The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “JWR”.  Today, we focus on vehicular data and tracking.

The GPS Granny Nanny

Auto expert and commentator Eric Peters penned this: The GPS Granny Nanny.

Who Owns Vehicular Data?

At Roll Call: Your car is watching you. Who owns the data? The article start out with this:

“If you’re driving a late model car or truck, chances are that the vehicle is mostly computers on wheels, collecting and wirelessly transmitting vast quantities of data to the car manufacturer not just on vehicle performance but personal information, too, such as your weight, the restaurants you visit, your music tastes and places you go.

A car can generate about 25 gigabytes of data every hour and as much as 4,000 gigabytes a day, according to some estimates. The data trove in the hands of car makers could be worth as much as $750 billion by 2030, the consulting firm McKinsey has estimated. But consumer groups, aftermarket repair shops and privacy advocates say the data belongs to the car’s owners and the information should be subject to data privacy laws. Yet Congress has yet to pass comprehensive federal data privacy legislation.”

Campus Radicalism is Not New

Some interesting reading, by Daniel Pipes: Harvard’s Communist Uprising, 50 Years LaterJWR’s Comment: The frightening thought is that the radicals of this generation who settled into academic lives are now considered “stodgy old people with white privilege” and “insufficiently activist.”

The Day The Dinosaurs Died

Peter wrote to suggest this in The New Yorker: The Day The Dinosaurs Died. Here is a snippet:

“Within two minutes of slamming into Earth, the asteroid, which was at least six miles wide, had gouged a crater about eighteen miles deep and lofted twenty-five trillion metric tons of debris into the atmosphere. Picture the splash of a pebble falling into pond water, but on a planetary scale. When Earth’s crust rebounded, a peak higher than Mt. Everest briefly rose up. The energy released was more than that of a billion Hiroshima bombs, but the blast looked nothing like a nuclear explosion, with its signature mushroom cloud. Instead, the initial blowout formed a “rooster tail,” a gigantic jet of molten material, which exited the atmosphere, some of it fanning out over North America. Much of the material was several times hotter than the surface of the sun, and it set fire to everything within a thousand miles. In addition, an inverted cone of liquefied, superheated rock rose, spread outward as countless red-hot blobs of glass, called tektites, and blanketed the Western Hemisphere.”

Space Objects Tracking

Here is an interesting site dedicated to tracking space object around Earth, recommended by reader Michael H.: Stuffin.Space. Michael’s Comments: “Quite entertaining. Upper left of site has a search function, and you can also see groups, like the GPS satellites, etc.”

Another Bump Stock Ban Lawsuit

Reader W.D.H. wrote to mention: “I noticed this today regarding a lawsuit by Texas firm RW Arms, suing the government over having to deliver 73,000 bump stocks to the ATF for destruction without compensation. As JWR and others have noted, the Federal ban is a clear violation of the 5th Amendment’s Takings clause. It will be interesting to see where it goes. A bad law is far worse than no law. I still prefer dangerous Liberty over peaceful slavery.”

Is Pelosi Losing Her Iron Grip?

At Brietbart: 100 Days into 2nd Speakership, Nancy Pelosi Loses Control of House Floor, Withdraws Budget Bill Before Vote. A quote:

“But the setback for Democrats could be even bigger than a budget loss in a battle with Trump or than an embarrassing lack of basic political wherewithal to pass something as non-controversial as a budget. Pelosi fended off an intra-party rebellion after the midterm election before the beginning of this Congress to win a second chance at the Speakership–the first time she’s held the gavel since she lost in the 2010 midterm elections at the beginning of former President Barack Obama’s administration. In doing so, Pelosi secured major rules changes that largely protect her from an internal rebellion mid-Congress–like what drove out former House Speaker John Boehner and what constantly threatened fellow former House Speaker Paul Ryan–but that does not mean she is fully secure.

