From today's New York Times comes another sign of the ever expanding reach of "the man." The next generation of GM's OnStar satellite navigation system will allow the company, at the behest of the police, to actually slow the car down remotely. The theory is that it will help prevent car thieves from getting away in a stolen vehicle and prevent dangerous high-speed chases. But, as Last Night in Little Rock mentions on TalkLeft:
Sure, the story is about stopping police chases. But, how long before the police figure out that they can stop people just because they can and then walk up to ask questions under a ruse.It's a legitimate concern. The Fourth Amendment barely applies to cars in the first place. Pretextual stops are generally OK, so long as the cops can come up with some flimsy justification ex post facto. With the power to reach out and seize someone electronically, would you trust these guys not to abuse it?