202216 Jan

Roasting the Consumer Electronics Shows Worst Products


Roberts selected John Deere’s fully autonomous 8R tractor, pointing out that a remote software breach here could ultimately affect major real-world infrastructure. “From a critical infrastructure/national security perspective, a fully autonomous, software-controlled, remotely controllable tractor could be simply bricked — rendered useless,” Roberts said, extrapolating to the possibility of actual food shortages. “Let’s mandate by law that they open their platforms to security researchers to independently verify the security of those products.” Later in the video, Cohn cited the more general legal hurdles to research into security/privacy/environmental issues — hurdles that “don’t have to be there and aren’t serving us.” Cohn cited a variety of legal barriers, from the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and Digital Millenium Copyright Act to contracts with restrictive non-disclosure agreements. She also mentioned “other kinds of limits on what the people who want to know how things work and fix them … now face if they come and try to figure out what’s going on with the security or the other privacy issues of these devices.” Last year, over 25 states introduced right-to-repair bills, according to another of the CES video presenters, Kyle Wiens, CEO of the repair site iFixit. “People do sometimes make foolish decisions, but the reality is that the person who is in the driver’s seat as their autonomous car hurtles 80 miles an hour towards the median is better suited to decide how the software should operate than the design committee that met a thousand miles away five years ago to craft the software’s response to it.” • Commemorating the 15th anniversary of Steve Jobs announcing the iPhone.

Source: Thenewstack