If she keeps losing battles like this to the left of her conference and sizable numbers of members on both sides feel emboldened enough to take on the Speaker of their own party in battle–and they start winning those battles, as the left won this one–then they could start challenging her on many more things that they would normally let go.”

You can send your news tips to JWR. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) Thanks!



  1. I drive a 2011 Ford, n my wife drives a 2005 Toyota. We have not agreed to let our car insurance company monitor our vehicles because of privacy concerns. I will do some research to see if the car makers are monitoring our driving habits. I’m not rejecting what this post says, but it doesn’t specify when the car makers started this transmitting.

    1. I bought my mid-2000s full size truck brand new and intend to keep it for the rest of my life. It represents the best balance of modern fuel efficiency and reliability, and was manufactured before the addition of today’s wireless/Bluetooth extras. I will *not* buy any new vehicle, and will gladly pay $15K ten years from now to have my truck completely overhauled (rebuilt engine, reupholstered interior, paint job, etc.) to have it last another 25 years after that, than to pay $40K for a brand new model that allows unknown entities to track my every move.

    2. It has been an incremental increase in the amounts of data. The earliest if I recall correctly was the OnStar system. This was soon followed by non-manufacturer types of systems such as the EZ-Pass toll payment system in the 90’s. Many additional EZ-Pass monitoring transceivers were installed along major routes over time. These units did not decrement the users account, but did log the pass ID and date & time stamped the location. Although it wasn’t used to penalize for excess speed, it was able to trivially determine speed based on distance and time from the last EZ-Pass location. It also allowed the mapping of routes the vehicle took.

      Keep in mind the biggest spy is the smartphone. If you ever look at the Google Map real-time traffic display, it even shows traffic stopped for traffic lights. It does this by real-time tracking of the phone’s GPS location.

      Like it or not, Big Brother is watching. It takes real effort to minimize how much data you “leak”.

  2. The new car/truck/tractor contracts have clauses in there allowing the “buyer” the privilege to use the vehicle, but the car manufacturer actually owns it and can shut it off at any time they choose. They do this because the software is so integral to the operation of the vehicle, and they own the software.

      1. I don’t see how that could apply to a used car. But it isn’t really different than buying a new computer from Apple–you get the computer, but only get a license for the OS. Same with Microsoft.

  3. You know, I wondered about that ‘data sharing business’, so I asked my telephone and refrigerator to discuss this with both my vehicles and my television set. My coffee maker, apparently, couldn’t be bothered to participate in the conversation; it smirked the explanation ‘that sort of thing is beneath me’. Honestly the nerve of some labor-saving devices!

    Anyhoo, their conversation lasted about .0006 of a sec. I was so excited to hear their conclusions… but sadly, it was in a language I couldn’t understand. Man, I tell you, I sure felt dumb!

  4. You know, I wondered about that ‘data sharing business’, so I asked my telephone and refrigerator to discuss this with both my vehicles and my television set. My coffee maker, apparently, couldn’t be bothered to participate in the conversation; it smirked the explanation ‘that sort of thing is beneath me’. Honestly, the nerve of some labor-saving devices!

    Anyhoo, their conversation lasted about .0006 of a sec. I was so excited to hear their conclusions… but sadly, it was in a language I couldn’t understand. Man, I tell you, I sure felt dumb!

  5. This is a non starter folks. The day we allowed ourselves to be licensed to drive, and allowed our property to be licensed (vehicles ) is the day we gave up any right to privacy in relation to them. Even if by some stroke of grace granted by the Government that allowed vehicular data to stay in the hands of consumers, it wouldnt amount to much.
    We have allowed ourselves to be yoked through our vehicles, every restriction, every law, and every regulation that personally affects a person starts at the drivers license, the car they ‘own’. The privilege to drive it is how they make sure you comply.

