Sunday, 21 July 2013

Black Boxes in Cars - A Question of Privacy -






 

Black Boxes in Cars: A Question of Privacy

When Timothy P. Murray crashed his government-issued Ford Crown Victoria in 2011, he was fortunate, as car accidents go. Mr. Murray, then the lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, was not seriously hurt, and he told the police he was wearing a seat belt and was not speeding.

But a different story soon emerged. Mr. Murray was driving over 100 miles an hour and was not wearing a seat belt, according to the computer in his car that tracks certain actions. He was given a $555 ticket; he later said he had fallen asleep.

The case put Mr. Murray at the center of a growing debate over a little-known but increasingly important piece of equipment buried deep inside a car: the event data recorder, more commonly known as the black box.

About 96 percent of all new vehicles sold in the United States have the boxes, and in September 2014, if the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has its way, all will have them.

The boxes have long been used by car companies to assess the performance of their vehicles. But data stored in the devices is increasingly being used to identify safety problems in cars and as evidence in traffic accidents and criminal cases. And the trove of data inside the boxes has raised privacy concerns, including questions about who owns the information, and what it can be used for, even as critics have raised questions about its reliability.

To federal regulators, law enforcement authorities and insurance companies, the data is an indispensable tool to investigate crashes.

The black boxes "provide critical safety information that might not otherwise be available to N.H.T.S.A. to evaluate what happened during a crash — and what future steps could be taken to save lives and prevent injuries," David L. Strickland, the safety agency's administrator, said in a statement.

But to consumer advocates, the data is only the latest example of governments and companies having too much access to private information. Once gathered, they say, the data can be used against car owners, to find fault in accidents or in criminal investigations.

"These cars are equipped with computers that collect massive amounts of data," said Khaliah Barnes of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington-based consumer group. "Without protections, it can lead to all kinds of abuse."

What's more, consumer advocates say, government officials have yet to provide consistent guidelines over how the data should be used.

"There are no clear standards that say, this is a permissible use of the data and this is not," Ms. Barnes said.

Fourteen states, including New York, have passed laws that say that, even though the data belongs to the vehicle's owner, law enforcement officials and those involved in civil litigation can gain access to the black boxes with a court order.

In these states, lawyers may subpoena the data for criminal investigations and civil lawsuits, making the information accessible to third parties, including law enforcement or insurance companies that could cancel a driver's policy or raise a driver's premium based on the recorder's data.

In Mr. Murray's case, a court order was not required to release the data to investigators. Massachusetts is not among the states to pass a law governing access to the data. Asked about the case, Mr. Murray, who did not contest the ticket and who resigned as lieutenant governor in June to become head of the Chamber of Commerce in Worcester, Mass., declined to comment.

Current regulations require that the presence of the black box be disclosed in the owner's manual. But the vast majority of drivers who do not read the manual thoroughly may not know that their vehicle can capture and record their speed, brake position, seat belt use and other data each time they get behind the wheel.

Unlike the black boxes on airplanes, which continually record data including audio and video, the cars' recorders capture only the few seconds surrounding a crash or air bag deployment. A separate device extracts the data, which is then analyzed through computer software.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a Washington-based trade association that represents 12 automakers including General Motors and Chrysler, said it supported the mandate because the recorders helped to monitor passenger safety.

"Event data recorders help our engineers and researchers understand how cars perform in the real world, and one of our priorities for E.D.R.'s continues to be preserving consumer privacy," said Wade Newton, a spokesman for the trade association. "Automakers don't access E.D.R. data without consumer permission, and we believe that any government requirements to install E.D.R.'s on all vehicles must include steps to protect consumer privacy."

Beyond the privacy concerns, though, critics have questioned the data's reliability.

In 2009, Anthony Niemeyer died after crashing a rented Ford Focus in Las Vegas. His widow, Kathryn, sued both Ford Motor and Hertz, contending that the air bag system failed to deploy.

The black box, however, derailed Ms. Niemeyer's assertion that her husband had been traveling fast enough for the air bag to deploy.

Though Ms. Niemeyer lost the suit last year, her lawyer, Daniel T. Ryan of St. Louis, was successful in excluding the black box data as evidence on the grounds that the device is not fully reliable. The judge in the case ruled that because an engineer working on behalf of Ford retrieved the data, the plaintiffs, who maintained there were errors, had no way to independently verify it.

"It's data that has not been shown to be absolutely reliable," Mr. Ryan said. "It's not black and white."

