Provision is part of controversial MAP-21 bill expected to pass House
Paul Joseph Watson
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
A bill already passed by the Senate and set to be rubber stamped by the House would make it mandatory for all new cars in the United States to be fitted with black box data recorders from 2015 onwards.
Section 31406 of Senate Bill 1813 (known as MAP-21), calls for “Mandatory Event Data Recorders” to be installed in all new automobiles and legislates for civil penalties to be imposed against individuals for failing to do so.
“Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall revise part 563 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, to require, beginning with model year 2015, that new passenger motor vehicles sold in the United States be equipped with an event data recorder that meets the requirements under that part,” states the bill.
Although the text of legislation states that such data would remain the property of the owner of the vehicle, the government would have the power to access it in a number of circumstances, including by court order, if the owner consents to make it available, and pursuant to an investigation or inspection conducted by the Secretary of Transportation.
Given the innumerable examples of both government and industry illegally using supposedly privacy-protected information to spy on individuals, this represents the slippery slope to total Big Brother surveillance of every American’s transport habits and location data.
The legislation, which has been given the Orwellian title ‘Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act’, sailed through the Senate after being heavily promoted by Democrats Harry Reid and Barbara Boxer and is also expected to pass the Republican-controlled House.
Given the fact that the same bill also includes a controversial provision that would empower the IRS to revoke passports of citizens merely accused of owing over $50,000 in back taxes, stripping them of their mobility rights, could the mandatory black boxes or a similar technology be used for the same purpose?
Biometric face-recognition and transdermol sensor technology that prevents an inebriated person from driving a car by disabling the automobile has already been developed, in addition to systems that refuse to allow the vehicle to start if the driver is deemed to be overtired.
The ultimate Big Brother scenario would be a system whereby every driver had to get de facto permission from the state to drive each time they get behind the wheel, once it had been determined from an iris scan that they were good citizens who have paid all their taxes and not misbehaved.
The push to pressure car manufacturers to install black box tracking devices in all new cars has been ongoing for over a decade. In 2006, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encouraged but did not require automobile manufacturers to install the systems.
However, in February last year NHTSA administrator David Strickland said the government was considering making the technology mandatory in the wake of recalls of millions of Toyota vehicles.
Earlier this year it was reported that the NHTSA would soon formally announce that all new cars would be mandated to have the devices fitted by law, which has now been codified into the MAP-21 bill.
Forbes Writer Scoffs at Infowars “Freak Out” On Mandatory Black Boxes
So-called privacy expert lauds bill brimming with anti-privacy measures as being “good for privacy”
Paul Joseph Watson
Friday, April 20, 2012
Forbes writer Kashmir Hill responds to our report about black box data recorders becoming mandatory in all new cars under a bill set to be passed by the House by accusing Infowars of engaging in a “freak out” and claiming the legislation is “good for privacy” when in reality it destroys privacy.
“The big news in automotive privacy this week is that Congress is on the verge of passing a transportation bill that will make “big brother” black boxes mandatory in all new cars. InfoWars is encouraging drivers to freak out about the horrific invasion of privacy represented by the government’s insisting that all Americans have event data recorders that reveal exactly what happened before and after a crash. But the truth of the matter is that most Americans already have black boxes in their cars. They’ve been around since 1996, are found in at least 60 million vehicles, and are a feature in 85% of new cars every year,” writes Hill in a piece entitled Hate To Break It To You, But Your Car Likely Has A Black Box ‘Spying’ On You Already.
Hill’s attitude seems to stem from the mind set that the state has already eviscerated our privacy, so why should we bother fighting back to salvage what’s left of it? She brazenly dismisses fourth amendment rights as “roadkill” simply because having a black box in your vehicle might help the authorities work out who was responsible for an accident.
The most chilling aspect of this approach is that Hill bills herself as a privacy expert yet she has no idea about the ‘slippery slope’ principle and has seemingly failed to read the ‘Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act’ (MAP-21), on which her article is based.
The point of our original story was not that the black boxes will merely be in all new cars from 2015 onwards if this bill passes, it’s that it will be mandatory to activate them and anyone who attempts to deactivate them will be hit with civil penalties under section 31406 of the bill. This is about creating the groundwork for a future tax by the mile system which has been aggressively promoted by the Obama administration.
Sinking further into the depths of idiocy, Hill claims that both the mandatory black boxes and the entire bill itself are “actually good for privacy in a few ways,” because the legislation establishes “that the data in the recorder belongs to the owner (or lessee) of a vehicle.”
Just like every other piece of data was originally owned by us – web history, phone calls, library records, until the government demanded ISPs, cell phone companies and libraries turn them over in the name of security.
In addition, the empty-headed notion that the bill is “good for privacy” completely ignores the other sections of it which Hill has obviously failed to read.
Section 53006 of the bill – the “Vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications systems deployment,” creates the framework for all vehicles to be connected wirelessly to other vehicles and infrastructure (such as the new street lights which are being installed with “Homeland Security applications” and can listen in on conversations), greasing the skids for constant real-time tracking, eavesdropping and surveillance.
Presumably, Hill thinks that all vehicles being connected to the ‘Internet of things’ – a transformation which CIA chief David Petraeus recently hailed as making it much easier for the government to spy on you – is also “good for privacy”?
Presumably Hill thinks the IRS sharing information about your financial situation with the TSA and US Immigration authorities is also “good for privacy” too?
Is it any wonder that people are turing away from the mainstream media in droves when columnists like Hill, who grandstand as privacy experts, praise legislation like MAP-21, a bill that is brimming with horrendous measures that will destroy privacy, as being “good for privacy”?