Tuesday, July 08, 2008

We'll All Be Collared

Thanks to Crooks and Liars for reporting on the approaching police state. The Department of Homeland security would really like to put the electric- shock dog collar on all of us for our own good. Ok, I'm just kidding. Actually, it's a bracelet not a collar.
A senior government official with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has expressed great interest in a so-called safety bracelet that would serve as a stun device, similar to that of a police Taser. According to this promotional video found at the Lamperd Less Lethal website, the bracelet would be worn by all airline passengers.

This bracelet would:

• take the place of an airline boarding pass
• contain personal information about the traveler
• be able to monitor the whereabouts of each passenger and his/her luggage
• shock the wearer on command, completely immobilizing him/her for several minutes.

I don't think it's a joke, but will the average person submit to this? Sadly and cynically, I think so. Look at the lack of resistance to the very real body-scanning machines installed in several airports. "If it speeds things up and I can keep my shoes on..." seems to be the prevailing sentiment regarding that technology.

But these shock bracelets... certainly people will resist? Or will the straps be colored red white and blue and emblazoned with "Support Our Troops"? This way everybody will know it's their patriotic duty to comply.

But certainly, everybody realizes there will be mistakes. Here is a scenario. Airport security wants to immobilize the obnoxious fist-waving drunk. They click the remote and kill your grandma instead... Which brings me to another question. How does this system work? Is the system set up so one button immobilizes everybody? Because how do you target the terrorist or obnoxious asshole? Ask him for his seat number first? What if the wrong passenger number is punched in?

Regardless, this system cannot make us safer. Here I go thinking like a terrorist again...

Add two new steps to taking over the plane. Step one, remove or disable your shock bracelet. Step two, use your hacked remote to trigger everybody else's bracelet. Then, effortlessly continue with your hijacking now that all the passengers have been immobilized.

Hey, if these bracelets are seen as a triumph in the war on terror, maybe we'll be compelled to wear them all the time. I mean not just at the airport but from cradle to grave. Probably implanted in our skin. Nobody will ever give the government crap again. Nobody will ever protest. Nobody will ever raise their voice. Nobody will ever resist. How could you?

Or how should we?

I see only one valid use for these bracelets. Put them on all politicians when they take office.

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