Not allowing Tesla on military bases

Not allowing Tesla on military bases

Today I was informed that I am not allowed to drive my vehicle to my building at work because it’s a Tesla. I work on a Navy base in NJ and I am have a hard time figuring out why even though you can put out deer cameras on the base. You can google map it etc. anyone come across this ?

Tesla2018 | 6 februar 2020

Are they afraid that the dashcam could be used to record secure areas of the base. They have nuclear weapons at Earle that gets put on submarines from what I have heard. You can Google map it, but that doesn't tell you what buildings or areas stuff is stored at.

kaffine | 6 februar 2020

My guess someone just found out that the car has the ability to upload videos to Tesla. | 7 februar 2020

If that is the case any car with a dash cam OR backup camera would also be restricted from the base. That would cover lots of cars. | 7 februar 2020

@grin's you're right about aftermarket installed dashcams and cars like the corvette with a built-in dashcam. Other than Tesla, I don't think any car is capable of recording from the backup camera, so I don't think that would be a concern. | 7 februar 2020

@Wattsm309 - Is this a ban on all military bases, or just the one you are at? Seems like we would have heard about it sooner if all bases were banned.

ajmach2 | 7 februar 2020

I work on an AFB and there a tons of people with Teslas. It's never been a problem.

RJMIII | 7 februar 2020

I work at a Naval facility in the DC Metro area. Lots of Teslas with no problems from security. Please stop this thread and delete all comments before they get wind of this. ;) | 7 februar 2020

@Wattsm309 - Sounds like the title should be changed to "Not allowing Tesla on one military base".

BlufftonBob | 7 februar 2020

I drive a Tesla onto Parris Island Marine Corps Base frequently and never have a problem.

Wattsm309 | 7 februar 2020

I am pretty sure it is a base commander who does not have a clue. I was informed by this on email and told by security that it will be official next week. I have been to multiple bases army navy marine Corp and coast guard never an issue. I don’t want to say the base due to backlash I’ll receive. But this totally screws me from driving to work. Starting to look like an IG as well as an EEO ISSUE. I am waiting a call from a friend who is a officer at another base

Earl and Nagin ... | 7 februar 2020

I've wondered when this issue would rear its ugly head. I've spent a lot of time recently working on an AF base that has a strict "NO PHOTOGRAPHY" policy in areas where flight test operations occur. Clearly, base security hasn't caught on since I've always seen many Teslas driving around the base and base security never stopped me. Of course base security is not run by the sharpest tools in the shed so it doesn't surprise me that they haven't caught on yet.
The issue, however, is what does "photography" mean and why don't they want it.
The systems I was working with had cameras on them and we had to take special measures before we could publicly release any of our photos. The concern was whether a secret object or event, which is done on the base, shows up in a photo, they don't want it released. They will confiscate cellphones if you appear to be taking photos without a photo permit.
Backup cameras aren't a problem since they don't take "photos". There are no images that one can send anywhere from a backup camera.
Tesla cameras, however, are different in that they not only store images, but they also transmit them to Tesla and anyone that Tesla hires to use them for training of autopilot image recognition. This is a security problem that military and corporate security people (including Tesla) should be concerned about.
I spoke with Tesla when I started going there and the solution is simply to go to your car settings (the 'car' icon) on your display, select "Safety & Security", then select DATA SHARING. From there, you click "No" on "Do you agree to allow us to collect these clip?s" and "Do you agree to allow us to collect this data?". You should also not have a USB Thumb-drive inserted for Sentry Mode.
Once this is done, the autopilot cameras are just like backup cameras in that they are only used for real-time safety.
I've never been questioned, stopped, or called to defend myself, however, I've always done this when I got to the "NO PHOTOGRAPHY" signs since I can't ethically claim to be following the security policy if my car could be sending images from anywhere I've been to anywhere Tesla may have a subcontractor reviewing autopilot accuracy.
Having worked at NWS Earle in a past life, I can see how they, like the other places I've been, might (and should) be concerned. Clearly, their security folks are a notch above those on other industrial and military installations I've been at (even if they can't spell "Earl" correctly :-)
My recommendation to the OP is to set your settings as I've outlined above and show base security. Perhaps they are as reasonable as they are smart and alert. They could have the gate guards ask Tesla drivers if they've set shut off data sharing. It is quick to tell if sharing is off since the display will say "Online Routing disabled" at the top of the turn window on the navigation map, when these data collection settings are turned off
Otherwise, this is a real problem in sensitive military and industrial areas.
One might get by by putting stickers over your cameras if they won't allow you to take the subtle measures I describe. I've been in sensitive industrial complexes where they'd put tamper-detect stickers over your cellphone cameras before you could enter.

