Smart Grids? Car Transponders in the Name of Safety? What About the 4th Amendment?

February 3, 2014 at 8:46 AM 6 comments

by Fred DeRuvo

Keeping track of you in the name of safety.

Keeping track of you in the name of safety.

I heard on the radio this morning that the feds are considering whether or not to mandate transponders for all cars so that cars will be able to communicate with other cars to avoid accidents on the road. The newsperson presenting this bit of news was so matter of fact about it, but since the NSA revelations, I find it difficult to accept anything the feds do as merely matter of fact.

According to ABC, “Federal officials are planning to announce Monday whether automakers should be required to equip new cars and light trucks with technology that enables vehicles to communicate with each other to prevent collisions. Such vehicle-to-vehicle communication could transform traffic safety.”

Really? It could also transform something else. Namely our privacy. These transponders would send out signals ten times per second that can be picked up and read by other transponders. “A transponder would continually transmit the vehicle’s position, heading, speed and other information 10 times per second in all directions using radio signals similar to Wi-Fi. Cars would receive the same information back from other vehicles. A vehicle’s computer would alert the driver to an impending collision. Some systems could automatically brake to avoid an accident.”

Gee, interesting. Can you see any possibility of this being used to say…keep track of us? The feds (via the NSA) would have the ability to know exactly where we are at any given moment. The NSA would know of our speed, our heading, as well as other information. If they know that, would they also know the owner of the car, where it is registered and whether or not said owner has a concealed weapons permit? If you are not concerned about any of this, then you may be a leftist, or someone who has not been paying attention.

The truth of the matter is that, while this is supposed to be a good thing in minimizing accidents on the road (ostensibly because the other cars around you that also have transponders would receive your information and adjust for it or warn the driver to adjust for it), the situation also becomes problematic since we know how much of a penchant our government has for spying on its citizens. Does the good outweigh the bad?

In essence, if this goes through, it would take several years before there would be enough of these transponders on the road so that people actually benefit from them. Until then, every car that is equipped with one could (and would) be easily tracked by the NSA. So much for the 4th Amendment. No more privacy at all.

What about your home? You would still have privacy there, wouldn’t you? Not if several companies could help it. There is such a thing as “smart” meters or “smart” appliances, which actually create a home-based grid. In short, a Smart Grid (as it is known) supposedly “allow consumers to take control of their energy demand and therefore their energy costs. In fact, tens of millions of Smart Meters have already been deployed.” Do you see a potential problem with that? Could anyone hack into a system like that and override your control? Could someone simply sit in the background and gather all of your information about how electricity you use, what you use it for, and more?

Could government agencies then break into that system and turn things off, or limit the amount of electricity you have access to? It has happened in Europe and there is nothing to say it could not happen in the United States.

Along those lines, it should be of interest to note that Google just bought Smart Thermostat (Nest) maker for $3.2 billion. My first question is why? Apparently, Nest produces thermostats that are capable of “learning” the temperature preferences of users. Nest has released other home products like smoke detectors. All of these “smart” devices will go far in creating a home grid that is essentially connected to the Internet.

I do not know why my thermostat needs to be one that learns what my preferences are in my own home. With all of these so-called smart devices being installed in homes, we can literally kiss all of our privacy good-bye. The main difference though between these devices and the one device in George Orwell’s “1984” is that we will not see the grid that is created. We will not stand before the “telescreen” and dictate into it our loyalties. We won’t have to because the government can (and will) watch us in the background.

It wouldn’t be long before we would completely forget that our cars have transponders and our smart devices have created a smart grid. It will all work silently in the background, much like a virus on our computer.

Over the last few weeks, my anti-virus and anti-malware software alerts me every time a keylogger known as “Ardamax” gets onto my computer. I am warned to remove it and I do. It will inevitably pop up again and I have to go through the same process. If my software did not alert me to the fact that this malware was present, I would not know it.

A keylogger is a program that keeps track of all keystrokes and can even take pictures of what is on a computer screen. Who would benefit from such a program? Anyone who wanted to spy on a person. If a person has remote access to another person’s computer, they can take charge of that computer and use things like a webcam for their own purposes.

The age of technology is most definitely upon us and even though there are good things that come from it, the bad things that can occur seem to me to outweigh the good. I will not willingly bring so-called smart devices in my home. I will not buy a car with a transponder on it. I will simply keep having my current cars repaired rather than purchase new.

The government already knows too much about us. They do not need to know these things. We have rights and it is interesting the way our rights are simply being eradicated through the use of technology.

The worse part of it is that we have become so used to technology that I’m not sure most people would be able to survive without it.

Entry filed under: Life in America, Religious - Christian - Theology, Shadow Government.

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  • 1. Charles Huss  |  February 3, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    I see there is already technology in cars that (I assume) use some type of radar and automatically apply the brakes. No transponders needed.

    • 2. modres  |  February 3, 2014 at 12:07 PM

      Do tell. Do you have a link, Charles?

      • 3. Charles Huss  |  February 4, 2014 at 5:00 AM

        This might be a good example.

      • 4. modres  |  February 4, 2014 at 6:24 AM

        Thanks – excellent!

      • 5. Charles Huss  |  February 4, 2014 at 10:17 AM

        thanks. There is always a better solution than one that the government comes up with.

      • 6. modres  |  February 4, 2014 at 12:14 PM

        If THAT isn’t the truth!

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