The Government’s Kill Switch for Your Car, Your Freedoms and Your Life

by | Feb 3, 2022 | Headline News | 14 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    This article was originally published by John W. Whitehead and Nisha Whitehead at the Rutherford Institute. 

    “A psychotic world we live in. The madmen are in power.”—Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle

    If we haven’t learned by now, we should beware of anything the government insists is for our own good.

    Take the Biden Administration’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

    Given the deteriorating state of the nation’s infrastructure (aging highways and bridges, outdated railways and airports, etc.), which have been neglected for years in order to fund America’s endless wars abroad, it would seem like an obvious and long overdue fix.

    Yet there’s a catch.

    There’s always a catch.

    Tucked into the whopping $1 trillion bipartisan spending bill is a provision requiring automakers to prescribe a “federal motor vehicle safety standard for advanced drunk and impaired driving prevention technology, and for other purposes.”

    As Jason Torchinksky writes for Jalopnik:

    It’s pretty clear that the goals of this section of the law are to reduce drunk driving fatalities and crashes via still-undetermined technological tools that somehow are able to “passively monitor the performance of a driver of a motor vehicle to accurately identify whether that driver may be impaired,” and/or “passively and accurately detect whether the blood alcohol concentration of a driver of a motor vehicle is equal to or greater than the blood alcohol concentration described in section 163(a) of title 23, United States Code,” and if either or both of these conditions are proven to be positive — if the car thinks you’re drunk, then it may “prevent or limit motor vehicle operation.

    As expected, the details are disconcertingly vague, which leaves the government with a wide berth to sow the seeds of mischief and mayhem. For instance, nowhere does the legislation indicate how such a so-called “kill switch” would work, what constitutes a driver who is “impaired,” and what “other purposes” might warrant the government using such a backdoor kill switch.

    As former Rep. Bob Barr explains:

    Everything about this mandatory measure should set off red flares. First, use of the word “passively” suggests the system will always be on and constantly monitoring the vehicle. Secondly, the system must connect to the vehicle’s operational controls, so as to disable the vehicle either before driving or during, when impairment is detected. Thirdly, it will be an “open” system, or at least one with a backdoor, meaning authorized (or unauthorized) third-parties can remotely access the system’s data at any time.

    This is a privacy disaster in the making, and the fact that the provision made it through the Congress reveals — yet again — how little its members care about the privacy of their constituents… The lack of ultimate control over one’s vehicle presents numerous and extremely serious safety issues… If that is not reason enough for concern, there are serious legal issues with this mandate. Other vehicle-related enforcement methods used by the Nanny State, such as traffic cameras and license plate readers, have long presented constitutional problems; notably with the 5th Amendment’s right to not self-incriminate, and the 6th Amendment’s right to face one’s accuser.

    Once again, the burden of proof is reversed, and “we the people” find ourselves no longer presumed innocent until proven guilty but suspects in a suspect society.

    These “vehicle kill switches” may be sold to the public as a safety measure aimed at keeping drunk drivers off the roads, but they will quickly become a convenient tool in the hands of government agents to put the government in the driver’s seat while rendering null and void the Constitution’s requirements of privacy and its prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures.

    Indeed, when you think about it, these vehicle kill switches are a perfect metaphor for the government’s efforts to not only take control of our cars but also our freedoms and our lives.

    For too long, we have been captive passengers in a driverless car controlled by the government, losing more and more of our privacy and autonomy the further down the road we go.

    Just think of all the ways in which the government has been empowered to dictate what we say, do and think; where we go; with whom we associate; how we raise our families; how we live our lives; what we consume; how we spend our money; how we protect ourselves and our loved ones; and to what extent our rights as individuals can be displaced for the sake of the so-called greater good.

    In this way, we have arrived, way ahead of schedule, into the dystopian future dreamed up by such science fiction writers as George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Margaret Atwood, and Philip K. Dick.

    In keeping with Dick’s darkly prophetic vision of a dystopian police state—which became the basis for Steven Spielberg’s futuristic thriller Minority Report, which was released 20 years ago—we have been imprisoned in a world in which the government is all-seeing, all-knowing, and all-powerful, and if you dare to step out of line, dark-clad police SWAT teams and pre-crime units will crack a few skulls to bring the populace under control.