    1. Unfortunately, WE NEVER allowed ourselves to be licensed and allowed our property to be licensed. For that matter, we never voted on ANY of the burdensome taxes that we pay every day. WE WERE JUST BORN INTO THE SYSTEM WHERE GOVERNMENT HAS UNLIMITED POWER TO TAKE OUR MONEY, AND LEVY NEW TAXES ANY TIME THEY WANT.
      I personally have never voted for a single tax of the many- no countless- that I pay. Have you ? And don’t give me that argument that we vote for the lawmakers who voted for them, and we can vote them out of office. Even if we did, which I suggest would be impossible, the courts would never allow us to free ourselves of taxes. IT IS A RIGGED SYSTEM from top to bottom.
      We need a return to 100% gold and silver-backed currency to limit government spending and eliminate deficit spending, and a repeal of the 16th and 17th Amendments.

        1. I’m so tired of this argument. EVERYWHERE anyone moves is under government. Going to a c**p hole country doesn’t change it and going to communist China doesn’t change it. Going to France doesn’t change it or Sweden, or Russia. EVERYWHERE humans are is controlled by the powers that be. All we can do is hope to live a semblance of a free life or hope to live to fight and change it.

          And please SB, stop removing my comments. I rarely comment here to begin with but still only about 75% have gotten through.

          1. Somalia last time i looked

            The Argument that citicen A didn´t vote for this law or that matters Nothing if the citicens B – Z voted for this law as Long as that law isn´t unethical or unjust.

            If every voter wabts the Right to Veto any law he disagrees with, well that worked very well if you want a disaster.

          2. JWR, “The only posts that we remove are ones that cross the line on civility. Be civil, and all your comments will be posted.”

            I question that this is accurate. You know I made a comment recently that was absolutely civil, but it was deleted.

            You say you need more articles, but strangle the copyright. In the past, you have allowed anti-LEO rhetoric, but allow other types of extremist comments, and articles that were so bad, the entire comment section was shut down. Its certainly your call, but I am not sure such an approach is the most useful for inspiring people to visit, comment and be contributors. Have you considered either coming up with some basic rules, and or reminding people of those rules from time to time?

          3. “Strangle copyright”??? That makes no sense. Writers granting copyright to publications either in exchange for cash or in exchange for an opportunity to have an article judged in a writing competition has been part common practice for CENTURIES. It is THE NORM, throughout the publishing world. The only difference between SurvivalBlog and our competitors is that we get to award donated prizes with some real practical prepping value and some real cash value. (More than $600,000 worth, so far.) We also award Amazon gift cards with real purchase value–albeit only $30 each. Take your average “fan fiction” magazine… They typically pay NOTHING, yet they expect full copyright. Or Reader’s Digest. They typically pay only token sums or NOTHING, yet they expect full copyright. Given the advertising and Ten Cent Challenge revenue of SurvivalBlog, I can only afford to pay for web hosting, liability insurance, and ONE paid staff writer. (Pat Cascio.) I really wish that I could afford to pay a lot more people. In fact I recently had to let Hugh Latimer go, because with the Trump Slump his salary became twice as much as I was able to pay myself, out of the bottom line. I’m NOT getting rich at this! Please don’t expect me to grant back copyrights. That would make my blog’s archives essentially worthless and fair game for pirating. A publication without copyright is an absurdity. Even “free” (giveaway) urban newspapers still full hold copyright to everything that they print.

          4. @ JWR, So, are you telling me you have relinquished all rights of your written work to your publishers? Or, have you retained your writers share, but signed over the publishing? You do not retain any rights? How do you get paid for those works if you did not retain rights?

            I am not suggesting you pay people for their contributions. But, they could have the opportunity to submit their work elsewhere should they not win in your contest. I am sure there is some wiggle room there.

            I also dont buy the Trump slump argument. I see business articles all the time that cater to investors about how profitable the survival business is. In fact, I saw a new article yesterday talking about how liquid survival shelters are. I am not convinced Trump is responsible, in any fashion. In fact, the current geopolitical landscape seems very profitable for people who have adapted their business plan.

