Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

August 19, 2009


Times, UK - President Obama's effort to revive the American car industry with a "cash-for-clunkers" scheme has become embroiled in a row over government snooping. The problems arose after the Department of Transportation claimed that when dealers logged on to the clunkers website their computers - and everything on them - become the property of the US Government. Astonished dealers who were participating in the $1 billion scheme - which provides motorists quickly posted online the Big Brother-style disclaimer from the cars.gov website: "When logged on to the CARS system, your computer is considered a federal computer system and is the property of the United States Government. Any or all uses of this system and all files on this system may be intercepted, monitored, recorded, copied, audited, inspected, and disclosed to authorised CARS, DOT, and law enforcement personnel, as well as authorized officials of other agencies, both domestic and foreign. By using this system, the user consents to such interception, monitoring, recording, copying, auditing, inspection, and disclosure at the discretion CARS or the DOT personnel."
By the time the disclaimer had been circulated widely . . . the Department of Transportation had issued a statement saying that "we are working to revise the language". No explanation was given as to why the original disclaimer was worded so aggressively.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

the dealers should just file their rebate claims from an old junk computer set up solely for this purpose and make sure no other information is stored on the hard drive.

August 20, 2009 2:03 AM  
Anonymous Joseph said...

The US Goverment should stay OUT OF THE PRIVITE INDUSTRY,I would boycot the "cash for clunkers" and not even get into there little scheme.They seem to be working on a lot of things but can't get it right again.

August 20, 2009 10:37 AM  
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August 27, 2009 7:58 AM  

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