OBD-III

[From memepool] OBD stands for On Board Diagnostics. It’s for automobiles. You’ll probably hear more about this in the near future.

OBD-II is used to diagnose cars at smog check stations (and other places). It started in California, then substantially the same spec became a federal mandate for cars manufactured since 1996.

OBD-III might as well be called “Over My Dead Body, Iy-yi-yi!” The air quality nazis want to make OBD call home, via cell phone or satellite. They want to know where you drive. They want the ability for the police to pull you over by disabling your engine remotely. This is all to keep the air breathable, by remote monitoring of car emissions. But it’s oh-so-much-more, a tired old pattern since the War on Terror essentially vaporized privacy in this country.

Any bets on how secure the result is going to be? If it’s designed by automotive engineers, or even better, by the government, it’s going to make Microsoft software look like Fort Knox. Now, this could actually be a boon. You could subscribe to services like:

– Page me if my car is driven outside of a specific area (“My car’s been stolen” / “Oh, junior lied about going to his study group.”).

– Likewise, send notification if someone is coming home. Useful if you’re burgling a house and know the VIN of the owner’s car.

– Naturally, we can assume that security is bungled for cop cars, so you’d be able to track them, too.

– That bozo who just cut you off? Zap! Cut off his engine with your handy “RoadRage” transmitter.

Motorcycles are presumably exempt … as is anyone who knows what wires to cut, or what firmware to patch. Of course, we all know that anyone who rides a motorcycle or knows how to use a logic analyzer is a potential terrorist, so that’ll probably be taken care of well before cars sporting OBD-III hit the streets.

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