The origins of black boxes, which are the size of about two decks of cards and are situated under the center console, date to the 1990 model year, when General Motors introduced them to conduct quality studies. Since then, their use and the scope of the data they collect has expanded.

The lack of standardization among manufacturers has made it difficult to extract the data, most notably during the investigations into the crashes caused by sudden, unintended acceleration in some Toyota vehicles.

Until recently, crash investigators needed an automaker's proprietary reader as well as the expertise to analyze the data. The safety administration's regulations will help enable universal access to the data by using a commercially available tool. At the same time, police departments are receiving training on the new regulations. In Romulus, N.Y., last week, the Collision Safety Institute, a consultancy in San Diego, helped teach New York State Police investigators how to read the devices.

But privacy advocates have expressed concern that the data collected will only grow to include a wider time frame and other elements like GPS and location-based services.

"The rabbit hole goes very deep when talking about this stuff," said Thomas Kowalick, an expert in event data recorders and a former co-chairman of the federal committee that set the standard for black boxes.

Today, the boxes have spawned a cottage industry for YouTube videos on how to expunge the data. And Mr. Kowalick, seeing an opportunity, invented a device that safeguards access to in-vehicle electronics networks. It is controlled by the vehicle's owner with a key and is useful in the event of theft, he said.

"For most of the 100-year history of the car, it used to be 'he said, she said,' " Mr. Kowalick said. "That's no longer going to be the way."

Bill Vlasic contributed reporting.



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Pics and toons 7/21/13





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CT State Police Receive First Registrations For Assault Weapons; Click Here for Forms





 

State Police Receive First Registrations For Assault Weapons; Click Here for Forms

by Dan Haar Categorized: Commerce, Firearms Date: July 9, 2013

 

The state police have received their first applications from Connecticut residents seeking to register assault weapons under the controversial gun control law that went into effect April 4 — and some people are even bringing in their guns, which isn't necessary.

Residents have until Jan. 1 to register assault weapons, as defined under the law.  But the system is up and running and the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection is now processing the requests.

 

"They're just trickling in so far," said Capt. Thomas Garbedian.

Applicants must show proof that they owned the firearms as of April 4, must submit a right thumbprint and must have the form notarized. The don't need to show up in person, and they certainly don't need to bring their guns, Garbedian said.

 

The state police "received a couple of calls up here from the local departments saying people are walking in with guns," he said.

 

Local police are not processing the applications, which can be dropped off or mailed to the state police headquarters at 1111 Country Club Rd., Middletown.

 

The registrations apply to a broad class of firearms that are defined as assault weapons under the law because they have semiautomatic action and at least one military characteristic, typically a pistil grip. The law applies to, among others, the AR-15 type of rifles that are the same platform as the M-16 and M-4 military rifles.

 

People in the gun industry don't consider civilian AR-15′s to be assault weapons because they are not fully automatic, meaning they require a pull of the trigger to fire each round. But that's what they're called under the law.

 

Owners of magazines that carry more than 10 rounds must also declare those items by Jan. 1 — which is trickier, since magazines don't have serial numbers.

 

But before you get the idea of registering for magazines that you don't yet own, giving you the ability to bring them into the state in the future, be aware: Falsely claiming to own magazines is a Class A misdemeanor.

 

The law is being challenged in court by three lawsuits, the latest of which was filed Monday by the Newtown-based National Shooting Sports Foundation, which represents retailers, manufacturers and gun clubs. The NSSF lawsuit, filed in federal district court, charges that the law was adopted improperly as an emergency certification, not requiring a public hearing, and that it violates the state and federal constitutional rights of gun owners and industry firms.

 

Separately, the department is receiving thousands of requests for pistol permits. Starting next Oct. 1, anyone seeking to buy ammunition will need a certificate, and starting April 14, anyone seeking to buy a rifle will need a license — but the existing pistol permit allows both of those permits, so that's what many residents are seeking.

 

The department is ahead of the schedule promised by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who had said the registration forms would be ready by Aug. 1.

 

 

 

 



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Why is al Jazeera giving money to Weiner’s NYC mayoral campaign?




Maybe cause he's got a muzzieho wife?
creeping posted: " via shoebat.com Those puzzled by the notion of New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner accepting money accepting money from Al-Jazeera may want to consider a better question: Why is Al-Jazeera giving him money in the first place? We can't figu"
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Why is al Jazeera giving money to Weiner's NYC mayoral campaign?

by creeping

via shoebat.com Those puzzled by the notion of New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner accepting money accepting money from Al-Jazeera may want to consider a better question: Why is Al-Jazeera giving him money in the first place? We can't figure it out except for one reason – his wife is a devout Muslim with […]

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Like hypnosis and other crazy stuff?

