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Non-Lethal Sniper Rifle: You're Tagged For Life

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the is-this-a-joke dept.

Privacy 121

gbjbaanb writes "Cool new urban battlefield weaponry for the geeks to fear. The Id Sniper is a nonlethal sniper rifle that fires tiny GPS microchips into the body of the target. The idea is that a rowdy crowd can be tagged for later 'processing' by law enforcement officials. Apparently the chip hitting you will feel like a mosquito-bite lasting a fraction of a second. Although it looks, and sounds like a cyberpunk weapon, its for real from a Danish company that has already shown it off at a Chinese Police exhibition. check out the tracking software." Here's hoping this is cautionary artwork.

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LOL (1, Funny)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 10 years ago | (#8839746)

I was just talking about this with a friend, and now it's real!

Use it to 'mark' the kids your child hangs out with so you can always keep track of what they do. Love and trust your kid, but be wary of his/her friends!

this is absolutely horrible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8839749)

i can only hope that this is an april fools joke coming in too late

Re:this is absolutely horrible (2, Insightful)

akgunkel (567825) | more than 10 years ago | (#8839831)

It has to be. There is no way you could achieve injection this way without causing some real injury. Assuming you could get this to work at all, would it really "feel like a mosquito-bite lasting a fraction of a second?" I don't think so... ever been shot with a BB-gun? That hurts a lot more than a mosquito-bite even if it doesn't break the skin.

Good aim... (4, Interesting)

Beatbyte (163694) | more than 10 years ago | (#8839753)

Besides the fact that this is invasion of privacy (in the weirdest possible way), what happens when the sniper decides to shoot and it hits your eyeball?

It may be a tiny device but you're either dead or blind either way.

Here is what happens (4, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8839810)

"Besides the fact that this is invasion of privacy (in the weirdest possible way), what happens when the sniper decides to shoot and it hits your eyeball?"

It is just the first step. Eventually, you will look like this [slashdot.org]

Re:Good aim... (2, Insightful)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 10 years ago | (#8839863)

Although this is almost certainly a parody, most non-lethal weapons for crowd (read: riot) control can cause serious injury. Things that explode and fire pyramids of hard rubber, hard baseballish balls shot at high speeds. These are non-lethal in the sense of "we're trying not to kill, but we're willing to accept some losses".

There are appropriate times for these weapons, but they are all too often used casually.

--
Evan

Re:Good aim... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8840022)

A journalist got a "beanbag" (cloth filled with lead pellets) embedded in the side of his head last december at a protest in florida.

Re:Good aim... (1)

plumpy (277) | more than 10 years ago | (#8841119)

most non-lethal weapons for crowd (read: riot) control can cause serious injury.

They're actually referred to as "less-lethal [google.com] " weapons, since pepper spray, tear gas, etc. CAN and DO kill. Just not as much as, say, a bullet.

Re:Good aim... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8842230)

pepper spray, tear gas, etc. CAN and DO kill. Just not as much as, say, a bullet.

Not as OFTEN as a bullet. When they do kill they do it every bit as much as by any other means. You can't be just a little bit dead.

Re:Good aim... (1)

satanami69 (209636) | more than 10 years ago | (#8844775)

This is the best grammar nazi post ever!

Re:Good aim... (2, Funny)

notsoclever (748131) | more than 10 years ago | (#8844785)

What?! That's not what the pet shop owner told me!

Pardon me, I have to return a parrot...

"less lethal" not "non lethal" (3, Informative)

Jamie Lokier (104820) | more than 10 years ago | (#8842257)

Indeed. So-called "non-lethal" projectile and chemical weapons are not really non-lethal. That's propaganda: it's what the police call them to make them sound safe. Aw, a fluffy little bean bag. Aw, a plastic bullet. How much can a little thing like that hurt.

The reality is organ damage, serious wounds, broken bones, spinal injury, miscarriage, blindness, and death. And that's when the police don't deliberately aim for maximum injury, or fire at point blank range - the sadistic bastards.

Some weapons manufacturers more accurately label those same weapons "less lethal", meaning they still kill people, but they're not specifically designed for killing.

