June 28, 2005

Galileo, Galileo, Figero

EU Referendum is talking about the EU's Galileo system, designed to rival the American GPS. It will of course never be particually sucessful if it is ever launched, why would you pay to use an untried system when there is an already very sucessful one running that can be used for free? Anyway there has been a EU fudge so that what was supposed to be two rival bids, which might have actually led to (shock, horror) competition and value for money, has become a typical EU stitch up so that everybody can get their nose in the trough.

One of the proposed uses for the Galileo system is to facilitate road charging based on the number of miles you drive, and tracking the locations of every car in the UK (you didn't expect this government to come up with an idea that didn't push their authoritarian agenda). So as a bit of public service blogging, here are the flaws in the system, and how to exploit them.

It will have to have some kind of system to discourage tampering. This can either come in two forms, immobilisation or phoning home to report you to MiniLuv.

If they choose immobilisation this can either happen when you tamper with the Gestapo Chips, (which is not really required anyway), or when it loses signal from the satterlite. They will not immobilise your car when the chip loses signal. This is because there are ligitimate places where it would not be able to get signal, such as the underground car parks at Westminster used by MP's, and in tunnels.

Imagine the charnage if everytime a car enters a tunnel it's engine cuts out. We are talking about daily multiple pileups, and even for this government would think twice about that. Or even worse MP's park their own cars in an underground car park, if they could not start them they might have to face public transport. Not something that they are even going to contemplate happening.

So it's got to be the phone MiniLuv option (why did I think it would be this one). However again there are ligitimate places where it will not be able to get phone signal either, such as the underground car parks at Westminster. So it will not be able to kill the engine simply because it can't get hold of Big Brother to tell it what to do.

So all that you need do is stop signals getting to the Gestapo Chips antenna, you do not need to get the chip itself so any tamper protection there is circumvented. This can be done with a simple tin foil shield over them. Details of where they are will appear on the internet within days of the chips being released into the wild (I'll link to them as soon as I find them). Remove it when you go for your MOT and replace afterwards. If they quiery why the odometer is so different from the amount that you've paid in road charge simply either disable the odometer (this will affect re-sale price) since having one is not a requirement, or just tell them that you enjoy driving around in private underground car parks (which will give you some strange looks).


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