    Minority Report is set in the year 2054, but it could just as well have taken place in 2022.

    Incredibly, as the various nascent technologies employed and shared by the government and corporations alike—facial recognition, iris scanners, massive databases, behavior prediction software, and so on—are incorporated into a complex, interwoven cyber network aimed at tracking our movements, predicting our thoughts and controlling our behavior, Spielberg’s unnerving vision of the future is fast becoming our reality.

    Both worlds—our present-day reality and Minority Report’s celluloid vision of the future—are characterized by widespread surveillance, behavior prediction technologies, data mining, fusion centers, driverless cars, voice-controlled homes, facial recognition systems, cybugs and drones, and predictive policing (pre-crime) aimed at capturing would-be criminals before they can do any damage.

    Surveillance cameras are everywhere. Government agents listen in on our telephone calls and read our emails. Political correctness—a philosophy that discourages diversity—has become a guiding principle of modern society.

    The courts have shredded the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. In fact, SWAT teams battering down doors without search warrants and FBI agents acting as secret police that investigate dissenting citizens are common occurrences in contemporary America.

    We are increasingly ruled by multi-corporations wedded to the police state. Much of the population is either hooked on illegal drugs or ones prescribed by doctors. And bodily privacy and integrity has been utterly eviscerated by a prevailing view that Americans have no rights over what happens to their bodies during an encounter with government officials, who are allowed to search, seize, strip, scan, spy on, probe, pat down, taser, and arrest any individual at any time and for the slightest provocation.

    We’re on the losing end of a technological revolution that has already taken hostage our computers, our phones, our finances, our entertainment, our shopping, our appliances, and now, our cars. As if the government wasn’t already able to track our movements on the nation’s highways and byways by way of satellites, GPS devices, and real-time traffic cameras, performance data recorders, black box recorders, and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications will monitor our vehicle’s speed, direction, location, gear selection, brake force, the number of miles traveled and seatbelts use and transmit this data to other drivers, including the police.

    In this Brave New World, there is no communication not spied upon, no movement untracked, no thought unheard. In other words, there is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

    Herded along by drones, smartphones, GPS devices, smart TVs, social media, smart meters, surveillance cameras, facial recognition software, online banking, license plate readers, and driverless cars, we are quickly approaching a point of singularity with the interconnected technological metaverse that is life in the American police state.

    Every new piece of technologically-enabled gadget we acquire and technologically-booby-trapped legislation that Congress enacts pulls us that much deeper into the sticky snare.

    These vehicle kill switches are yet another Trojan Horse: sold to us as safety measures for the sake of the greater good, all the while poised to wreak havoc on what little shreds of autonomy we have left.

    As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, we’re hurtling down a one-way road at mind-boggling speeds to a destination not of our choosing, the terrain is getting more treacherous by the minute, and we’ve passed all the exit ramps.

    From this point forward, there is no turning back, and the signpost ahead reads “Danger.”

    Time to buckle up your seatbelts, folks. We’re in for a bumpy ride.


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      1. Time to install the Kill Switch on the Government. Boycott everything in every way and stop shipping goods to the Government. Stop all services and watch then wither on the vine. Its happening in Canada, truckers strike. Shut down all commerce to all Government agencies. We the people can bring these criminal tyrants down. Also Vote all of them out in the primaries and otherwise.

      2. What we really need
        is a kill switch for
        the government.

      3. Nothing good ever came
        from the government.

      4. Brought to you by Tech Loving Douchebags…

        • I bought a new truck in 18. It’ll be the last new vehicle I’ll ever buy so I’m good. I don’t ever trust anything that has the potential to be a Trojan horse and this legislation is exactly that.

