EU Police Looking at 'Kill Switch' System To Stop Cars Remotely

Jan 30, 2014 10:26 AM EST | Jordan Ecarma

Leaked documents have revealed that a European Union group is putting in a motion a plan to place mandatory technology in all vehicles sold that would let police officers disable the cars remotely.

While intended to stop criminals, the plan is being called "draconian" and a "power grab" by critics, the Daily Mail reported via The Telegraph.

According to the documents, the technology would be built into every car imported into the EU and would be used to end high-speed chases.

"Cars on the run can be dangerous for citizens," the leaked document reportedly said. 

"Criminal offenders will take risks to escape after a crime. In most cases the police are unable to chase the criminal due to a lack of efficient means to stop the vehicle safely.

"The project will work on a technological solution that can be a 'build in standard' for all cars that enter the European market."

The technology could be implemented within the decade since the European Network of Law Enforcement Technologies (Enlets) has presented a plan to develop the device by 2020, describing the project as a "key objective," according to The Telegraph.

The device from Enlets, a working group for police cooperation in the EU, has not yet been advocated by officials.

 "We have no plans to introduce automatic stopping devices in cars," said a Department of Transport spokesman, as quoted by the Daily Mail.

Lawmakers have already pointed out potential issues with the technology, which would give authorities a much stronger arm.

"The price we pay for surrendering our democratic sovereignty is that we are governed by an unaccountable secretive clique," Member of Parliament Douglas Carswell said, according to the Daily Mail.

EU officials shouldn't even consider implementing the technology, UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage said.

"This is an incredible power grab by the EU. It is appalling they are even thinking of it.

"The EU is opposed to a free society, and wants surveillance and control, not only of countries' economies and laws but as this move shows, even down to the power to stop a person's car."

The devices could also become prey for hackers. An example of how similar technology was misused happened in March 2010, when a former car dealership employee was arrested in Texas. The disgruntled former worker used the dealership's car tracking and repossession system to disable around 100 vehicles in Austin in revenge for being fired, reported.

Research has also shown that hackers can tap into connected cars to interfere with brake systems and cause other problems.

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