WHISNews21 is proud to bring you the weekly Top 200 Country Chart for February 12, by DJ Tom Kawai of Japan. We request you to please add a comment to this article if you are listed on the TOPS-200 as a show of appreciation for the enormous amount of work that goes into the compiling this very important chart every week. WHISNews21 thanks Tom Kawai for all his efforts to keep the Independent Artists worldwide a chance to get their music charted.
WASHINGTON – Many motorists don’t know it, but it’s likely that every time they get behind the wheel, there’s a snitch along for the ride.
Today is the last day that the public can comment on a proposed law that would put so-called black boxes in every new car sold by September 1, 2014. The thing is, most cars already have them unbeknownst to many drivers.
Automakers have been quietly tucking the devices, which automatically record the actions of drivers and the responses of their vehicles in a continuous information loop, into most new cars for years.
When a car is involved in a crash or when its airbags deploy, inputs from the vehicle’s sensors during the 5 to 10 seconds before impact are automatically preserved. That’s usually enough to record things like how fast the car was traveling and whether the driver applied the brake, was steering erratically or had a seat belt on. This data has been used recently, for example, to determine what was happening in cars before accidents when some Toyota owners were claiming their cars were accelerating out of control as they were driving.
The idea behind mandating black box data recorders is to gather information that can help investigators determine the causes of accidents and lead to safer vehicles. But privacy advocates say government regulators and automakers are spreading an intrusive technology without first putting in place policies to prevent misuse of the information collected.
Data collected by the recorders is increasingly showing up in lawsuits, criminal cases and high-profile accidents. Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray initially said that he wasn’t speeding and that he was wearing his seat belt when he crashed a government-owned car last year. But the Ford Crown Victoria’s data recorder told a different story: It showed the car was traveling more than 100 mph and Murray wasn’t belted in.
In 2007, then-New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine was seriously injured in the crash of an SUV driven by a state trooper. Corzine was a passenger. The SUV’s recorder showed the vehicle was traveling 91 mph on a parkway where the speed limit was 65 mph, and Corzine didn’t have his seat belt on.
In this way, the black boxes can nail liars trying to blame their cars for bad driving.
There’s no opt-out. It’s extremely difficult for car owners to disable the recorders. Although some vehicle models have had recorders since the early 1990s, a federal requirement that automakers disclose their existence in owner’s manuals didn’t go into effect until three months ago. Automakers that voluntarily put recorders in vehicles are also now required to gather a minimum of 15 types of data.
Besides the upcoming proposal to put recorders in all new vehicles, the traffic safety administration is also considering expanding the data requirement to include as many as 30 additional types of data such as whether the vehicle’s electronic stability control was engaged, the driver’s seat position or whether the front-seat passenger was belted in. Some manufacturers already are collecting the information. Engineers have identified more than 80 data points that might be useful.
Privacy complaints have gone unheeded so far. The traffic safety administration says it doesn’t have the authority to impose limits on how the information can be used and other privacy protections. About a dozen states have some law regarding data recorders, but the rest do not.
“Right now we’re in an environment where there are no rules, there are no limits, there are no consequences and there is no transparency,” said Lillie Coney, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a privacy advocacy group. “Most people who are operating a motor vehicle have no idea this technology is integrated into their vehicle.”
Part of the concern is that the increasing computerization of cars and the growing communications to and from vehicles like GPS navigation and General Motors‘ OnStar system could lead to unintended uses of recorder data.
“Basically your car is a computer now, so it can record all kinds of information,” said Gloria Bergquist, vice president of the Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers. “It’s a lot of the same issues you have about your computer or your smartphone and whether Google or someone else has access to the data.”
The alliance opposes the government requiring recorders in all vehicles.
Data recorders “help our engineers understand how cars perform in the real world, and we already have put them on over 90 percent of (new) vehicles without any mandate being necessary,” Bergquist said.
The National Transportation Safety Board has been pushing for recorders in all passenger vehicles since the board’s investigation of a 2003 accident in which an elderly driver plowed through an open-air market in Santa Monica, Calif. Ten people were killed and 63 were injured. The driver refused to be interviewed and his 1992 Buick LeSabre didn’t have a recorder. After ruling out other possibilities, investigators ultimately guessed that he had either mistakenly stepped on the gas pedal or had stepped on the gas and the brake pedals at the same time.
Some automakers began installing the recorders at a time when there were complaints that air bags might be causing deaths and injuries, partly to protect themselves against liability and partly to improve air bag technology. Most recorders are black boxes about the size of a deck of cards with circuit boards inside. After an accident, information is downloaded to a laptop computer using a tool unique to the vehicle’s manufacturer. As electronics in cars have increased, the kinds of data that can be recorded have grown as well. Some more recent recorders are part of the vehicle’s computers rather than a separate device.
One day when you sit down with your grandchildren you will tell them stories about when we were all free, how we used to be able to watch TV without being watched by a Smart TV, how we could drive in our cars and have a personal conversation without anyone listening to us, walk around our home with the curtains closed and know that no one could see us, will they even understand the word “FREEDOM“ who knows it may even become a crime use the word freedom. – WHISNews21
Below I have posted just a few comments from concerned American’s
People seem to be forgetting that the good thing about living in the United States is that (at least, theoretically) the people are supposed to control the government; the government is not supposed to be controlling the people. If a person wants to live in a country where the government tells the people what to do, by all means they should go there.
