IDG Contributor Network: Yes, you can hack your car!
The Librarian of Congress has allowed the inspection and modification of the software in cars and other vehicles. This ‘permission’ has come in the form of exemption from Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). That’s good news, the bad news is that this exemption won’t come into effect for another year and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which filed the request for the exemption, will have to fight for it again after three years.
The decision has become increasingly important after many car manufacturers, most notably Volkswagen, were found to use software for circumventing emissions testing. The car manufacturers were using copyright laws to stop users from inspecting the software of their own vehicles. Their argument was that customers may ‘tweak’ software to circumvent safety and emissions laws.