          Stay quiet Be smart

      5. The technology will be developed where not only police can deploy a kill switch to shut off your vehicle’s engine, but you can be sure it is also being developed to be deployed as a radio signal that is able to shut down all vehicles in a particular area such as a metro area, or on long stretches of highways.
        One of the freedoms TPTB hate the most is freedom of people to move freely. Freedom of movement gives power to people and denies power to gov’t. Just ask those states that are hemorrhaging citizens who are tax payers, businesses, etc. If you don’t like someplace for any reason you can just leave for greener pastures, you don’t need permission from anyone. There has actually been proposals in at least one or two states where the idea was briefly raised to require citizens to give official notice of wanting to leave, and furthermore not allow someone to leave until any taxes believed owed are paid (I doubt those who are wards of the state would be held to the same requirement).
        Another reason a state doesn’t like people leaving is the loss of representation. California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New York, and Ohio are all losing at least one Congressperson each, and therefore loose federal clout.
        But what the State is really liking less and less are people making personal unilateral decisions, completely independent of the State, not seeking permission and deciding for themselves what is best for them.
        Movement allows people to contact each other and communicate/exchange information without a phone, emailing, etc., therefore without being electronically monitored.
        (The word state with a small ‘s’ is one of the 50 states, the word State with a capital ‘S’ is the centralized national power that exists only under a pretense of gov’t, negates legitimate gov’t by compelling obedience in areas that is beyond the scope of what is a lawful by exercising powers that are unConstitutional, and does not exists on the behalf or for the interests of the citizens. The gov’t and officialdom are unfortunately subordinate to the State, and consists mainly of individuals and entities that are not necessarily official, with both native and foreign born, and mostly unknown to the American public. For example a lot of neo-cons are elements of the State.
        The bottom line – g*dd*m it, they hate your freedoms.

      6. Well, someone will figure out a way to bypass it evidentially. Never doubt the hot rodder. In the meantime, invest in a old truck or car. Pre computer age. Although i own a newer dodge ram, i have several older cars. no computer , no sensors, pretty simple to work on. Plus the insurance is cheap. So, go ahead with your electric cars and monitoring systems. I could care less, while your ass is sitting at a charging station, i will pass you by.

      7. “Boston Brakes”

        Remotely controlling a vehicle has been around since the last century.

      8. This should be a hackers dream, imaging every vehicle on the highway coming to a halt and leaving the highways looking like the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse.

      9. Hmm, I bought a new mid size pu in 2018, as I didn’t need a full size one and I have a hard time getting into a small pu, so I opted for a mid size and knowing what I do about diesels, I got one and I love it, having never had one, but having been around and in them and used them though the years, I got one. I think it will out last me easily, unless the body goes to hell ( rusts out ) or some clown runs into me.

      10. If I had to make a guess, I would say that, when a bridge collapsed ahead of Biden’s visit, he was budgeting for the Great Reset.

        We are overrun, in my region, by conspicuous foreigners with 7-10 cars per a single family home. They are swervy and get repo’ed in rush hour traffic, unabated.

        Most of us won’t don’t learn the alt fuels, which can power conventional engine designs, how to fabricate, or modify them as small gas engines will be illegal, in my state.

        Are we directly responsible for what we consider to be a right and not a privilege.

        In Tobacco Road, the driving surface was installed by the business that would use it. Up the street from me, the champagne socialists had to pave their own cul de sac.

        • It’s the darn emissions testing program that allows them to accelerate vehicle turnover. They froze the collectors grandfathered in allowances so most stuff 80’s+ is on borrowed time anyways. Parts industries are long since consolidated so it can be increasingly difficult to get certain parts, as the manufacturers often control availability. And new new clever tricks like can’t pass if any check engine diagnostics lights are on, instant fail. One way to try and beat this is to use super detergent cleaners and high end gas, then drive it hot to where you know a mobile side of the road emissions testing station is and hope to drive by pass and make it a few more years without going in. Also can sometimes trick it with control board uncoupling, because even if there is a total diagnostics failure, all the emissions people care about is the measured exhaust and if a dash light is on or not. But they’re getting more clever, with advanced tech comes with it more sophisticated reverse diagnostic utilities.