            I do agree with the idea that survivalism as a business model tends to limit its self, however. Once a new comer buys their BOB, and perhaps goes as far as securing a homestead, whats left? Nothing new in the past 70+ years. People get fear fatigue. Ad to that the restricting comments, anti-LEO rhetoric, and publishing fringe articles that your base clearly do not like….what once worked is not a measure for what will always work.

            My intent here is not to be argumentative, but rather a way to explore new opportunities and ways to mitigate the decline of Sblog. Should you find my comments useful, use them. If not, that works, too.

          5. Re:
            “So, are you telling me you have relinquished all rights of your written work to your publishers? Or, have you retained your writers share, but signed over the publishing? You do not retain any rights?”

            Yes, that is exactly how publishing works. Once I write something for a publisher, by default, the copyright becomes their property, in perpetuity. The only possible exceptions are movie rights, or “reversion of rights” if the publisher goes out of business. Both of those are usually negotiated by my agent, who has to argue for them. (Standard “boilerplate” contract wording does not include them.) Oh, and by the way, my agent charges me 15% off the top, to negotiate such issues on my behalf. Notably, it wasn’t until I had become a published author in free publications that either publishers or agents would take me seriously, and offer me contracts. I too, entered writing contests as a teenager and as a college student. In many cases, my only rewards were just the name recognition, and “two free copies” of the magazine–often for short stories or nonfiction articles that were 5,000 or even 10,000 words long. Colloquially, this is called Paying Your Dues. Heinlein said is best: “There Ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” Consider this: I have willingly offered access to everything on SurvivalBlog free of charge –both current and archive–for nearly 14 years, with no mandatory subscriptions, no passwords, and no Pay Wall. (And by the way, when subscriptions are voluntary–like mine–only about 2% of readers pony up.) To now be asked to also automatically revert copyrights is absurd. I pour 40+ hours a week into writing and editing SurvivalBlog, and moderating its comments. It is only after I’m done with those tasks each day, SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, that I have any time left over to write my books. I’m passionate about SurvivalBlog and its preparedness message, but asking me to also give away the copyright is asking too much.

  6. Bump Stocks.
    My concern is that if there is a win under Takings in the case of Bump Stocks, does that set the stage for a national gun buyback. I think it does. I hope all the Takings challenges fail. And before anybody objects by citing some constitution clause or amendment think about the silliness of expecting anybody to respect the law at this point.

    Car Data
    They should have read the terms of agreement. Not only do the ‘owners’ not own the data they don’t own the car. Whose serial number, tag, registration, and insurance is on it? That’s who owns your car; the global government corporate conglomerate. And if you don’t think so, refuse to register, tag, and insure your vehicles and see what happens.

    1. Remember when the Ford Motor Co. CEO accidentally said (and then sheepishly tried to reverse himself) on mic at a conference that Ford knows every time you exceed the speed limit or run a stop sign?

      Insurance companies try to entice us with premium discounts if we install trackers (OBDC devices). No way, Jose.

    2. The manufacturer doesn’t own the car – they own the intellectual property that is their software that runs the car. You agree to abide by their usage terms when you purchase the car. The lawfulness of that agreement being transferred to the purchaser of the vehicle second hand is questionable.

      As McGuest said earlier, if you want to stay below the radar, stick to old vehicles. The great thing about that is insurance and registration costs are cheaper!

      The govt can’t do anything about your not registering or insuring your vehicle – if it sits on your driveway and you don’t take it out on public roads.

  7. I have a question regarding black boxes in cars gathering information about where you go. I have a 2018 economy car that does not have a navigation system. Can it still record where I go ? I mean, it COULD have all the required computer software to gather such information even though it has no screen to display the info to the driver, right ? Never mind- I just realized that it has no external antenna. I think that answers my question.
    Any other ideas ?