Such weapons are meant to be used by professional, trained officers in the correct way: such as aiming at people's legs, or the ground, and from a minimum distance. They come with specific instructions to this effect, and warnings of what will happen when these instructions are ignored. Police officers routinely ignore them.

When a police officer aims the same projectile weapons at someone's head, or at their neck, they are intending to kill that person or break their spine, and sometimes they succeed. Disturbingly, police actually do that in crowd control situations.

Even when they hit your back or legs, they can cause severe organ damage and/or broken bones.

And we haven't discussed the chemical weapons, yet. Exercise for the reader.

Here's a fairly good and accurate article [totse.com] .

-- Jamie

Re:"less lethal" not "non lethal" (0, Offtopic)

Jamie Lokier (104820) | more than 10 years ago | (#8843454)

Troll?

I thought the information was accurate and relevant to the parent post, which discusses the lethality of non-lethal weapons, although arguably offtopic from the original article.

A moderation of Off-Topic would have made sense. Troll makes no sense to me.

-- Jamie

Re:Good aim... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8844843)

No kidding, check out some pictures here. [indybay.org] Click on the numbers next to the Photos label at the bottom of the story, notably numbers 1, 5, and 6. And remember this is Oakland and it wasn't a riot it was a peaceful demonstration.

It's not 4/1/04 (3, Interesting)

scumbucket (680352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8839756)

Dear Editors,

Today is not April Fool's day...........

Re:It's not 4/1/04 (4, Informative)

moreati (119629) | more than 10 years ago | (#8839793)

Seconded
I call parody [backfire.dk] (product number 2 from the same site.)

Re:It's not 4/1/04 (1)

palironsat (529925) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840121)

You know, is it just me, or is that "middle east terrorist suspect" a priest? It's a sad state when a man of the cloth in a highly Catholic country (is it REALLY Mexico City?) is a terrorist...

And then there's the fact that it runs on OpenBSD (stolen from post below) and Windows 3.11 (wtf?) - I'm sorry, but unless it runs on MS/DOS 5.0, it's just not worth getting. Save up for something that's more "standards compliant."

A 3D rendered rifle, and the other product thingy on their page, also a rendering, and not a photo. Remind anyone of a certain vaporware system [infiniumlabs.com] that we've seen before? **please don't sue me!**

Runs on OpenBSD? (5, Funny)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 10 years ago | (#8839809)

Now I know it's just a joke. _No_ commercial software runs on OpenBSD.

Re:Runs on OpenBSD? (1)

Vaevictis666 (680137) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840079)

And who writes for win 3.11 anymore?

I know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8839815)

...I'll just microwave myself everytime I come home from rioting!

Good Job, Junior Citizen! (2, Interesting)

Bravo_Two_Zero (516479) | more than 10 years ago | (#8839823)

Almost more disurbing... check out the JuJu in the Products section of the company's site. Creepy!

Check out the Home Page (1)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 10 years ago | (#8839843)

Here. [backfire.dk] All it says is "this is not the way..."

well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8839845)

that's a nice 3D studio render there :)

Mike Oldfield "Maestro" again (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8839853)

This reminds me of Mike Oldfield's Maestro [mikeoldfield.com] music/VR videogame.

In the default/demo mode, you can hit the spacebar and fire at whatever is in front of you. The bullets resemble tiny circuitboards.

Yep (3, Funny)

GreyOrange (458961) | more than 10 years ago | (#8839857)

Full body Aluminum foil get-ups just got more popular.

BS (4, Informative)

jsimon12 (207119) | more than 10 years ago | (#8839859)

That is not a "GPS Chip" on the website, it is a tiny microchip used to ID dogs and cats [avidmicrochip.com] . The website is surprising slim on any details and to me appears to be a complete farse.

Re:BS (1)

protohiro1 (590732) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840535)

Be that as it may the chips that are implanted in pets do work. There is no reason why they couldn't be used in humans. Of course, according to my cat the implantation is extremely painful and you would notice it. Also the chip is easily detected (that's the idea) so real bad guys would have no trouble finding and removing it.

Re:BS (2, Funny)

s0l0m0n (224000) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840771)

Sure, they work.