Try this site:   www.warpmymind.com

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Student Suspended for Requesting Instruction in English, Sues College







Since the Ariz. constitution declares ENGLISH as the official language and this is a State school, I'm betting on 2 things: She's going to make a lot of $$, and there is going to be a major faculty change at that campus.

I can hear the heads rolling now!!


http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/07/19/Student-Sues-College-After-Suspending-Her-For-Requesting-Lessons-In-English


Student Suspended for Requesting Instruction in English, Sues College

 


by AWR Hawkins 19 Jul 2013, 6:47 PM PDT post a comment

 

Fifty-year-old student Terri Bennett is suing Pima Community College (PCC) in Pima County, Arizona for allegedly labeling her a "bigot" and suspending her from school for asking if her nursing studies curriculum could be taught in English to make it easier to learn.

According Bennett's legal complaint, she started nursing classes at PCC in January 2013. During classroom hours, she and her fellow students were divided up into smaller groups, and she was "the only first-language English speaker" in her group. The other students in her group "spoke primarily in Spanish."

The students were asked to fill out class evaluations in March and were told their answers would remain anonymous. Thus, Bennett indicated on her evaluation she would prefer "there were no Spanish in the classroom." 

During another class, Bennett stated shortly after turning in her evaluation, Spanish was used so heavily in the classroom that she said she could not "concentrate." By April 3, Bennett claimed her learning environment was so challenging that she "followed PCC procedures and requested an interview with the Director of the Nursing Program." 

Bennett's complaint alleges that, after she told nursing director David Kutzler of her struggles, he accused her of "discriminating against Mexican-Americans" and of being a "bigot and a bitch."

The next day, April 4, Bennett was summoned to a broader meeting of PCC staff where she was allegedly told she was "discriminating" and that she would "not get a job" even if she finished her degree. Kutzler allegedly took part in this meeting as well, confronting Bennett with her "an

 



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NEVER HIRE A MUSLIM: Reason #100





BareNakedIslam posted: "If you hire even one Arab/Muslim, it will mean trouble for you if you don't hire MORE Arab/Muslims. DETROIT FREE PRESS  The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has found the Crestwood School District in Dearborn Heights violated the federal Civil"

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NEVER HIRE A MUSLIM: Reason #100

by BareNakedIslam

If you hire even one Arab/Muslim, it will mean trouble for you if you don't hire MORE Arab/Muslims. DETROIT FREE PRESS  The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has found the Crestwood School District in Dearborn Heights violated the federal Civil Rights Act by failing to hire Arab teachers, discriminating against Arabs in its hiring and recruiting practices […]

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BareNakedIslam | July 19, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Categories: Islam in America | URL: http://wp.me/p276zM-W1b

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Chicago Police To Write Letters To Criminals: Please Don't Shoot One Another




Why not?  Criminals shooting each other, like Muslims shooting each other…is a bad thing?

 

B

 

Chicago Police To Write Letters To Criminals: Please Don't Shoot One Another

July 19, 2013 by Sam Rolley 

When it comes to restrictive gun laws, Chicago is a liberal utopia. Incidentally, it is also one of the most deadly and crime-ridden cities in the United States.

But Chicago law enforcement officials, realizing that curtailing 2nd Amendment rights is not stopping deadly violence, have a new plan: They will send friendly letters to individuals deemed to have a high risk for committing, or becoming the victims of, gun crimes, asking the residents to avoid shooting one another.

Via the Chicago Sun-Times: 

Working from a list of people deemed most likely to become shooters or victims, a Chicago Police commander is expected to start knocking on their doors Friday and deliver letters warning them not to commit any violent crimes.

The "custom notifications" are a pilot program in the Austin District on the West Side. Austin District Cmdr. Barbara West plans to deliver letters to 20 people on a so-called "heat list," officials said…

…The heat list stems from work by Andrew Papachristos, a Yale University professor who studied murders between 2005 and 2010 on the West Side. He found 70 percent of the killings were in a social network of 1,600 people out of a total population of 80,000.

The citywide social network of violence includes more than 16,000 people, police Supt. Garry McCarthy said. The department narrowed that list to more than 400 "hot people" most likely to commit shootings or become victims — or 20 people per police district.

The letters will warn those on the list that they will face the most serious charges possible if they're arrested for a violent crime.

