any firearms found to have been stolen back to their rightful owners.

Fourth, considering Tom Swisstack’s anti-Constitutional comments of ” . . . next time, the sheriff would block off the area around the substation,” perhaps it’s time that Bernalillo County picked out a new Deputy County Manager. As well as a new Sheriff if Dan Houston goes along with this.

It seems that I have until 1 May 2014 to gather sufficient signatures to recall Mr. Houston, and 1 May 2016 to do the same for Ms. O’Malley.

Mike Blessing / Phone – 505-249-1248
State Chair, Libertarian Party of New Mexico –

Who owns you? Who runs your life? Who should – you or someone else?
Freedom is the answer – what’s the question?

“If you wanna live long on your own terms
You gotta be willing to crash and burn”
– Motley Crue, “Primal Scream”


  1. Reposted –
    1. Personal micro-blogs, blogs, etc. – Facebook / Google Plus / Twitter / WordPress / Xanga / Yahoo!
    2. LPUSA / LPNMLPBCNM Blog / LPNM Official Facebook group / New Mexico Libertarians Facebook group / [LPNM-discuss] Yahoo! group
    3. The Weekly SeditionFacebook / WordPress / Yahoo!
    4. / Tea Party Nation

Copyright © 2013 Libertarian Party of New Mexico, Libertarian Party of Bernalillo County, New Mexico and Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
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