Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

FBI, Police Not Allowed To Spy Via Telematics Systems... For Now

from the there-goes-that-plan... dept

Someone in the FBI must have been absolutely ecstatic when they realized that with systems like OnStar it was theoretically possible to turn the microphone on and listen in on what was happening in any car using the system. Suddenly they wouldn't even need to bug cars - as the owners had bugged their own cars for the FBI! Except... no. A judge has ruled that the FBI cannot secretly eavesdrop on in-car conversations by getting telematics companies to turn their systems on. However, the ruling wasn't based on the issue of privacy - but on the fact that in doing so, the FBI disabled the OnStar system. In other words, if OnStar redesigned their system so that FBI eavesdropping could work at the same time as the regular OnStar system, they'd be free to go ahead. Update: Kevin Poulsen (thanks!) points out that it's not OnStar in this case, but rather the TeleAid system from ATX, which is used in Mercedes vehicles.

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  • identicon
    james, 20 Nov 2003 @ 4:12am

    FBI opportunistically bugs us?? I'm shocked, shock

    Once again cementing their reputation as an organization with entirely too much time on their hands and a budget to match, the FBI has as much as declared that the inane natterings of bored republican housewives driving to the mall to buy Victoria's Secret undies in a last-ditch attempt to rekindle their failed love lives (with hubbie?booooooooyfriend???)are important enough to jeopardize

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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