Friday, July 24, 2015

Inevitable fatalities when owners don't (and increasingly not legally allowed to) control digital technology.

I've been writing about technology property rights for years, and how it must be the owner who controls digital technology and not any third party.  I've given examples of unaccountable ballot-less voting technology, and medical technologies, and driver-less vehicles. It seems I should not have been limiting the warning to driver-less vehicles.  Negligent automobile manufacturers have tied entertainment computers (which includes wireless hotspots/etc) to on-board computers that control critical functions of the vehicle, something I believe they should be held fully liable for.

An article in wired magazine Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway—With Me in It discusses a negligently designed Jeep Cherokee which enabled remote access to air conditioning, radio stations, wind-shield wipers (blurring vision of road), and even the transmission.  While these are dangerous enough, this was only the access that was demonstrated to the reporter -- the full scale of the negligence of Jeep may be much worse.

This type of remote control is the type of thing which politicians are asking for all the time, under the pretext of "lawful" remote control which is just as counter-productive to reducing crime as inadequately monitored "lawful access".  The reality is that if a government authorized "intruder" is allowed third party access and control to technology, this same back-door (or in some cases front-door access) will always be able to be abused by non-government authorized "intruders".  Once you allow access that isn't authorized by the owner, then you have given up any ability to control the device from any non-owner authorized intruder.

This is also a good time to remind people that the problem is not the "unauthorized" third party attackers, so blame should never be put on the people who exploit the negligence of manufacturers or politicians.  The blame must always be put on the manufacturers and politicians who are deliberately making the world less safe, and with continuous warning from technologically literate citizens and witnesses at committees they can't claim they didn't know.  What they don't know is what they have deliberately refused to understand, or where they have trusted technologically illiterate lobbyists and lawyers who are simply not qualified to have been witnesses in the first place.

It is frustrating to watch, and fatalities from the decisions these politicians are making are inevitable.

Post a Comment