• Dec 7th 2009 at 9:29AM
  • 27
Senator Corker praises OnStar -- Click above to watch the video

Tennessee Senator Bob Corker had this opinion of OnStar a month ago: "Each month I get the bill for OnStar and [I think], 'I don't want to pay this again.'" Then his daughter Julia was carjacked in Washington D.C. last week driving his Chevrolet Tahoe, and having been yanked out of the car by her throat, she was left lying in the street.

Thankfully, Corker's daughter was all right, and she was able to call her father who was nearby. She also remembered that the vehicle as equipped with General Motors' OnStar system, and within an hour, the service had notified the D.C. police that the Tahoe was parked at a Taco Bell seven miles away in Maryland. Corker said that the carjacking happened about 9:15 pm, and by midnight the suspects had been identified and he was headed back home with his daughter.

His opinion of OnStar now: "this is an incredible service." Follow through to the jump to hear about the ordeal in Corker's words (the OnStar talk begins at about 2:15), or check out CNN for the nitty gritty details. And for proof of the extent of Southern politesse, Corker begins the tale with "A gentleman appeared, opened the door, grabbed her by the neck... and he threw her on the pavement and drove away." A "gentleman?" Hat tip to Berto!

[Sources: Politico; CNN]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      The guy who was so fast to let GM and Chrysler fall off the face of the earth for not building fuel efficient cars and his daughter drives his 2005 Tahoe.

      Just another case of our wonderful politicians telling us to do as they say, not as they do.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed. The guy is a hypocritical dink.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, this story is heavy with realistic irony.

        I saw the OnStar commercial where a GM SUV was stolen and then recovered using OnStar's remote vehicle immobilization service. I'd think twice about jacking anybody's GM vehicle if I know it has OnStar. Their systems seems to be more aggressive than LoJack. Not only can OnStar pinpoint the vehicle location, but it can disable the engine too. That's real theft security. I think LoJack has something like this, but only for laptops.
      • 5 Years Ago

      A politician who thinks telematics and built in surveillance readiness is "an incredible service."

      Great. Fantastic. I smell a government mandate coming...

      I am glad that the daughter is OK, I really am.

      I am glad that the dirtbags were apprehended.

      But beneficial outcomes are always touted to promote infringement of liberty. Good press tends to cover over the impending moral hazard, and surrender of privacy and liberty. It is all good until you yourself become a suspect, then due process starts to MEAN SOMETHING to you. It won't matter, however, if due process means nothing to the people surveilling you. You already signed up with OwnStar, and tacitly agreed to be available for that "incredible service."

      I might not be quite as dead-set against OwnStar, if it actually had some accountability to what data was being sent to whom, for what purpose, as it is happening.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Not subscribing to the service does not technically disable the system.

        The cell modem does not tell you when it is on. It does not tell you what it is sending, and it certainly does not tell you what signals it is receiving, which have the technical capability of SUPERSEDING THE DRIVER.

        The government owns GM, which mandates the installation of OwnStar hardware in the car. Whether the driver pays subscription or not, the hardware is installed, and active. It is possible that truly de-activating the hardware, or the black box recorder, would possibly brick the car's electrical system.

        The government also came to this decision, to set legal precedent:
        A Wisconsin court validated police monitoring cars by GPS, without a warrant, on ANYONE, not just suspects of crimes. WHY would they bother planting a bug, when the bug is built in to every GM car built for the last few years.

        The POTENTIAL FOR TYRANNY EXISTS. and I don't trust people NOT to exploit those opportunities, least of all the government. Even if tyranny isn't going on now, I am not going to open that door willingly, and I will not buy a car with this hardware installed.

        You people can continue to think that everyone is benevolent, and that unaccountable technology is benign. The technology is clandestine, by not being accountable. You do not get a record of the datastream contents, nor do you know when it is active, or what it is reporting. It has access, and even CONTROL over every system on that car's CANBUS. EVERYTHING. That is not theory, it is an ADVERTISED FACT!

        Wake up. At least make a knowledgeable choice. Choose OwnStar if you want, but don't do it blindly.

        • 5 Years Ago
        "Criticizing me makes no difference, and is rhetorically wasteful, and a common tactic of people who HAVE NO COUNTERPOINT."

        I do actually see your argument, but I disagree with it. I'd try and discuss it with you, but your posts indicate you've little interest in doing anything but spreading paranoia. Counterpoints are useless.

        sw was actually making a point (to me, not you) and I agree with him/her. You do not appear to be reasonable and/or open to ideas. I've little desire to point/counterpoint under those kinds of conditions.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Get the tin foil hat off your head. OnStar is an optional service than can be disabled. Relax, go watch a doc about secret meetings on Jeckyl Island or fake moon landings.

        Do you really think OnStar is worth burning so many calroies over? Especially considering I am sure you use a cell phone and the internet. I would think both actions pose the same threat as OnStar.