"The custom notifications are the next step in the evolution of putting those guys on notice that they have the highest propensity for homicide," McCarthy said. "We're saying, 'We know who you are, we know what you do and your chance of dying in a homicide is much greater than John Q. Citizen.' "

So, wait… Criminals don't have any qualms about breaking strict gun laws in order to carry out homicidal crimes—but they're going to respond to sternly-worded letters from government officials?



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The next head of Homeland Security





Harold posted: "Brasscheck TV7/19/2013Source ..... Guess who Obama wants to make the new head of Homeland Security? A mini-dictator who has ordered over 700,000 people RANDOMLY stopped on the streets of New York City - in just one year - and subjected to full body sea"
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The next head of Homeland Security

by Harold

Brasscheck TV 7/19/2013 Source ..... Guess who Obama wants to make the new head of Homeland Security? A mini-dictator who has ordered over 700,000 people RANDOMLY stopped on the streets of New York City - in just one year - and subjected to full body searches. If you complain, they take you to jail. This […]

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Red Crescent to make ‘halal’ drugs with Muslim-only blood





creeping posted: "Islamic supremacy knows no bounds. We are just watching events unfold in complete shock," Aktan [Turkish Medical Association head] said. via LOCAL - Red Crescent to make 'halal' drugs with Turkish blood. A recent Turkish Red Crescent initiate is set to"
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Red Crescent to make 'halal' drugs with Muslim-only blood

by creeping

Islamic supremacy knows no bounds. We are just watching events unfold in complete shock," Aktan [Turkish Medical Association head] said. via LOCAL - Red Crescent to make 'halal' drugs with Turkish blood. A recent Turkish Red Crescent initiate is set to be turned into a factory-supported production process, making medicine out of Turkish people's blood […]

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Zimmerman Verdict Spurs an Outbreak of…Temper Tantrums?


Zimmerman Verdict Spurs an Outbreak of…Temper Tantrums?
By Daisy Luther
The Organic Prepper
July 19, 2013

While Hollywood and the media puppets play their harps, write their poetry, and weep gracefully over the Zimmerman verdict, riots erupt across the United States.

Except, as any mom or dad who has ever raised a child through the toddler years will recognize, they aren't really "riots" but temper tantrums.  It is like a bunch of hungry, overtired children, melting down and having a big, screaming hissy fit.

Basically, these people who are angry about the Zimmerman verdict are stomping their feet, running around, shouting, crying, and breaking things…just because they're mad.

They are doing absolutely nothing that will effect a change, nothing that will increase their own credibility, and nothing that will prove to the world that they are right and the Zimmerman jury was wrong.

Wouldn't peaceful protests with large numbers of citizens standing in unity get across the point that they are trying to prove with more clarity?  Aren't these people trying to show that an injustice was done, that Zimmerman should not have been fearful of Trayvon Martin?  By rioting through city streets, threatening and hurting innocent bystanders, aren't these "protesters" proving the complete opposite of their alleged point?

With this complete lack of dignity, you can't even call these actions "protests" – you have to call them what they are – temper tantrums.  Here are a few examples.

From Los Angeles

Several protesters ran into a Wal-Mart store and knocked down displays before store security chased them out. Police began guarding the door.

Tonya Williams was shopping with her daughter when the protesters burst in and security briefly locked down the store.
"We thought we were going to be stuck in there," Williams said. "We saw the merchandise all thrown around. They had pulled the rack down, and there was merchandise all over the floor."  ( source)

From Pennsylvania:

In Chester County, Pennsylvania, police are investigating graffiti on a building before it was set on fire: "KILL ZIMMERMAN." Firefighters were called to the scene of the fire at ProSigns, a company manufacturing commercial signs for business, and found that phrase spray-painted in red on the front of the building. The firefighters put out the fire without significant damage. The fire has been ruled arson. ( source)

From Oakland:

Dozens of demonstrators briefly blocked all lanes of Interstate 880 at the tail end of rush hour, stopping traffic in both directions for several minutes before lanes were cleared by authorities. Several protesters laid their bicycles on the ground in front of stopped cars.
"You've got to go. You will go to jail," one police officer shouted at demonstrators who were blocking traffic, the Oakland Tribune reported. However, police decided not to make arrests as the marchers, chanting "Justice for Trayvon Martin," were directed back to surface streets.
Later, another group tried to march up the onramp to Interstate 580 before being turned away by Oakland police and California Highway Patrol officers. ( source)

Also from Oakland:

There were scattered reports of vandalism ­ including Dumpsters pulled into the street ­ but not at the level of destruction that happened Saturday night when numerous downtown businesses had windows smashed or were covered in spray paint.. ( source)

Across the San Francisco Bay area:

 A BART police car parked outside the 12th Street BART Station had its windows smashed, and protesters spray-painted "F- the police" and "Kill Pigs" on the side of the vehicle… The crowd later moved away from the intersection and headed east on 14th Street, stopping at a McDonald's restaurant shortly after midnight to burn several flags and to spray-paint "Kill Zimmerman" and "FTP," an anti-police epithet, on the side of Alameda County's Rene C. Davidson Courthouse. ( source)

Reporters were also a target in Oakland…but why?  Those are the people who were there to do what the protests were allegedly supposed to do – get the story out about the outrage at the verdict:

…a small number of Oakland demonstrators ­ some hiding their faces with bandanas, as demonstrators did during the Occupy Oakland melees ­ turned violent late Sunday, setting upon an Oakland Tribune photographer and KTVU cameraman with kicks and punches.
"I'm OK, but protesters had our photog on the ground," Bay Area News Group reporter Natalie Neysa Alund tweeted a little before 11:30 p.m. Sunday. "I tried to get them off him. An #SFgate photog came to the rescue ­ 1 camera is destroyed."
Shortly afterward, another reporter with the news group ­ which publishes the Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times and San Jose Mercury News ­ followed up: "Just patched up my assailed colleague. He's shaken but not stirred. Should be ok. Senseless."
A KTVU tweet said that news agency's cameraman was also "attacked by masked protesters." ( source)

Some of the riots resulted in serious harm…but what is the point of injuring a person because of the color of his skin? Isn't that what the "protesters" are protesting against?

From Baltimore:

Real estate agent Christina Dudley said she was walking to her car just before 9 p.m. when she saw several young black males and two black females chasing a 37-year-old Hispanic man west on North Linwood Avenue past East Fairmont Avenue.
"One of the boys had a handgun out and it was pointed at the back of him," Dudley said in an interview.
They caught up to the man at the corner of Fairmount and N. Streeper Street, and the male with the gun beat the victim with what appeared to be his gun while others kicked and stomped him, Dudley said.
"They were just yelling and calling him names as they ran after him, but once they were hitting him and after that they started yelling, "This is for Trayvon, [expletive]," said Dudley, who heard the chant repeated multiple times. ( source)

From Mississippi:

A man who says he was jogging alongside of a road when three black men abducted and beat him claims the alleged attack was in retaliation for George Zimmerman's acquittal, police in Senatobia, Miss. told Fox News.
Police Chief Steve Holts told Fox News the alleged victim, who is white, was jogging Sunday night along Highway 51 when, he said, the suspects pulled over and ordered him to get inside their car.

"One of them asked, 'Do you know who Trayvon Martin was?'" Holts quoted the man as saying.  At that point, the men in the vehicle allegedly attacked him.
The man, who the chief described as a young resident of  the area, was treated  at a local hospital.
Memphis television station WREG reported the assailants allegedly told the victim, "This is for Trayvon." The television station and The Democrat newspaper reported the jogger was badly beaten and later dropped off on a road between Senatobia and Coldwater, Miss. ( source)

So, clearly, it should be judged a hate crime when George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, but tit should be considered an act of protest when they beat up a bystander "for Trayvon" , selecting their victim just because he happens to be white or Hispanic.

There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people who are peacefully protesting the verdict, as is their Constitutionally protected right to do.  Unfortunately, the positivity and unity that they are trying to convey is being overridden by a bunch of kids having a tantrum. As Ted Nugent wrote, "Martin Luther King Jr. is rolling over in his grave that he sacrificed his life for the cause of judging people by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin, as so many of his own race carry in in self-destructive behavior while professional race mongers blame everything on racism." (Check out his essay on the subject of the Zimmerman verdict HERE.)

The people participating in this big national melt-down are actually doing more to vindicate George Zimmerman's actions last February than the jury did when they acquitted him.  They are, without direct provocation, destroying property, committing arson, beating the daylights out of people because of their skin color, and purposely attempting to incite fear.  They are perpetuating the racial stereotypes they claim to be railing against.

So, judging by these childish and vicious tantrums, why wouldn't people be feeling rather suspicious?

Someone needs to take away their spray paint and their matches, and then send them to their rooms so the adults can have a conversation.

http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/zimmerman-verdict-spurs-an-outbreak-of-temper-tantrums-07162013