I think it is an invasion of our privacy and the fact that it already exist in many cars unknown to the owners is unthinkable. We have the right to decide if we want this new techology and if we want the government spying on us (don\’t do this, it is just WRONG)!
Welcome to Obama and the Democrats new America. Black boxes in cars and soon you will have to register your guns so the government knows who has what weapons.
So what happens if THE GOVERNMENT passes a law against something you like to do. Perhaps something like Internet comments they deem seditious like compareing THE GOVERNMENT to “Big Brother”. Then they could be coming after you
the black box will lead to safer vehicles they claim? ROFL, you mean, its another way and device the insurance company can have and use to get out of paying for the accident if the driver of the car has there insurance!
There were just too many comment but the last I read I will list below it is direct and to the point..
Wildhorse Entertainment presents our weekly
“Independent Superstar Quote Spot”
Brought to you by Barbara Rainey.
Leave it to Chris Brown to create that awkward moment at the Grammys: Brown, who cozied up to on-again girlfriend Rihanna at last night’s awards show, was the sole person sitting when Frank Ocean went onstage to accept the award for Best Urban Contemporary Album for “channel ORANGE”.
Brown went head to head with Ocean and Miguel for the Urban Contemporary category (and rumor has it that when Brown’s name was announced as a nominee, no one applauded so CBS had to add on a track of cheers, according to The Hollywood Reporter). When Ocean’s name was announced as winner, Brown was visibly surprised, then remained seated while the entire roomful of A-listers, idols, icons, and multiple Grammy winners all stood up to clap.
This comes across as quite the statement, but not so much a surprise. Just weeks ago, Brown and Ocean got into a brawl in a parking lot in West Hollywood. Ocean said Brown punched him, and that someone from Brown’s entourage called him a “faggot.” Days later, Ocean decided not to press charges, but it seems Brown does not let things go.
Ocean also won the award for Best Rap/Sung Performance with Jay-Z, Kanye West, and The-Dream for “No Church in the Wild” from “Watch the Throne.” Brown did not bring home any Grammys last night.
WHISNews21: I wanted to paste some of the comments on the above story but they were not family material so if you want to read the comments you can google this article, sorry
If you have a prayer or a thought that you want to mention here or send to someone who you believe is deserving please use my column to reach special people who would go out of their way to say a special prayer on your behalf for that someone you care about – Marty Martel
.WHISNews21 Prayer Line and thoughts for This day February 11, By Marty Martel.
This is a sad, sad day in our Catholic religion. It is frightening to have Our Holy Father have to resign. There is much discourse in the Vatican and across the world and I send my vote for the new Holy Father to be Cardinal Timothy Dolan, to break the hold that there cannot be a Pope elected from the United States. This would change a lot of negative things in our the Catholic religion that need changing. Please keep in your thoughts and prayers Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, that he will have good health and be able to help guide whoever will be the newly elected POPE. Also ask the Blessed Lord to guide the Cardinals to make a choice of someone who is younger and who can carry on the office in a strong fashion, but also that the new Pontiff will take charge and make changes in those who need not be in the Vatican because of their thinking process that has caused internal problems in the Catholic religion.
Marty, I would like to thank everyone for the prayers that went up for my daughter. Her surgery went well and she is recovering great. God is so good!!!!! Jeannette
Marty, Please continue the prayers for Jimmy Holt as he is still in ICU and on a ventilator as of yesterday afternoon. Thanks Jeannette
Marty, this request comes from a co-worker, Sandra Bumgarner, regarding her son… Ralph Please help me pray for Stephen. He is in Richmond, Virginia attending school for training before he deploys in May. He had passed out in his hotel room Sunday morning due to pain with a kidney stone. Stephen has a history of these about every two years. He called his instructor who took him to the emergency room immediately. They confirmed that he does have kidney stones. They gave him some pain med and told him to drink a lot of fluids. He is scheduled to complete his school on Wednesday if he is able to attend as scheduled. After completing the class he then has a 9 hour drive back to Georgia. PLEASE, PLEASE pray that he passes these stones before he is on the road and absolutely before he deploys in May. Thank you in advance for the prayers. No matter how old your children are, no matter where they are, they are always in your heart and when they hurt you as a parent hurt for and with them. Hope each of you have a good day! J
A NEW CHANCE: There’s so much to be thankful for as we start this brand-new year. We have a God who loves us so and will free us from all fear.Seasons come and seasons go, sharing their own true beauty, While Heaven’s sun, moon, and stars perform their accustomed duty. Every day will be a gift of love; A new chance to smell each flower. So, as we travel through the year, give God the glory He’s the power – M. Elaine Fowser
If you have anyone you would like to send a prayer out to please mail them to
for inclusion in to WHISNews21 weekly prayer line initiated by Marty Martel
in the interest of goodwill to all in need of a little help by the way of a prayer