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As a potent symbol of our ill advised progression toward a 'surveillence society' one could hardly beat OnStar. Between airport security, traffic cameras, cell phones, OnStar, so-called 'black boxes' and seamless satelite video coverage over the entire earth soon there won't be a place left in the world where we can truly be alone with ourselves, if there is such a place even now.
On This Page:
Call to Boycott,    Lost Carrier,    Hasn't Come Up,
Without Your Knowledge,    Onstar Calls the Police,
Bionic Interface,    Unlocking All Cars,
Auto Unlock Upon Crash
See also A la Carte pages on:
Martial Law,    Privacy,    SPIT,    Blue Wall


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The Scott Peterson Case Permalink: URL of this post will appear in your browser's location box

Judge Alfred Delucchi has ruled today in the Scott Peterson murder trial on the admissability of evidence from satelite global positioning system [GPS] electronic tracking device technology. Police obtained a warrant to place the devices secretly on Mr. Peterson's three vehicles when he became a suspect upon his wife Laci's disappearance on Christmas eve in the year 2002. This is the first time such devices have figured in a criminal prosecution in the state of California. Today's ruling could have implications for owners of OnStar equipped vehicles if they are accused of a crime. --- '04-Feb-17th

Auto-unlock Upon Crash? Permalink: URL of this post will appear in your browser's location box

"...if system detects airbags have blown up, the remote advisor can direct your car to unlock its doors so that assistance can get in, flash the headlights and horn to get attention, etc.  I had some concerns about security here (imagine someone figuring out how to hack this!) but I was assured that their security was "extremely strong and extremely proprietary".  Boo, hiss." --- WWW-9 Highlights

Unlocking All the Cars? Permalink: URL of this post will appear in your browser's location box

"At the auto show's Cadillac exhibit, there was universal shock when a spokesmodel described this locking feature. A nervous crowd peppered her with questions: Couldn't the signal go out accidentally and unlock every car in the country? An OnStar rep responded to this negative reaction, the first she'd heard: Y'all are just paranoid. It doesn't bother me. I'm from Texas." --- The 1998 New York International Auto Show (Philip Nobel)

Bionic Interface Permalink: URL of this post will appear in your browser's location box

"how do i feed the gps data from my GM onstar to my TTII? i can handle the TTII end but the onstar connection is the black hole." --- (holderscoveboatdock)

OnStar Calls the Police... Permalink: URL of this post will appear in your browser's location box

When he got into an accident, he decided to run for it.  But the guidance system had already notified OnStar headquarters of the accident, specifying where it had happened and giving a complete description of his vehicle to the California Highway Patrol. (*Road & Track* magazine, July 2001) 
-What constitutes an "accident"? (Air bags seem to go off quite easily, taking out the windshield and dashboard [$$$] in a fender-bender).
-Will GPS-reported accidents become like household burglar alarms - sending out mostly false alarms?
-Who will hack into the OnStar system to falsely report accidents?
-Who will use the OnStar system to efficiently dispatch lawyers to accident sites?
-How soon until OnStar sells accident records so used-car purchasers can learn the vehicle's history?...  --- Computer reports unreported wreck (Chris Norloff)

Without Your Knowledge... Permalink: URL of this post will appear in your browser's location box

"OnStar swears by the integrity of their data systems and promises never to release any of your personal information without your knowledge. Only time will tell if they can honor that promise. New technology is always a give and take situation and convenience comes with a price. If you want what OnStar offers, and whatever peace of mind you get from it, you have to accept the possibility that your barber might hack into their servers and find out you're getting a clip someplace new these days. He may even be waiting outside for you when you're done." --- OnStar Technology (Gonzo Schexnayder)

[ Refresh Your Cache! ] ...especially if you're not seeing expected updatesHasn't Come UP??? Permalink: URL of this post will appear in your browser's location box

"But what happens if the police or the FBI or the IRS or Interpol or All the President's Men get a court order to have your car tracked ... just as they can to have your phone tapped? Remember, this system cannot be shut off. And how certain is it that a private detective with connections to a law enforcement agency won't get hold of where you go and where you've been?

Carstensen said the issue of court-ordered tracking hasn't come up but that, if it ever does, OnStar will refer the matter to General Motors corporate security for advice." --- GM's OnStar: A phone system that reaches out (Tom Incantalupo)


Lost Carrier Permalink: URL of this post will appear in your browser's location box

This comment appeared at: http://pub5.ezboard.com/fyourdontimebomb2000.showMessage?topicID=10985.topic#dancr

Knowing how upset I get when I lose my connection to my ISP, having my car tell me I've lost my carrier would make me furious!

I know a bunch of really smart kids who could hack (crack) anything. No matter how few rapists, kidnappers, etc. managed to hack the thing, one could never feel safe in their car again. As if to serve as a reminder of the existance of such people, this page gets hits every day by people who've entered into a search engine the string 'onstar hack'. --- September 17, 2000


OffsiteMark Seely's Call to Boycott Onstar Permalink: URL of this post will appear in your browser's location box

OnStar - (ca. January and February, 2000) A married couple talks about an incident where they were driving through the desert, got a flat tire, and the ground was crawling with rattlesnakes. They pushed the "OnStar"button on the car's console, and "within seconds the OnStar advisor pinpointed our location and sent a tow truck... called the paramedics..." The announcer says, "The one touch connection to people who can help." A caption on the screen reads, "Wherever you go, here we are."

--You bet they are. What they didn't tell you was that they knew your location even before you pressed that button.

This ad is rumored to be the first step in the establishment's plan to put a tracking device in every car. There was a case in early 2000, in Canada (I believe it was), where someone had stolen a car, and the car's ignition was killed via satellite while the thief was driving, and the car was recovered. 

I think a world where cars are more easily stolen is a better world, frankly. The absurdity of willingly allowing your location to be broadcast to the authorities at all times is staggering. Who would buy this thing? People who can't put two and two together, I think. But the more people who do buy this thing, the worse things will get, the sooner, for all of us.

Boycott 'OnStar' like you have never boycotted anything before! --- March 26, 2000


offsiteOnline Resources about Onstar

.Under the Hood, with Big Brother (Bob Gritzinger).
Paints a dystopian future in which driving data is used against the driver in court, in setting insurance rates, and by private investigators tracking a driver's every move. Presents stories of cases in which government surveillance comes to light. Recording devices are already included on many models outside the awareness of their owners.
Welcome to Onstar! How May We Invade You? (Mother Jones)
The Wired Car in the Wired World  (Philip E. Agre )

offsiteA Completely Different POV about Onstar [pov?]

Help on the Road with Connected Cars (Eric Bernachez, About Human I'net)

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