        Of course I admit I am not up to speed on the OnStar conspiracy so I may be missing something. Onstar sure did not provide any evidence or help in the Tiger Woods situation.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You made up this mandate scenario on your own and then say it is stupid. As the creator of this idea, you have only yourself to blame for how dumb it is.
        • 5 Years Ago
        First, it is an "incredible service". He didn't say it was an incredible technology. He said it was an incredible service. No one does it was well as GM and no one has done it as long as GM. GM doesn't begin to get the recognition it deserves for this incredible service.

        Second, as others have pointed out, there's no infringement. You are in control. No one forces you to have Onstar enabled. If you're a conspiracy nut, there are much more reasonable targets to go after.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ LS7

        Spot on. BF has created the classic straw man and will defend it to the death as usual.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @sw - Very good point.

        • 5 Years Ago
        @ nrb

        I agree with your logic, but as soon as one turns into a conspiracy nut, this "reasonable target" you speak of means absolutely nothing.
        • 5 Years Ago
        BoxerFanatic, you're just freewheeling now. Now you say it's a privacy issue, instead of mandate to install and pay for a service that assists in the case of a carjacking.

        How you connect the two is beyond me.

        And again, you have created a scenario that doesn't exist and then blame others for its existence. It's your own straw man, it's 100% of your own making.
        • 5 Years Ago

        I asked for discussion and debate, and you make excuses.

        I have a well developed and rational opinion on this matter, based on technological, legal, and political understanding that I am constantly developing.

        You make a straw-man argument that you don't want to discuss it, because of your estimation of what I will or will not accept. You don't know what I will or will not accept. If you can make a rational argument as to why my opinion is baseless, and can establish why, I will certainly listen.

        But you make excuses. Because yet again, you have no counterpoint.

        And SW's point, whether made toward you, was about me, and it was baseless, therefore not a valid point.

        SW failed to point out what his/her estimation of a reasonable target of government intrusion was, nor did it establish why my points about OnStar are not reasonable.

        You haven't laid out that case, either, you continue to chortle about me, instead of talking about the topic.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It isn't a "point" at all.

        It my argument is a hypothetical one based on current facts, and the obvious opportunity for loss of freedom.

        Talking about me doesn't do anything to prove my hypothesis wrong. It does nothing to establish safe guards for OwnStar customers against future infringement.

        Wasn't it Sprint that was criticized for handing over cellular and GPS data to law enforcement with little or no consideration for the privacy of their customer base, or their due process rights?

        What is to keep OnStar from doing the same thing? What is to keep government from infiltrating, or outright seizing the OnStar system, and using it for it's own regulatory or law enforcement ends? They bought GM off, and broke contract law, and completely overstepped the US Constitution to do it.

        How is it my creation to hypothesize that a huge and growing government might expand into this sector, as a US Senator sings it's praises? I didn't say a mandate was in progress, nor in place. But legislators legislate. That is their job, and their effort to maintain relevance. Why should I not be suspect of them? What track record of sticking to their constitutional limits should I use to base any other opinion on?

        Show me to be INCORRECT in my analysis, if you can. Where am I wrong in extrapolating current policy agendas? Provide a counter point. Prove where there are protections for liberty, and how they can be trusted and *verified* not to be infringed, where so many other things are being infringed.

        Criticizing me makes no difference, and is rhetorically wasteful, and a common tactic of people who HAVE NO COUNTERPOINT.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Complete BS. Steal a Tahoe, then go to Taco Bell, happens all the time... Nice propaganda, politicians are cheaper than airtime. A guy in drag pulled her from her car, through the window, while she was probably wearing a seatbelt as well. And for no reason at all, the names of the suspects aren't being released? MMMMk. Might as well have been Oscar the grouch in the library with a candlestick.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The story so far has been, throughout numerous articles, and changing each time: 1. The suspect(s) opened the door. 2. Ordered out by a second guy. 3. She rolled the window down and was dragged out.
      • 5 Years Ago
      She's hot. I'll drive her around and fend off the jackers.

      Lucas (in DC)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well, I'm with Corker before. I don't want to pay monthly for this junk. If they could get the price cut in half maybe we could talk.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Corker is a douche but his daughter is hot.

      It seems she made the correct choice in vehicles to drive.

      Maybe the politicians will do something now about D.C.'s awful crime rate.

      It is going to suck for those guys that carjacked her and their buddies.
      I can't see anything good happening from carjacking a senior US senator's daughter...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Lesson: want your kids safe - don't buy them "gangsta magnet" cars
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wonder whether she will get Secret Service protection.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Thankfully his daughter is O.K. and wasn't injured, but wasn't Corker against the GM Bridge Loans until he found out there was a GM facility in his state?

      Oh, well. The great facility in Spring Hill has now ended production, so it may be too late for Corker to "praise" GM (and Onstar) now.

      Oh, and he admits his "daughter was the smarter one."


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