President Joe Biden recently signed a law mandating (persondating?) that all new vehicles sold after 2026 must be equipped with electronic “kill switches.” These switches could conceivably be used by government officials — or hackers — to seize control of one’s car without permission or oversight.
Oddly enough, the law was essentially hidden inside of the administration’s LGBTQ-friendly $1.2-trillion infrastructure bill that was passed late last year.
The “kill switch law” would potentially allow law enforcement to shut one’s car off remotely, and also to track the car’s metrics, location, and possibly even passenger load. The mandate was included under the pretext of helping to cut down on drunk driving while also preventing high-speed chases from occurring.
Such backdoor kill switches work through cars being continuously connected to wireless networks. Many, if not most, new cars (and virtually all electric cars) already come standard with wireless capability. Indeed, General Motors pioneered in-car (internet) connectivity more than a decade ago.
It is possible that the law could be challenged or repealed by a future federal government, as privacy issues with the mandate are glaring and obvious.
Former U.S. rep. Bob Barr wrote an opinion piece, published in the Daily Caller last November, in which he stated that “kill switches” are a “privacy disaster in the making” and noted that the law is “disturbingly short on details.”
He added: “What we do know is that the ‘safety’ device must ‘passively monitor the performance of a driver of a motor vehicle to accurately identify whether that driver may be impaired.’ Everything about this mandatory measure should set off red flares.”
Indeed. If and when this law is enacted, why shouldn’t the federal government seek the same control over bicycles, skateboards, scooters, snowmobiles, PWCs, etc.? And what about our refrigerators? Should similar technology be mandated going forward so that they won’t allow us to get more than, say, 48 ounces of beer from them in a 24-hour period? Should they only allow us to open refrigerators a certain number of times per day for each person residing in our households…in order to prevent obesity? Etc., etc. Where does this end?
It ends in a society indistinguishable from those in a dystopian novel such as Darkness at Noon and 1984.
And this Brave New World will contain only feckless, craven robot-people, afraid of freedom, effectively remote-controlled by their government masters.