Letter Re: Disabling OnStar Vehicular Tracking/Communication Systems, Cell Phone Tracking, and Stocking Up on Prescription Medications

A few items that are of concern/interest to me as of late are topics that others have brought up. Don’t forget that disabling OnStar may be obtainable, but I surmise that disabling your cell phone would be patently dangerous in a slow slide or SHTF scenario. Learn [the details about] your cell phone, and VOTE WITH YOUR EAR! (Had to get that in there Jim!) I presume that handheld or vehicular mounted GPS  systems would also create some sort of signature or locale while in operation. Is this of noteworthiness? The last unit I bought, I purchased without any registration or anything. I assume if you subscribe to a service then by definition it has its “eyes upon you.”

Another item that I seek your expertise on is how to obtain an “annual stockpile” of necessary prescriptions. How do you recommend that your like minded blog readers go about this process? My last purchase of cold medication resulted in the showing of my I.D. before I could obtain it. I hesitate to think this is an easily remedied issue. Take Care, – The Wanderer

JWR Replies:

On cellular phones:   Coincidentally, I addressed these issues in another blog post that is also running today. (Wednesday, November 23, 2005.)

On GPS receivers: Pardon the following side step into ASA arcana (one of my past lives): Any radio receiver creates what is called local oscillator noise–a very weak signature that can be detected by very sophisticated monitoring equipment. But from a practical standpoint, it cannot be pinpointed except if you are up against a serious DFing team with some very sophisticated equipment, and only then if you are in an electromagnetic quiet zone such as out in the middle of a National Forest. Anywhere else, the local oscillator noise will get lost in the ambient clutter. So you can safely assume that a passive GPS receiver by itself is not a threat to your privacy. But when a GPS receiver is integrated with a cellular phone (which is of course an active transmitter), you can kiss your location privacy goodbye.

On prescription meds: It is a pity that most doctors in the urban and suburban portions of  the U.S. don’t have the same mentality that is prevalent in Alaska and the more remote regions of the intermountain west.  Here in the hinterboonies, many doctors are accustomed to getting requests for full-year prescriptions from ranchers, miners, bush pilots, and others that live out far beyond the sidewalks. Unless you have a relative that is an M.D., all that I can suggest is that you hunt around for a preparedness-minded doctor. Perhaps someone at church, or in your local shooting club. OBTW, I’ve heard that most LDS (“Mormon”) doctors are sympathetic to their patients that are survival-minded.  As far as insurance company reimbursement goes: Good luck! Many insurance companies refuse pay for more than a three month supply.