  8. Hmmm, a little thought here, I know my smart phone can and probably does listen to me, and tell some huge computer where I am 24/7. That’s only if I take the stupid thing with me. Can any of us remember when we didn’t have these devices? listening to our every word, and telling some huge computer where we are? I do, and It often caused me to pause and ask WHY HAVE i ALLOWED A LEASH TO BE ATTACHED TO ME? Now if we as (FREE AMERICANS??????) Willingly attach ourselves to these traitorous devices, spies in our midst, why don’t we just turn them off and only use it when we really need it. I really don’t need to be contacted by anyone 24/7.
    I am a Ham radio operator, I have radios that I turn on or off, they don’t have GPS on them, but they are available on some radios. I don’t own any of them. I work on VHF most of the time through repeaters. or HF direct. There is absolutely no tracking. Locating or anything that would threaten my personal security. Now if my dear wife would just get her Ham license and allow herself the freedom of not being tracked, recorded, and spied on, we could communicate most of the time without being spied on, or tracked. Now anyone can listen in on our conversations, but I usually don’t get that personal that guarding my speech is nessessary. ‘
    I would love to turn off my phone, and hope it is still not listening, OR just let the battery run down and not plug it in for recharging. OR leave it at home uncharged.
    To ME that would be my personal choice. BUT! if I do that, there is a two legged wife that really lets me know it if I happen to JUST FORGET the blooming thing, (not the choice word I have for it) but more civil. Now, how many husbunds are willing to just forget, or let the battery run down, or leave it home on a charger. Hmmm, I would bet not many of us, because we have a little voice permanently burned in, on that little EPROM in our heads that if we deliberately, forget and don’t take that (%#$@&*() thing with us. A whole lot of words will be heard later on.
    Now another thing I would like to address is the statement ( the phone is even transmitting where we are when it’s turned off) Now I don’t know if that is true or not, But It has occurred to me to set up my Spectrum Analyzer on the bench one day, and actually test whether or not the device actually transmits it’s location or anything when it’s turned off. Then turn it on and watch what happens. If the blooming thing is actually OFF or not I can determine with that instrument very easily. I don’t have the ability to tell what digital codes it would be transmitting, but with the thought that it is transmitting when it’s off, and also if it’s actually transmitting data when turned on. And if I carry on a conversation with myself during the test, the device could show the transmitted signal.
    So I will make a note to my forgetful self to deliberately take a short brake from my work this week, maybe 10 or 20 minutes to make this test, and deliberately report back to you on my findings. Then once and for all, try to settle these questions I have and the (factual statements) I hear from all the EXPERTS??? that tell me and others what is ACTUALLY happening with the semiconductor loaded spies in our midst.
    Blessing to all

    1. What makes you think that your amateur transmissions aren’t located and recorded? Didn’t you find it interesting that Nellie Ohr acquired an amateur license and used it to coordinate the Fusion GPS dossier communications? That the NSA had those communications after the fact was quite revealing. Essentially all communications from DC to daylight are monitored in real time. There are methods to sample the signal emissions in a fiberoptic cable without piercing the jacket or the cladding (but does require a rather expensive sensor to be wrapped around the fiber). Doubt me at your own peril.

    2. Dave, no need for a spectrum analyzer. Just use a cheap AM/FM radio. I was working and annoyed when my radio started giving spurts of loud static. Yep, it was because I had laid my smart (er than Wheatley) phone down 3 feet from it. Moved phone a few more feet away,then back. Yep. Transmitting, and receiving too. Verizon, Samsung, and many others are sending fresh downloads almost every 48 hours now, new ways to get our data and monitor us.

      And in the past few months replies are automatically generating their own formatted words when we are typing email replies. How convenient! Ugh!

      My phone camera has been turned on many times-not by me, and even after I DO take a photo I’ll notice on the next use the phone direction has reversed to be monitoring my face and background. No, it isn’t me making errors.

      Where can I get one of those “Oh Brother Where art Thou”, or ZZ Top beards?

    3. as a ham also , I learned that the bigger sibling was listening to WW II communications in north Africa from tanks to tanks and other small unit radio transmissions . they did this from a special place in the northeast they have a lot of antennas there . if they did this in the 1940’s do you think they can not do a lot more now . be careful on what you transmit thinking that only the fcc or other radio owners are the only ones listening !