Earl and Nagin ... | 7 februar 2020

I'd recommend a more complementary and supportive tone, rather than a hostile one. As I pointed out above, the Base Commander is correct. Tesla's are a security risk if they're taking photos and storing them on offsite servers for unknown people to search for and look up.
Feel free to show my post above as I think it sets a better tone and provides a good solution.
The folks putting deer cameras on base are local hunters whom the base has given access, presumably after verifying their true identity.
Tesla could be (and most likely is) hiring subcontractors to train autopilot image recognition from any country in the world and most companies I know of in the AI training business farm it out to the cheapest human labor they can find. If you're familiar with military or industrial security, you'll understand how that is not good. | 7 februar 2020

Perhaps a better long-term solution is for Tesla to geofence from a list the government provides and turn off video recordings within the area. This could be a public list available to all car companies, as it's only a matter of time before most new cars have cameras and recording capabilities.

Perhaps Bluetooth could be queried for having the geo-fence installed and active for a local area. The base entry could automatically query and deny cars that don't comply or have suitable blocks in place. I can't say I've totally figured it out, but I'm sure tech can make it a lot easier.

Without it, most new cars will not be allowed on some bases.

Earl and Nagin ... | 7 februar 2020

That may work for US Government facilities but I'm not so sure about government facilities in other countries or industrial areas that might be concerned about corporate espionage. It could end up being a very large database that cars would need to carry -- remember that cellular coverage is often spotty around many remote military installations where secret stuff happens. Also, who gets to make the call as to where it is not permitted? Does Tesla have to vet every request? Will base security offices be willing to apply to be geofenced? Who maintains the database?
Perhaps, like "Dog" mode, displaying, in large letters on the display that the car is in "Photography Safe" mode might help. Any car caught on base, without that mode displayed, would, of course, be in trouble.
Whether it gets activated manually or automatically would, of course, be a different issue. Perhaps, like air-suspension raising and maximum charge current settings, the car could automatically remember locations to make it more convenient for the operator. It certainly is a pain to have to remember to turn it on and off for a daily commute.
As usual, Tesla is way out ahead of the pack on this one.

Wattsm309 | 7 februar 2020

That’s a great comment but are you doing that also for all the tractor trailers that come on the bases also. Or the new corvettes (PDR since 2015) And Cadillac’s? Since they have cameras that record!

And as per my vehicle I do not have a thumb drive in it and it the other options are off. Do to my last employment That wasn’t even questioned or asked. As per my complementary and supportive tone, I am in agreement to a point but, it needs to be handled in a more professional manner than having every MA and half caring security guard running up to me. And pointing out my particular car in an email to the entire base. Completely unprofessional !

As per the OPSEC i have contacted a much different source within the DOD and I am waiting on clarification.

if I am not allowed to bring this vehicle to my place of your I wont have to deal with it- I’m sure they have these special circumstances work out so I then have transportation to and from. Since this will be the first base in the United States to enact such a rule.

And to clarify your last comment are you going to do that to the dozen of cell phones ? I think the Tesla /OPSEC issues if there are any need to be defined and regulated and distributed to all military insulation’s from the DOD.

Maybe an answer would be a issued thumb drive giving the installation the ability to see if the vehicles are in the correct mode. I don’t know! All I know is there not a chance on gods green earth I’m going away quietly and wanted to see if anyone out there had this issue. I have contacted Tesla also will update if I receive anything...