To identifiy a pet when you have it at a location where it can be scanned (such as a vet or the humane society). It does not allow you to track your pet.

And my dog thinks your cat is a pussy.

load the chips in a shotgun shell? (1)

geoswan (316494) | more than 10 years ago | (#8841742)

I agree the gun looked fake. And the details were suspicious.

If you don't care if the rioters see you fire at them, and you don't care if they feel the pain of the, um, "injections", could chips like those used for pets be loaded into something like a shotgun shell?

After the riot you could scan pedestrians to see if they got chipped. Snap their pictures then. Have the turnstiles at the Subway activate hidden cameras to take the pictures of chipped riders automatically.

If you are scanning people shortly after they get chipped it doesn't matter if the chip is merely embedded in their clothing.

Use different id chips for each riot.

"Ah, Tom Hayden, my chip readers shows you were at both Seattle and Chicago 1968. Coincidence? I think not. You must be a terrorist ringleader. I have a one-way ticket to Guantanamo Bay for you my friend."

No, I don't like this idea.

Re:load the chips in a shotgun shell? (2, Interesting)

geoswan (316494) | more than 10 years ago | (#8842641)

When I got my cats "chipped", 12 years ago, the "chip" was about 2 millimetres by 2 millimetres.

About the size of a piece of confetti. Or maybe quite a bit smaller.

What if you had riot control personnel carrying shotguns loaded with shells that shot out clouds of RFID confetti?

Back in the days of punch cards and paper tape some people used the "chad" from those cards in place of confetti. But it wasn't a nice thing to do. Chad, punched from card stock, with sharp edges, is much harder to remove than regular confetti. There is a small amount of oil in punch cards and punch tape.

You can't just brush it off.

If an artifact can make chad hard to brush off, then how difficult could you make it to brush off dozens or hundreds of stealth RFID chad, specially designed to be hard to find and brush off? Your demonstrator only has to miss one for you to be able to read their chip with a reader. When they get on the subway, for instance. Even if they have stashed a complete change of clothes the chip might be in their hair.

It's fake. (5, Informative)

stienman (51024) | more than 10 years ago | (#8839864)

It's fake. The "GPS Pellet" is nothing more than a picture of a common transponder (RFID). Even if they could get the GPS electronics that small, and fit a tansmitter in there, the battery needed for more than a few minutes of GPS calculations would be significantly larger than the capsule.

Furthermore, the GPS signal doesn't go very deep through human tissue, it degrades as it goes, and a transmitter strong ernough to be received more than a few hundred yards away would be comparable in size and power consumption to a cell phone.

Interesting concept. It's not impossible, but it's not cost effective now.

-Adam

Re:It's fake. (1)

photon317 (208409) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840033)


I believe it could possibly be real. When they call it a "GPS chip", what they really mean is that it's an RFID transponder, which when combined with their RFID tracking stations will GPS-locate the wearer of the chip. The idea would be to pepper a metro area with their transponders, which do have GPS hardware, and to track the transponders the person passes by.

Of course, current RFID transponders have far too limited a range (a few feet) to do this effectively. But who knows if they've managed to work out something that can transpond across a city block.

Re:It's fake. (1)

wscott (20864) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840278)

They just need to make a deal with Walmart and a couple other major stores to be notified if a certain range of RFID tags are seen.

Re:It's fake. (2, Interesting)

sfjoe (470510) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840623)



There is no way you could reliably hit a target with a projectile that lightweight. To put the velocity behind it that you'd need to have enough kinetic energy to penetrate the skin would vaporize anything that small. Not to mention that it would become useless in even a light breeze.

Re:It's fake. (1)

photon317 (208409) | more than 10 years ago | (#8841389)


Building a proper projectile around that capsule wouldn't be too hard. Obviously the RFID capsule itself isn't what's chambered into the rifle. More than likely you would construct something similar to a standard centerfire rifle cartridge, but with a new-design projectile for implanting the things. Some lead weight in the back, a razor sharp front edge for piercing the skin, and the right velocity at the end of the flight path (enough to penetrate the skin with a razor isn't much). The real challenges/downfalls within this are:

1) The cartridge would have to be for a certain range to target. If you want adaptability in range to target, you'll have to carry several rounds, maybe one that says 50-100m, one that says 100-200m, etc.