  9. Tomorrow April is “Tea Party Day”. The new goal of the revived Tea Party is to prevent America from being a Socialist country. There are 400 rallies set all across the nation, so Fellow Patriots, be there if you can make it.

    1. You are too late.

      America is ALREADY a fascist country and is mutating into a mix of fascism and socialism.

      Unless the “Tea Party” is willing to refresh the tree of liberty with some blood, nothing is going to change.

  10. Man I do not understand the paranoia of a persons driving habits being transmitted to the “MotherShip”.

    I do not care if “The Deep State or the Russians or Wells Fargo knows that I use my vehicle to buy food, lunch out and where or my frequent trips to coffee houses, oh the humanity of it all.

    1. Skip- I do not know how old you are, but if you were as old as I am, you would probably remember when it took some action on one’s part in order to cross paths with the government. Now, it is extremely difficult to avoid it, unless you live off grid and limit your interactions with other people as well. Even so, it would be almost a miracle to avoid the government entirely for any length of time.
      Do I need to list all of the ways that the government restricts our freedoms ? Or liberties- I do not want to debate the meanings of the two words. To me they are the same.
      I resent the notion that the government or its minions know better than I how to conduct my life, as long as I do nothing to harm others or to steal their property.
      The government’s only legitimate purpose is to protect its citizens from physical harm from foreign invaders or from harm, theft, or fraud from their fellow citizens, and to safeguard as much as possible their God-given rights of life, liberty, and private property. Do I hate the government ? Yes, I do, for everything it does or tries to do over and above its one legitimate task, for they take freedom from every other citizen by so doing.
      Maybe you are one of those generous, trusting souls like the ones who (allegedly) sent Gorbachev the keys to their homes cough*Bernie Sanders*cough , notwithstanding the obvious potential threats to the safety of their families.
      Maybe you are just plagued with normalcy bias, like the Jews who could never believe that their government (Germany’s) could ever send them to a death camp. I wish you luck […some deleted, for civility].

      1. @ Hail,

        “The government’s only legitimate purpose is to protect its citizens from physical harm from foreign invaders or from harm, theft, or fraud from their fellow citizens, and to safeguard as much as possible their God-given rights of life, liberty, and private property.”

        Have you considered that this version of what the government is, is based on a fictional account that has never actually existed in the history of governments?

        “Do I hate the government ? Yes, I do, for everything it does or tries to do over and above its one legitimate task, for they take freedom from every other citizen by so doing.”

        Considering that a lot of the replies to this thread is about data mining, are you aware that the anti-government rhetoric you have here, while might make you feel good and honorable at the moment you wrote it, all that really happens is it goes in your mining profile and labels you as an extremist? While doing so is probably not a problem at this very moment, consider the future ways that data will be integrated and the ways that data could be used against you in the future.

        I suspect you wont care about this now, but, in the future, you very well may.

        1. @Muddykid- You make good points, and what you say is true, but are we all to just shut up because of fear of what the government would do to us if they had the power to do so ? And I am not saying that they are not this close to having that much power and choosing to use it. The last presidential election probably saved us from gun confiscation and civil war, considering the path that we were on with Obama and a Hillary Clinton in the Oval office.
          We must all guard our rights jealously, and our families and homes.
          And I suspect that I am already on some kind of naughty list, despite my being a ‘law-abiding citizen’.
          Thank you for your comments and your concern. ;-]

    2. Skip, I hear the argument you have made here a lot. In short, I am not sure you are aware of how much data is collected and what that type of data shows about a person.

      Furthermore, what I think of when people have this same type of argument is, you only have constitutional rights if you break the law. That sounds pretty strange when you think about it.

  11. More than a million high-capacity ammunition magazines flooded into California during a week long window created when federal judge temporarily threw out the state’s ban
    By Associated Press
    Published: 18:50 EDT, 11 April 2019

    Posted on April 13, 2019
    Western Rifle Shooters Association

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