Earl and Nagin ... | 8 februar 2020

I'm glad to hear you're working the issue. Your pioneering efforts will benefit far more than just you. Remember, however, that one can tell the pioneers . . . they're tough but they're the ones with the arrows sticking out of them.
Pointing out how this OPSEC issue is far larger than just Tesla's is probably a good approach. I honestly don't know about the Cadillac's and Corvettes. What do they do with the images?
Dashcams definitely count as "photography" and are or should be prohibited.
Regarding cellphones: They are a major OPSEC issue. Years ago, anyone with a camera out on a military base was subject to berating or worse by any MA, MP, SP, rent-a-cop, etc that saw it. Today, there are many industrial and military facilities where cellphones with cameras are prohibited. There are even more places were visitors are required to leave their cellphones at the front gate/desk (including Apple, Samsung, and IIRC SpaceEX and Tesla). The "forces that be", however, realize that with everyone having a cellphone with a camera, they are an un-winnable war in general and they're having to really deal with them instead of just ham-fisted punishing of those who have them. I can remember when cellphones were extremely expensive and rare. Their owners were hated my many as well. One can punish a few but, when everyone has it (including the Base CO's wife), it becomes a whole lot harder. You may recall that the DoD's original approach to the cellphone problem was to issue Blackberry's (without cameras) to all senior personnel. Then, when they realized they didn't want to pay to provide them to all lower-ranking folks who all had and needed cellphones, they finally gave in and provided training on OPSEC with cellphones (i.e., posting signs and no taking pictures of things they shouldn't).
The same will happen with cars as more lower-end ones start to have these features. When these features are just a niche for the rich, they can have their goons attack them. When everyone starts to have them, its a different issue.
Remember the difference however, and don't count on using cellphones as an excuse. A cellphone shouldn't be taking pictures and sending them out automatically. You may recall how the US Government has come down heavily on Huawei. They are different from Teslas which continuously, for good reason, take pictures and send them to remote servers where strangers can and do look at and analyze them. If you follow the procedures, I mentioned in my first comment, Teslas are not technically doing "photography" since there are no images stored or transmitted.
I may be in a place next month where I can start rattling some trees where it may count within the DoD as well.

rxlawdude | 8 februar 2020

I guess we'll also have to make sure there's a policy and procedure to except the majority of MS on the road that do NOT have dashcam functionality.

jordanrichard | 8 februar 2020

Something doesn’t seem right here. Every single phone on that Navy base has a camera. It’s absurd that they would single out a Tesla.

Which base is this? Is it Lakehurst? What’s it’s mission?

Earl and Nagin ... | 8 februar 2020

Please look over my long comments above. Cellphones don't (or at least shouldn't) automatically take photos wherever they are and send them to people unknown to the DoD. Teslas do. If you are caught taking a photo with a cellphone on most bases, you'll be called to explain.
Doesn't matter whether it is Earle or Lakehurst. All could have secret activities, as could any Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine, or Coast Guard facility.

jordanrichard | 8 februar 2020

Understood, but a cellphone gives no indication that it is recording, so security would not be of the wiser.

I am retired Air Force. I am a bit familiar with security protocols and have been stationed at bases where we stored nukes. There were areas along the perimeter road that you were not allowed to stop driving.

I will grant you that it was before Teslas were popular. However not an entire base is where the “secret squirrel” stuff is going on. So to flat out banning a Tesla from getting on the base is extreme.

Earl and Nagin ... | 8 februar 2020

I think you point out the problems:
Anyone pointing a cellphone toward the "secret squirrel" stuff (or whatever the security goons think may be sensitive) is going to have some 'splaining to do. If they appear to be live streaming it, they would likely be in a heap or hurt very quickly. It would take an intentional effort by an insider to violate OPSEC with a cellphone while outsiders have access to Tesla imagery. It also isn't always obvious what the 'secret squirrel' stuff is to any but those doing it or bad guys trying to find it.
A Tesla wouldn't have to stop to take photos like a driver might. Anyone with access to the imagery could simply pull down or request all images from any location. Remember, Tesla images are geo-tagged and can probably be tasked to collect data in tough places. Besides that 'no stopping' protocol is clearly obsolete, given the small size of today's video cameras.
I appreciate your experience as well as that of the rest of this community. I don't think "Protocols" are an issue here as there are no "Protocols" that pertain to Teslas or other cars with cameras as it generally takes a while for "Protocols" to be developed. Clearly, the OP's base commander has become aware of the problem and is trying to establish a "Protocol" albeit a weak, knee-jerk one with unpleasant implications to us at least.
Perhaps this community can work together and find a good protocol to propose and get access to the correct people to implement it.
Do you still know anyone in high places? You don't have to tell us publicly but feel free to pressure them privately if you do.