2) The lead weight on the outside/back of the razor rfid payload will neccesarily smack the target's skin right after insertion. It wouldn't be a very hard hit, but it might be more noticeable than the insertion itself.

Re:It's fake. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8842123)

For issue the first, there is a solution. Simply use a liquid propellant rifle with a variable injection system. The amount of propellant varies with the distance you want to shoot. The injection system could be tied into a (laser?) rangefinder. Just point and shoot, the gun takes care of the rest.

The real problem would be getting the terminal ballistics right. The slower your projectile goes the more chance it has to be affected by outside forces (wind would be the prime one). Nothing like shooting the person 2 to the left of the guy you wanted to tag, cause a breeze picked up.

Re:It's fake. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 10 years ago | (#8842108)

To put the velocity behind it that you'd need to have enough kinetic energy to penetrate the skin would vaporize anything that small.

I strongly disagree. Look up Discarding Sabot rounds.

If the charge won't scramble the electronics, maybe you could fire them with a magnetic linear accelerator, also.

Windage, however, remains a problem.

Re:It's fake. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8842828)

no, you look up discarding sabot rounds. The sabot is very dense, and has a lot of kinetic energy. The point of a sabot is to increase/focus damage, not eliminate it.

Unless you have some magical way of shedding mass just before it hits the human -- and having the shed mass diverge enough to miss -- you can't have it both ways. If it has enough mass X velocity to fly true for a hundred feet or so, it will cause damage to the target.

Re:It's fake. (1)

geoswan (316494) | more than 10 years ago | (#8841527)

Range? Lol. The article said the chips would be tracked "by satellite".

Re:It's fake. (1)

jjshoe (410772) | more than 10 years ago | (#8842770)

PASSIVE rfid's dont need to a battery.

WHEN WILL PEOPLE LEARN ABOUT RFID'S ???

The 'emforcement' could corral everyone in an area and one by one scan them with a passive rfid reader which ENERGIZES the rfid tag with the tiny bit of electricy on that specific frequency.

Re:It's fake. (1)

stienman (51024) | more than 10 years ago | (#8843079)

I know RFIDs. This article isn't talking about RFIDs. It's talking about a GPS satelite person tracking system. Then it has a picture of a freaking RFID tag.

I'm saying that it can't be what they claim it is (GPS and/or satellite tracking transmitter).

The idea behind this system is that the people won't know that they're wearing this tag, and that they can be tracked remotely. RFID tags this small can only be read from so far away.

So, in short, this is not what it claims to be. If it's RFID, then it can't possibly do what they suggest. If it's GPS then the picture is a mock up, or false. They don't mention either possibility on the page.

And yes, you're right, RFID tags do not need a battery to operate - in fact that is one of their advantages. They can use batteries if one wants them to be active or transmit further.

And no, people will never 'learn' about RFIDs the way you seem to want them to. Most people don't even know about computers, they just know how to use them.

-Adam

This would NEVER be abused in the USofA, right?? (2, Funny)

Syowr (50984) | more than 10 years ago | (#8839866)

Snake Plissken: Got a smoke?
Malloy: The United States is a non-smoking nation! No smoking, no drugs, no alcohol, no women - unless you're married - no foul language, no red meat!
Snake Plissken: Land of the free.

robo-shrimp in the stomach? (0, Offtopic)

Doviende (13523) | more than 10 years ago | (#8839879)

a little modification, and it's just like the matrix.

Just like in the Matrix... (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840596)

... it seems that this isn't really real, either... ;)

Big "A-10 Warthog" Mosquito (2, Informative)

kmahan (80459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8839929)

After looking at the "GPS-chip Verichip(r)" all I could think was that if that hit me with enough force to penetrate my skin it would hurt a lot more than any mosquito bite I've ever gotten. Maybe if the mosquito had malaria and I was hospitalized for a couple of weeks the pain would be equivalent.

Even assuming wire a LOT finer than typical magnet (coil wrapping) wire, that looks like one hell of a big device. Maybe you are required to bend over so they can inject it as a suppository.

