Attention GM Owners

22 Sep

Government Motors/On Star are now issuing a statement that says that they will track your location and speed at all times, even  if you don’t subscribe to the service.

Collecting location and speed data via GPS might also create a treasure trove of data that could be used in criminal and civil cases. One could also imagine an eager police chief acquiring the data to issue speeding tickets en masse.

I think that Wired Mag understates the threat imposed by an agency of the federal government that installs tracking equipment in every vehicle they sell.  They have effectively put an ankle bracelet on every unwitting and innocent purchaser of a GM automobile.

I’m glad I got rid of my Denali and now drive a Toyota.  And if I still had my Yukon I’d be hitting it with a pair of wire snips to deactivate the OnStar rather than blogging about it.  Like right now.



Posted by on September 22, 2011 in politics


3 responses to “Attention GM Owners

  1. Martin M. McMartin

    September 24, 2011 at 6:14 am

    This is not the only concern, apparently the cellular connection can be opened at any time to eavesdrop and record passenger conversations. A case in 2003 in which a judge signed off on a wire tap authorization. Here is an excerpt from a 2003 Las Vegas Review Journal article;
    A Las Vegas judge erred when he ordered a company to help the FBI eavesdrop on conversations in a suspect’s vehicle, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

    “The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued the decision in a civil case involving Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric Johnson and Kathleen Bliss, who spent more than two years working on a public corruption investigation with ties to strip club magnate Michael Galardi.

    Bliss would not confirm that the decision stemmed from the Galardi investigation. The underlying civil case is sealed.

    The appeal was filed in April 2002 by an unidentified company that runs a type of onboard system now found in some luxury cars.

    That system allows the company to open a cellular connection to a vehicle and listen to conversations within the vehicle, a feature designed to help officials recover stolen cars.

    The FBI obtained court orders requiring the company to help agents intercept conversations taking place in a car equipped with the system.

    Tuesday’s ruling does not identify the criminal case in which Senior U.S. District Judge Lloyd George issued the orders.

    Las Vegas attorney Dominic Gentile, who represents former Clark County Commissioner Lance Malone, said his client and Galardi both drove a Hummer that was equipped with a system called OnStar. At different times during the criminal investigation, each of the men also owned the vehicle, Gentile said.”

  2. Martin M. McMartin

    September 24, 2011 at 6:23 am

    And this from an August 2009 Blog post:

    They’d like you to think that OnStar listens to conversations in your car only after giving you notice. Of course, that assertion is inconsistent with the passive listening feature highlighted by recent litigation, especially since a United States Appeals Court ruling mentioned in 2003 that the government used the on-board connection to eavesdrop on the vehicle’s occupants. When FBI agents remotely activated the system and were listening in, passengers in the vehicle could not tell that their conversations were being monitored. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco didn’t have a problem with the government converting safety and communications system into roaming in-car wiretaps, as long as it didn’t impact the safety features.

    The majority of the Judges deciding this sealed case, pertaining to a criminal investigation in Nevada, had no privacy concerns as to converting the device into a bug; a dissenting Judge would have allowed the eavesdropping even at the expense of safety. “The F.B.I., however well intented, is not in the business of providing emergency road services,” Judge Marsha S. Berzon wrote for the majority. In dissent, Judge Richard C. Tallman said the government should have been allowed to use the stealth listening “an important investigative tool.” The technology involved, which is being used by OnStar, ATX and other companies, may have already been altered, taking these concerns into consideration.

    What if you give your friend a ride, lend or sell your car to anyone? Company policy states that it’s YOUR responsibility to advise all occupants of your car (including other drivers) how information about them may be collected, used or disclosed by OnStar – for research and analysis, to hand over to law enforcement, car dealers, as well as to protect OnStar’s own rights and property. What about your rights, property and privacy? Do you have a choice as to how your information is collected and shared by OnStar? Well, not really. As OnStar warns, “choice as to how your information will be used or shared may not always be possible”.

  3. roblorinov

    September 24, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    I heard about this a few days ago and it sends chills up my spine. They’ve figured out ways to track everyone of us without or permission or knowing! This is outright TYRANNY! In 2012 if we don’t transform the leaders of our nation we are in for big trouble and there may be no need for an election in 2016. Wake up America!!


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