The State is Not Your Friend

In fact, it is the enemy, very much your enemy – it is a malign force for evil. This, via email.

The European Union is secretly developing a “remote stopping” device to be fitted to all cars that would allow the police to disable vehicles at the flick of a switch from a control room.

There was a time when the sheer audacity would have surprised me, but no longer. I have become inured to the daily assaults on our liberty by these vicious charlatans,

The plan, apparently, is that it would put an end to the current risks incurred during high-speed chases and using stingers to stop suspects who run and put others’ lives in danger. However, the solution proposed is so deeply authoritarian that it should have been rejected out of hand. But no, our masters in the EU will consider anything. There is no plan totalitarian enough for them to step back aghast, realising that maybe, just maybe, they are crossing a line. That is because they passed that line a long time ago. This is just another grab intended to steal yet more of our liberty to place us ever more under their iron fist.

These people are pure unadulterated evil. They are nothing more than criminal scum.

And, if this means I never buy a new vehicle again, so be it. I’ll buy old classics again. Because I will never, under any circumstance, ever, allow any form of remote control over any of my vehicles. Ever.

Statewatch, a watchdog monitoring police powers, state surveillance and civil liberties in the EU, have leaked the documents amid concerns the technology poses a serious threat to civil liberties

Understatement much.

“We also need to know if there is any evidence that this is a widespread problem. Let’s have some evidence that this is a problem, and then let’s have some guidelines on how this would be used.”

Well, yes it’s a problem, but in no way does it justify every car being fitted with a stopping device.

The usual folk line up to condemn it and it is by their willingness to stand up and condemn the EU that they may be judged:

Douglas Carswell, the Conservative MP for Clacton, attacked the plan for threatening civil liberties and for bypassing the parliament.

“The price we pay for surrendering our democratic sovereignty is that we are governed by an unaccountable secretive clique,” he said.

Nigel Farage, the leader of Ukip, described the measure as “incredible” and a “draconian imposition”.

“It is appalling they are even thinking of it,” he said. “People must protest against this attack on their liberty and vote against an EU big Brother state during the Euro election in May.”

Indeed.

Can we leave yet?

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14 Comments on The State is Not Your Friend

  1. You will find, just as in the games console world that someone will quickly find ways of disabling any type of device like these.

    • I don’t doubt that – and it will be illegal and insurance companies will void your insurance. Frankly, though, when the law is clearly immoral and wrong, defying it is what decent people must do.

      • Voyager03 // February 13, 2014 at 08:55 //

        But the ‘criminal’ will carry a ‘jammer’ and the police won’t be able to ‘stop the car’ either (or the scrotes will just use the millions of vehicles that are not so equipped….)

        I think the chances of this actually being a viable system in ‘6 years’ is laughable. The Tellytubbygiraffe avoids having to actually explain any of the ridiculous story by claiming it is ‘secret’ and we have to get quite a long way into the piece before finding that this ‘secret’ organisation has been given a risible £484,000 grant and that “Although the technology for police to stop a vehicle by remote control has still to be developed, Enlets argues the merits of developing such a system.” So, no.

  2. johnd2008 // February 12, 2014 at 19:23 //

    The trick would be to develop a gadget that targeted official limos.

  3. It’s worse than that. Not long after they launch this, you’ll be able to buy, for £5, on Ebay, a device that you can use to stop your own car. And you really really shouldn’t use it to stop anyone else’s car.

    I’m hoping that as soon as they realise that this will happen, they’ll scrap the idea.
    My last [blog post] ..Tire pressure

  4. When half the chavs and car thieves are carrying and using their illicit carstoppers to carjack people and rob drivers and meanwhile protest groups are using them to gridlock entire cities or work sites it’ll be quite fun to watch won’t it. Meanwhile like you I will be in my non-engine-management classic :-)

  5. Here’s a novel suggestion – don’t chase them.
    “we must all vote in the EU elections…” that would legitimise the whole EU nonsense. Don’t get angry, don’t vote.

  6. The problems with an form of remote car-stopper are manyfold. The first one you encounter is how to identify the target vehicle; if you use registration plates then the very first thing any thief will do is alter the registration plates (enterprising ones might even use the registration numbers of police vehicles in different force areas to the one they are operating in). If you use some means of identification other than car number plates, then this too will be spoofed.

    Secondly, the receiving device can and will also get tampered with. To date BMW have suffered problems with their cars being targetted by thieves using the in-car data port; by EU law this HAS to be open, without even any password or encryption; nice one there, EU! If this sort of system is implemented, then one trick might be to simply re-flash the car’s ECU with firmware that is not affected by the killswitch, or even simply remove the entire computer and fit another that lacks the killswitch.

    Thirdly, once this system is implemented there is then a tremendous temptation for vehicle manufacturers to make it very, very easy to circumvent the killswitch; such vehicles would become very popular as they’d be resistant to Government-mandated vehicle interference.

    Fourthly, if you deliberately introduce a vulnerability into all vehicles, then you are deliberately introducing an exploitable hole in security, and are relying on your designed-in security to keep the system secure for the life of the vehicle. With the exception of genius-level protocols like Kerberos, no internet security system has lasted for a decade without needing patching due to discovered vulnerabilities.

    British motorways are safe, very, very safe. We have almost the safest roads in Europe. Clearly the EU ought not be interfering with winners like ourselves, but instead copying how we operate.

  7. John LEON // February 13, 2014 at 18:44 //

    I read this a few weeks ago and was horrified but after a little thought came to the conclusions of others commenting here, I doubt that I will be buying a new vehicle any time soon and by the time I do the technology to reprogram or replace the offending parts will be easy to obtain, of course they could go down Honda’s route with their H.I.S.S. set up on bikes where anyone who uses the non chipped specific key to try to start the Motorcycle shorts out the ignition module and to replace it, at an eye watering cost, has to prove the bike is theirs. I think that one vehicle manufacturer will come up with a way around it as they will lobby for some sort of loophole, e.g. those who supply police vehicles.

  8. The principle is, surprisingly, sound. A car can be stopped by a constable if he suspects the driver of an offence. If a radio signal is illiberal so is an electromagnetic command in a different frequency ie light reflecting off his upraised hand. In practice a cutoff switch will be hackable or cut out at a dangerous moment because of a fault. But a car being driven furiously must be stopped, whether by traditional means or this electronic version of a bullet through the engine block. I can’t fault the logic of the concept but still it doesn’t feel right – it’ll probably be used to immobilise cars to fine drivers for smoking or some such shite.

    • You’re stretching it a bit there. There is a world of difference between a policeman holding up his hand to stop a car and a control centre having a kill-switch for every vehicle on the road. One is proportionate, the other isn’t.

      • I know, I know, but…. there is an argument here. If the device could be armed by the car owner and only by him – by mobile phone for instance after he discovers his car is stolen and then he gives Plod permission to zap his car – it might make sense. Personally speaking i would find that acceptable, but certainly not immobilisation without owner authorisation and without the car being reported stolen. And it would have to be a voluntary installation too.

        • That’s a different matter entirely. I have had immobilisers fitted to my vehicles in the past. It’s the ability to do it without the owner’s consent that is the issue here. If the police have to obtain a code before they can do it and it remains entirely within the authority of the vehicle owner, then no problem.

          • Aye, it’s a good idea in principle as long as the State keep their paws off it. Imagine it on bikes, you’re nicely into an 80mph sweeper, some twat wants to give you a ticket, you’re about to lift her up on the throttle and….

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