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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Little Black Boxes...

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3 replies to this topic

#1 PAezb


    Subaru Fanatic!

  • Members
  • 407 posts
  • USA

Posted 20 June 2004 - 09:08 AM

Recently been hearing much discussion on talk radio and local news about the introduction of little black boxes in new autos. These "boxes" are sophisticated electronics that can monitor and record the driver's control over the vehicle, such as speed, direction, braking, etc. And these devices can be easily modified to include by themselves, or with services such as On-Star, GPS (global positioning satelite) to track a vehicle anytime.

Now, the application for this is to reconstruct conditions after say, an accident, or to track/find a stolen vehicle. All well and fine, but the radio/news program have brought up the arguments about the possibility for law enforcement, or other agencies, to illegally invade on your privacy - as here in the U.S., under the 4th Amendment.

So, is anyone aware if Subaru has these little black boxes - in the U.S. or elsewhere. Can they be disabled. Is it legal to disable them?


#2 JOEK39


    USMB Regular

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  • PipPipPip
  • 41 posts
  • Upstate NY (Albany)

Posted 20 June 2004 - 08:11 PM

Don't know if any manufacturer's are installing them, but one way they are marketed is for rental car agencies as well as parents with teenage drivers.

The device also appears to be a pretty nifty OBDII reader as well. They brand name is "carchip" and here's a link:


JC Whitney sells them for $140

Good Luck,

- Joe

#3 SevenSisters


    Subaru Nut

  • Members
  • 512 posts
  • Cleve/Akron Ohio

Posted 20 June 2004 - 08:32 PM

The new 'rus probably have them. Not real sophisticated, but they'll store the trottle position to see if you well accelerating, the brake position to see if you were braking, etc. Not forever, just for a few seconds.

The car is just storing all the functions the engine and transmission management computers use to make the car run. Too bad someone can pull the data.

#4 blitz



  • Banned
  • 1,091 posts
  • Warren, Michigan

Posted 21 June 2004 - 01:39 PM

PAezb, I must caution you not to frighten the sheep. :eek: I introduced this concept to the USMB elite about a month ago along with the radical concept that "throttle-by-wire" is the first step towards a means for allowing remote throttle control of any given vehicle by an outside source and was given the following gems: :rolleyes:

1. It's technologically impossible.
2. Mmm.. well even if it is possible, don't worry. The ACLU loves you and
will protect you.
3. Take government-sanctioned drugs.

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