          There was a remarkable documentary about a couple of guys whom drove their eco vehicle, it was a retrofit mitsubishi work truck, from something like the top of driveable alaska to the southern most point of South America. They get arrested in TX for using trash bin grease for the biofuel conversion, but were given honorary recognition from a mayor in Mexico for their innovative showcasing of green biofuel tech. The point of the story is along the way as the various tech systems failed, many rural and poor people pulled rabits out of the hat and retro retro fitted that mistubishi do do all sorts of things. They bypassed pneumatic pressure based sensors, uninstalled some tech and swapped other with more simplistic mechanical function. The majority of the vehicle and it’s functions were remarkably different and altered for when they finished vs when they started, something the guys had not intended to happen but happened out of necessity. How to travel the world on trash grease and organic pressed bio fuel. It was a remarkable story, see if I can find that for you, brb. It can be done but you’ll need a lot of know how to presume you could do it. Like a lifetime of mechanical skills which are purposefully off patent and off design specs, something most American mechanics have no experience with. How to fabricate from non auto metals in the middle of nowhere. It’s like the phillipino guys whom manufacture quality semi automatic handguns from all manual labor and machinist tools, as they reform old wrecked navy ships into various complex machines. Technically perfect 9mm’s from old anchor chain in a little shack with only hand held machinist equipment. Surprising but true.

          • Sorry could not find the doc. I don’t think it was panamerica but it was along that theme. Two guys drove from alaska to panama without using a drop of gas, in a retrofitted petroleum vehicle. It actually happened. They had like back to the future silly looking tech where they’d take weeds on the side of the road and blend them on a mounted blender, to extract bio fuels. It was the most fascinating documentary from about 10-20 years ago, somewhere in there.

      11. Just ask people involved with repo and new cars. They can remote shut you down for not paying the bill anywhere there is cellular service. Been that way for some time now. It’s coding in the obc’s on board computers. Treat your older cars like gold, always buy, never sell, pay even as much as a new car to refurbish them if necessary. Over the past few years we put around $8k into our two 2000’s age vehicles. New tech is bad tech. The purpose of V2V is nepharious, they will be able to identify via automatic tools if you have sped to the next V2V reading device (which is basically a 5g extension which communicates on roadways to V2V black box devices in cars), and you will get a ticket and higher premiums if you ping too many times as having sped, ran lights, you name it they’ll tax you for it. People subscribing to safe driver discount insurance tech have V2V like technology in their cars right now. You sign up, they send you a wireless device that plugs into the under dash ports, and just like that; you have unwittingly placed tracker software in your vehicle.

        You may want to get a good old fashioned club and dead mans switch, an emp shield for the vehicle, and pay whatever is necessary to rebuild and refurbish obc’s when they go out. And regarding other posters, no, the hot rod fans will not be able to circumvent the obc integration because everything is reliant on computer not pneumatic and pressure based controls. So if you jack one thing, be prepared to jack everything else from wheel sensors to universal gear governor and sensors all the way to user controls in the vehicle, seatbelt indicators, just every single piece. Early obc tech was just for fuel rate and a jumbled mix of redundant safety and diagnostic indicators, the obc tech although integrated was an outer shell and did not act as a central authority over operational function. That’s what’s different now, having a faulty obc is like missing your operating system on a computer, damned thing won’t even turn on.

        Cash for clunkers was how this started, plans to purposefully get vehicles off the road and install new tech. Then manufacturers worked with insurance and redflex camera systems to create plate mounting angles easier to read for cameras. Insurance, manufacturing, tech, road management institutions, all in cahoots. There are so few indy shops left whom can send out boards for manual baord re sautering and refurbishment. Those are your best bets to save and refurbish old vehicles. So get ready to not just accept repair recommendations but rather get ahead of them by dropping thousands into your old vehicles every time.

        Somewhere out there are handful of volvo’s which have gone well over a million miles and are still kicking. If you are machine minded enough, one could even swap out the 1m mile rated semi truck parts into residential vehicles. Our residential vehicles are made to break, sad but true. I remember fixing a clutch with speaker wire in the middle fo the night nowhere on an old 70’s hornet when I was 16. How times have changed. Consumer purchasing drives the market. They sold it. You bought it.

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