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


Thursday, 22 October 2015

Notes from New Mexico Journey Nov-Dec 2015 [AAA-NM]

Filed under: Life, Preparedness, Reading — Tags: , , — mikewb1971 @ 2:42 AM (02:42)

  1. p.4 — “New Directions” column by Ana Gonzalez
    1. Use the new safety features included with new cars and trucks, but don’t get complacent with them.
    2. Still pay attention to your blind spots, your mirrors, the road, etc.
    3. Good advice, but there’s always someone who will figure that they can let it slip “this one time.”
  2. p.8 — “Here to There” app for Android.
  3. p.10 — “Smart Coverage” — Be Aware of Staged Crashes
    1. Get all of the information you can on the other driver(s) and vehicle(s), road conditions, as well as statements from witnesses, etc.
    2. Be wary of unsolicited tow trucks, repair offers, etc.
  4. p.15 — “Interstate Icon”
    1. Apparently, every winter, the Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority [AMAFCA] builds a 13-15-foot tall “snowman” out of tumbleweeds painted white, with a black-painted 55-gallon drum as a tophat. Then they leave it on the roadside of westbound I-40 near the Big I (where I-40 intersects with I-25). I guess AMAFCA needs to keep its employees “busy” during the winter months . . . ?


  1. New Mexico Journey


  1. Approximate reading level – 9.0

Copyright © 2015 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with Notepad++ and KWrite.

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Sunday, 22 May 2011

What Does It Take to Get Pulled Over?

Filed under: Politics, Travel — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 8:43 PM (20:43)

Current mood: amused, devious, excited

Florida LP Chairman Adrian Wyllie surrenders license in protest of REAL ID act

Video: In Real ID Protest, Florida Libertarian Chairman Drives Without a License

h/t to Mark Axinn, Chair of LPNY


Originally posted to the LPNM blog

Copyright © 2011 Libertarian Party of New Mexico. All rights reserved.

Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises. Mike Blessing.
This blog entry created with Notepad++

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Speed Limits

Filed under: Politics, Quizzes / Surveys — Tags: , , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 6:10 PM (18:10)

The question was Do you abide by the speed limit when you drive? If not, how far over the limit do you normally go?

Ha ha ha! Good one!

I usually view speed limits as minimums on most roads, especially when there’s no one else on the road (like past midnight).

But I have gone as high as 70 mph on the Montano Bridge when the side I was on was empty.

Here’s what traffic engineers say is the critera they use to determine speed limits —

Particularly telling is this paragraph —

However, a review of available speed studies demonstrates that the posted speed limit is almost
always set well below the 85th-percentile speed by as much as 8 to 12 mph (see p.88) (13 to 19
km/h). Some reasons for this include:
    • Political or bureaucratic resistance to higher limits.
    • Statutes that restrict jurisdictions from posting higher limits.

The section of the Wikipedia page that covers opposition to speed limits forgets to mention the real reason for traffic laws — to fill Leviathan’s coffers. See here for more.

And buying a decent radar detector always helps. [snicker]

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Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Courtesy of the Road?

Filed under: Life — Tags: — mikewb1971 @ 6:44 PM (18:44)

Why is it that people will do things when driving that they would never get away with in a face-to-face interaction? I’m specifically referring to people who expect others to slow down and/or stop so they can merge into a lane by cutting in front.

How many people would try this at the supermarket — butting in front of someone at the checkout line? Not many, I’d guess — simply because the people that they’re trying to get ahead of would say, “You need to go to the back of the line.”

That would be the nicest way that I would say it — if the person chose to get physical with me, I would reward such assault and battery with a kick to the kneecap. (Kicking for the groin is for amateurs.)

Usually as I’m traveling around town, there are a few people who try to merge in front of me and expect me to slow down on their behalf. Of course, I do the exact opposite — I speed up so they can’t merge in front of me.

Of  course, these are the same people who are always complaining about other drivers being “rude” for not letting them merge in front, and call for more laws to force others to be more “courteous.” These are the same people who say that the traffic codes concerning speed are “made to protect us” and “for our benefit.”

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