Summary: Send Renault a strong message by rejecting its ‘innovation’ which gives corporations control over people’s cars (for financial reasons)
THERE IS some appalling work being done by Renault , as noted by Karsten Gerloff from the FSFE . Basically, ignoring the security impact of taking power away from the driver*, Renault is now letting the battery become unavailable even when it is still technically available. What a dangerous precedence and ‘innovation’ that is. Renault gives control to some corporations over the driver who owns and drives the car. Why would anyone want to actually pay Renault for such defective-by-design cars?
Let’s hope that Renault’s endeavor will die a quick death, along with DRM on the Web. Microsoft’s previous attempt to bring DRM to the Web was malware called Silverlight, which is turning into a security nightmare even years after its death . The very idea of DRM needs to die. It is contemptible as a concept. █
* Based on some stories, we already know about computerised cars getting hijacked to kill or punish the driver (and everyone else in the car).
Related/contextual items from the news:
Moves by Renault to install a battery with digital rights management (DRM) restrictions that can remotely prevent the battery from charging have been slammed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
The new Renault Zoe comes with a “feature” which locks the owner into a contract with a battery maker which is enforced by a DRM within the car’s computer.
This also lets Renault use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to stop people tinkering with the car software so they can install a battery of their choice. All this means, you will not be allowed to fix your car without permission and only with official parts. You cannot jailbreak the car.
The problems with DRM for videos, music, ebooks and games are well known. Despite those issues for the purchasers of digital goods, companies love DRM because it gives them control over how their products are used — something that has been much harder to achieve in the analog world. The risk is that as digital technologies begin to permeate traditional physical products, they will bring with them new forms of DRM, as this post by Karsten Gerloff about Zoe, one of Renault’s electric cars, makes clear…
The creators of a web-based attack tool called Angler Exploit Kit have added an exploit for a known vulnerability in Microsoft’s Silverlight browser plug-in to the tool’s arsenal.