Just a little late for April 1st...

Good vs. Evil vs. ??? (3, Interesting)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#8839942)

it's for real from a Danish company that has already shown it off at a Chinese Police exhibition.

This sentence leads to some interesting concepts:

* If the Chinese authorities had this cyber-weapon at their disposal, would lives have been saved at Tiananmen Square [bbc.co.uk] ?

* If the demonstrators had been tagged instead of shot outright, would it have been any better for them in the long run?

* Isn't the whole idea incredibly creepy?

Actually, I have my doubts that a map, like the one tracking the terrorist padre [backfire.dk] in the demo, is currently possible. Remember the distance-squared law, frequently mentioned in other RFID articles?

This sounds more like a James Bond [projectorbooth.com] tracking device than anything possible in the Real World.

Something similar that *would* be useful against *real* criminals would be a TollTag [ntta.org] gun -- fire a vehicle tracker into the body panel of a fleeing vehicle, and track it as it travels the freeway system in a wired-up town like Houston [houstontranstar.org] .

Re:Good vs. Evil vs. ??? (1)

hookedup (630460) | more than 10 years ago | (#8839988)

Uh, Tianamen Square happened in 1989. Even if this technology is real. It's about 15 years too late..

Re:Good vs. Evil vs. ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8841139)

If the Chinese authorities had this cyber-weapon at their disposal, would lives have been saved at Tiananmen Square?

You missed a crucial word there. Yes, of course it's too late, that's why it's a question posing a hypothetical situation where they did have this technology.

Probably not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8840082)

"If the Chinese authorities had this cyber-weapon at their disposal, would lives have been saved at Tiananmen Square"

Probably not. The Red Chinese regime has seen no problem at all with executing more than 30,000,000 civilians so far. Less-lethal means of stopping the pro-democracy demonstrators would have still meant killing them later. Why waste a trigger-pull while you have them in your sights?

Chairman Mao: "The One-Bullet Manager"

Mod me down, please! (2, Insightful)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840196)

I can't believe I fell for it. The site is such an obvious fake [backfire.dk] . These guys are laughing their collective butts off at our readiness to don the tinfoil hat and march into battle.

Mod me down... after replying to such a fake, I don't deserve Karma.

Now, what do we do about Timothy [monkey.org] , the editor, and gbjbaanb [sourceforge.net] , the submitter?

Re:Good vs. Evil vs. ??? (1)

deepvoid (175028) | more than 10 years ago | (#8843453)

No, more people would have died. Remember, alot of people "got away". Something that this technology, at least theoretically, would have prevented. Police would just show up at the "offender's" home or work and pack em off to slave labor camps, I mean, reeducation, to make those cheap Chinese goods we seem so hungry for these days.

Fake can be just as good (3, Informative)

babbage (61057) | more than 10 years ago | (#8839976)

This can't be real.

The image of the rifle in question [backfire.dk] looks like CGI from a video game [backfire.dk] -- if it was real, why not just use a photo rather than a photo-realistic synthetic graphic?

And their other product [backfire.dk] , with the silly cartoons [backfire.dk] , is even more implausible. But let's not get distracted by the obvious fake -- the gun is more interesting anyway.

As a hypothetical exercise, could this kind of coverty GPS planting work? Let's say that the GPS beacon / transmitter is small enough to be mistaken for an insect's sting, so no bigger than a grain of sand. What then?

  1. Do GPS receivers that small currently exist? Are they reliable? What power supply do they need, and how long could an implanted one continue to operate?
  2. Would it be possible to remotely track [backfire.dk] these devices from, say, NSA headquarters in Fort Mead, Maryland? The graphics suggest [backfire.dk] that they can monitor a tag's movement on a 1000 mile journey from Maine to North Carolina -- was this data gathered from close to the target (in which case why bother with the beacon since you can presumably track them with more conventional means), or was the data gathered remotely (in which case how powerful can that little transmitter be?

I don't believe for a minute that this is real, but I had no problem believing that various Three Letter Agencies would love to treat this as a prototype for devices they would like to build. How close are we to being able to approximate this with current technology?

Re:