Monday, July 14, 2008

Want some torture with your peanuts?

Washington Times

By Jeffrey Denning

Just when you thought you’ve heard it all...

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, Inc. website, the bracelet would be worn by all airline passengers (video also shown below).

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

The Electronic ID Bracelet, as it’s referred to, would be worn by every traveler “until they disembark the flight at their destination.” Yes, you read that correctly. Every airline passenger would be tracked by a government-funded GPS, containing personal, private and confidential information, and would shock the customer worse than an electronic dog collar if the passenger got out of line.

Clearly the Electronic ID Bracelet is a euphemism for the EMD Safety Bracelet, or at least it has a nefarious hidden ability (thus the term ID Bracelet is ambiguous at best). EMD stands for Electro-Musclar Disruption. Again, according to the promotional video, the bracelet can completely immobilize the wearer for several minutes.

So is the government really that interested in this bracelet?

Apparently so.

According to this letter from DHS official, Paul S. Ruwaldt of the Science and Technology Directorate, office of Research and Development, which was written to the inventor whom he had previously met with, Ruwaldt wrote, “To make it clear, we [the federal government] are interested in . . . the immobilizing security bracelet, and look forward to receiving a written proposal.”

The letterhead, in case you were wondering, is from a U.S. Department of Homeland Security office at the William J. Hughes Technical Center at the Atlantic City International Airport, or the Federal Aviation Administration headquarters.

In another part of the letter, Mr. Ruwaldt confirmed, “In addition, it is conceivable to envision a use to improve air security, on passenger planes.”

Would every paying airline passenger flying on a commercial airplane be mandated to wear one of these devices? I cringe at the thought. Not only could it be used as a physical restraining device, but also as a method of interrogation, according to the same aforementioned letter from Mr. Ruwaldt.

Would you let them put one of those on your wrist? Would you allow the airline employees, which would be mandated by the government, to place such a bracelet on any member of your family?

Why are tax dollars being spent on something like this?

Is this a police state or is this America?

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UPDATE: Lamperd Less Lethal Inc., the Canadian company that designed the EMD Safety Bracelet, has responded to the controversy as follows:

We wish to clear up any misconceptions regarding the EMD Safety Bracelet for Airline Security.

The bracelets remain inactive until a hijacking situation has been identified. At such time a designated crew member will activate the bracelets making them capable of delivering the punitive measure - but only to those that need to be restrained. We believe that all passengers will welcome deliverance from a hijacking, as will the families, carriers, insurance providers etc. The F-16 on the wing-tip is not to reassure the passengers during a hijacking, but rather to shoot them down. Besides activation using the grid screen, the steward / stewardess will have a laser activator that can activate any bracelet as needed by simply pointing the laser at the bracelet - that laser dot only needs to be within 10 inches of the bracelet to activate it.

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UPDATE: From CheifBo in the comment section

I would like to inform all interested in the truth about Lamperd's involvement in this project [EMD safety bracelet]. I have personnally been involved in the research and development of state of the art training programs and weapon systems with Lapmerd Less Lethal for the past eight years and have found them to be of the highest of integrity and concern for human life and the preservation of peace. Their mission is to develop and distribute the best products in the world when it comes to Law Enforcement, Security and Military applications within use of force. Having been a sworn law enforcement officer for nearly 27 years and a police trainer in Use of Force Management since 1993 I have observed alot of devices and gimmicks that have come and gone as the catch all in securing America.

Lamperd agreed in principal to assist in the development of this product for the patent holder [inventor]. Once this is established, then more research is placed on the actual application of the device. We conduct our training hands on, we do not farm it out as others do. So before we are ready to place a product on the market we know what it is expected to do and how it is expected to perform. We also go through great lengths to put in place a training program that will school even the novice in safely using any product used in applying force in any situation. I think alot of the readers have jumped the gun when it comes to this issue and this certain product. Lamperd is a publicly traded company that keeps its shareholders informed on its latest products and projects. I admire them for this and so do thousands of police, military and security personnel from all around the world that we have trained. Please feel free to peruse their internet site for continuing updates on products and its mission at and be safe out there.

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