Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Black Boxes Mandatory in Cars - SB1813 -#3834 - Big Brother's Next Target - Your Car - American Thinker (2) Drone Use Takes Off on the Home Front - Wall Street Journal

URGENT: THIS HAS ALEADY PASSED THE SENATE 74-22, WILL GO TO CONFERENCE COMMITTEE NEXT WEEK TO RECONCILE HOUSE AND SENATE VERSIONS, CURRENTLY NOT IN HOUSE VERSION. PLEASE CALL YOUR HOUSE MEMBER. IN VIRGINIA 5TH DISTRICT, CALL ROBERT HURT 202-225-4711. House of Representatives Contact Information.........
Many are quite concerned about Senate Bill 1813, a massive piece of legislation supposedly devoted to transportation issues. Besides including a provision allowing the IRS the power to revoke passports belonging to those who are delinquent with tax debt in excess of $50,000, it appears that the potential law may be used to measure the size of your carbon footprint each time you get behind the wheel. It's all because of a vague provision slipped into bill, which has already passed the U.S. Senate and is likely to be rubber-stamped by the House. Known as the "Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act," SB 1813 is self-described as "[a]n Act to reauthorize Federal-aid highway and highway safety construction programs, and for other purposes" (emphasis mine). The legislation would declare it mandatory for all new cars in the U.S. to be fitted with black box-like data recorders beginning in 2015. Known as "Mandatory Event Data Recorders," the devices would be capable of monitoring your speed, driving habits, location, and distance traveled. Removal of the device would be a civil offense. I suspect that eco-activists are behind this plan and were able to get this subsection attached to the bill, believing that, somewhere down the slippery slope, the Event Data Recorders could be used to monitor a driver's carbon footprint. If you think my suspicions are overreaching, think again. For years, the ultra green California legislature has been considering replacing the state's gas tax ($0.18 per gallon) with a fee for every mile traveled annually by each vehicle. The mileage would be recorded by black boxes similar to those described in Senate Bill 1813. California's Department of Motor Vehicles and Transportation Commission have also advocated this pay-per-mile scheme. They've even suggested using the tracking data to financially penalize those who choose not to carpool. Read more.......

Drone Use Takes Off on the Home Front - Wall Street Journal -  With little public attention, dozens of universities and law-enforcement agencies have been given approval by federal aviation regulators to use unmanned aircraft known as drones, according to documents obtained via Freedom of Information Act requests by an advocacy group. The more than 50 institutions that received approvals to operate remotely piloted aircraft are more varied than many outsiders and privacy experts previously knew. They include not only agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security but also smaller ones such as the police departments in North Little Rock, Ark., and Ogden, Utah, as well the University of North Dakota and Nicholls State University in Louisiana. The information, released by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, came to light as the Federal Aviation Administration gears up to advance the widespread use of the drones. By the fall of 2015, Congress wants the agency to integrate remotely piloted aircraft throughout U.S. airspace.  Read more.........

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