Texas State Invasive Driver’s Licensing

Prepare your sphincter... (photo courtesy <a href=http://www.usanetwork.com/house>USAnetwork</a>)
Prepare your sphincter... (photo courtesy USAnetwork)

Moving to Texas? Plan to drive? Then prepare your sphincter!

To get a license, even as someone who already has an out-of-state license, you have to bring an enormous amount of paperwork with you. You can see the details on their webpage, but what makes it a truly rectal experience is when they ask for your Social Security information and take your fingerprints. Last I checked, I'm not applying for a job with the DMV nor am I a criminal so what reason or right do they have to either of these pieces of information?

The False Dilema people would just say, "if you don't like it, don't get a license and walk or ride a bike", but I'm quite certain that it's not unreasonable to ask them to put away the latex gloves.

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Wireless Auto Repossession System Hacked – Cars Disabled

In Austin Texas, more than 100 customers of a local car dealership suddenly found their cars dead or their horns honking out of control when a vengeful former employee decided to take action using their computerized payment nagging system:

The dealership used a system called Webtech Plus as an alternative to repossessing vehicles that haven’t been paid for. Operated by Cleveland-based Pay Technologies, the system lets car dealers install a small black box under vehicle dashboards that responds to commands issued through a central website, and relayed over a wireless pager network. The dealer can disable a car’s ignition system, or trigger the horn to begin honking, as a reminder that a payment is due.

While there are questions of the ethics and legality of shutting down someone’s car due to failure to pay, the important lesson here is to avoid using wireless and web-based capabilities carelessly. Many such systems are designed without taking into account hacking or insider threat. In this case, customers who had the “black box” in their cars were at risk to both employees of the dealer and Pay Technologies as well as any random hacker who managed to get into either company’s systems.

The simplest and most effective solution is to avoid wireless and web technologies where there is no clear mission goal or benefit. Even then, they must be implemented with strong security measures designed by specialists.

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