Yodrak. | 8 februar 2020

"Clearly, their security folks are a notch above those on other industrial and military installations I've been at (even if they can't spell "Earl" correctly :-)"

Blame it on Rear Admiral Ralph Earle, for whom the facility was named, and his forebears for not being able to spell their own surname. (And yes, I did see the smiley at the end of your comment. My point is to let our Gentle Readers know where the facility's name came from.)

Tesla2018 | 8 februar 2020

I haven't been by Earle lately, but dont they gave a place across the street on the southbound lane of Rt34 across from the entrance that is part of the base where people parked their cars? Also was a football or soccer area to the left of the entrance gate. If you could park there it might be a solution. Have no idea of how big or far things are away from the entrance, but don't they gave Jeeps that patrol the dirt roads inside the base that could take you to your location?

BadgerErickson | 8 februar 2020

No, it’s not reasonable for just 1 brand of car, and to not collect all manners of cell phones as well.

nukequazar | 8 februar 2020

Most every car made has a cam now plus aftermarket on millions of older cars. Cars also have OnStar, Google Maps, Android Auto, and CarPlay, all of which can send various levels of accurate location information and video to the internet. The military may have to start building parking structures outside the perimeter of bases so people can park outside and walk or be shuttled in. Hopefully the powers that be are not thinking this problem is limited to Tesla and the F-150 is not a security risk.

nukequazar | 8 februar 2020

Of course not to mention every mobile device...

Wattsm309 | 8 februar 2020

I am not confirming or denying what bass i’m speaking about. There has been some comments in this thread quite wrong are not true and are very suggestive. That being said-

I have my settings set so the car does not record anything. I have no thumb drive in. I had an incident on my way to work (on a state highway) one morning and I was run off the road while the guy was giving me the finger. Total moron! And he happens to work at the same base, should of seen his face when I followed him on. It didn’t record cause of the reason above even though I was on a nonfederal road I always forget to turn it back on. So I had him think it did cause if it did I would of had him in court and the video would of been sent straight to the base CO. So after I ran in to a few orange cones and a report later I am now dealing with this BS. For a video that never was recorded because I did the right thing and had my Tesla compliant as per another base, and the FSO actually asked to check it. He knew the vehicles.

As per parking somewhere else I am sure the base has enough government vehicles to make reasonable accommodations for the issue they are creating. getting rides is not an option since I would then be reliant on someone else who has a job to do.

Also as per Deer Camera’s, please like those are ever checked by security besides knowing the locations. And cell phones ya if you wanted you could also have a field day with that conversation.

As of know zero about TESLA’s within NAVFAC regulations

Tesla2018 | 8 februar 2020

Any chance that the guy who was giving you the finger is higher up in ranking and went to one of his superiors and they're both just being a holes towards you. Other people work on military bases stated they aren't subject to the same things, so you could always claim selective enforcement but then the government, like political adversaries, always has a way of trying to get revenge.

Wattsm309 | 9 februar 2020

No the Guys a nobody with issues. I also have a model Y coming so I won’t be able to drive and park my car staring at the trees until this is resolved.

Earl and Nagin ... | 9 februar 2020

It sounds like you've got OPSEC down. Hopefully, someone will listen and back off.
Sounds like there could definitely be some haters around. There are probably other who aren't however. Very often, when I spend time on a military bas, the subject to Tesla comes up and its always very positive. I'm sure there are haters somewhere and that may be what you're running in to. On the other hand, the issue may be ignorance or the hassle of trying to come up with a simple procedure that any gate goon can handle to determine whether each Tesla (or other car that they don't know about) has the correct privacy settings set. Its kind of hard to tell.
Best of luck. A lot of us Tesla owners are counting on you winning this test case.

vswendsen | 11 februar 2020

I have driven my Model 3 on Ft Bragg, Ft Meade, and Aberdeen Proving Grounds and have seen other Teslas on all three bases. I am pretty sure there is no DoD policy against Teslas.

kaffine | 11 februar 2020

You can thank incidents like this for security paying more attention to things that may compromise security.

I have worked at facilities that don't allow cell phones and some that don't allow personal cars at the facility. You had to park off site and they had a shuttle bus to take you to work along with a few company cars for those that had to work when the shuttle wasn't running. These were commercial companies. I do miss the ban on cell phones people would occasionally get bored and actually do work to pass the time.