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Vehicle black boxes

Feds may force all new cars to broadcast their location, speed and direction to government authorities

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: vehicle black boxes, federal government, surveillance

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(NaturalNews) You may have heard that driving is a privilege, and in some ways it is, but being afforded guarantees contained within the Constitution is an expectation, not a "privilege" to be doled out by the ruling class. So anyone who says the government should "have the right" to track you in your car, everywhere you drive, needs to take another look at the intent of the Fourth Amendment's guarantee that you and I be "secure in our papers and effects."

But officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration may not care much about the Constitution's privacy protections, because they may decide, by year's end, to begin the rulemaking process to require newly manufactured vehicles to include what's being billed as "V2V" (vehicle-to-vehicle) communications technology designed to broadcast to government bureaucrats your car's location, direction of travel, speed and, quite possibly, the number of passengers you are carrying.

"NHTSA expects to make a decision on V2V technology by the end of the year," a spokesman for the agency told CNSNews.com in a recent interview.

'We expect to issue decisions this year'

NHTSA Administrator David Strickland reaffirmed that in testimony before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee last week. He told the panel that his agency will "decide this year whether to further advance the technology through regulatory action, additional research, or a combination of both."

"We expect to issue decisions on light duty vehicles this year, followed by a decision on heavy-duty vehicles in 2014," he said.

This is what raw, naked abuse of power looks like. Nowhere in the legislation that created the NHTSA in 1970 did Congress authorize the agency to violate the Fourth Amendment. And yet, this director, this agency, now claims that, if it wants to, it has the power to do just that.

According to CNSNews.com:

NHTSA sees this technology as the first step on a "continuum" of automotive evolution that will ultimately lead to fully automated vehicles navigated by internal electronics linked to external infrastructure, communications and database systems.

The upside of a government-mandated movement toward cars that are not controlled by the people riding in them is that it could make transportation safer, allow people to use time spent in a vehicle for work, rest or entertainment, and give people who are currently incapable of driving because of age or disability the opportunity to move as freely as those who can now drive.

The downside is that such a transportation system would give the government at least the capability to exert increasing control over when, where, if - or for how much additional taxation - people are allowed to go places in individually owned vehicles. It could also give government the ability to track where people go and when.

And who among us seriously believes this technology won't be abused? All technology is abused, and every government agency is guilty of committing abuse of power. It's not a matter of "if," but "when."

But wait. The Obama administration has "no plans" to track you and I wherever we drive, even if it gallingly mandates V2V technology in all new cars.

"NHTSA has no plans to modify the current V2V system design in a way that would enable the government or private entities to track individual motor vehicles," a NHTSA spokesman told CNSNews.com.

Yeah, right - and "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan."

This "denial" will only be true until the government develops plans for violating your privacy rights by tracking your vehicle's every move. And of course, it'll be for our own good.

Don't think for a second that this won't happen if no one stops them

We can already see the writing on the wall. In October 2011, the Department of Transportation published a plan for researching the safety implications and applications of V2V technology. The plan summarized how the technology should work and the info that government bureaucrats could glean from your vehicle.

"V2V communication for safety refers to the exchange of data over a wireless network that provides critical information that allows each vehicle to perform calculations and issue driver advisories, driver warnings, or take pre-emptive actions to avoid and mitigate crashes," said the DOT plan.

"Data that may be exchanged includes each vehicle's latitude, longitude, time, heading angle, speed, lateral acceleration, longitudinal acceleration, yaw rate, throttle position, brake status, steering angle, headlight status, turn signal status, vehicle length, vehicle width, vehicle mass, bumper height, and the number of occupants in the vehicle," the plan continued.





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