Rogue Engineers Behind Volkswagen Scandal? So what?


Some recent declarations from VW executives about the Volkswagen scandal are half unbelievable, half totally irrelevant. Seriously.

Quoting from “Could Rogue Software Engineers Be Behind VW Emissions Cheating?”:

“This was not a corporate decision,” [Michael Horn, CEO of Volkswagen America] later added. “There was no board meeting that approved this.”

Duh. Really? How unexpected! Who would have thought? All laws, ethics and morals aside…, if I had shares in any company whose board members were so idiot to discuss something like this in an official meeting, maybe even leaving a written record, I’d either fire them on the spot, or get rid of my shares as quickly as I could. Never mind though. The real “news” is elsewhere:

“auto industry insiders say it’s not inconceivable that senior management could have been ignorant of the details of the cheating… [Horn] said the so-called “defeat device” was the work of “a couple of software engineers who put this in for whatever reason”

Even if every word in the above quote is 100% true, and that is how things actually went, it doesn’t matter. The point, which others before me already made very well, is one and one alone: DRM and DMCA as they are today are dangerous, and if that software in Volskswagen cars had been Free, Open Source Software, the whole thing would have never happened.

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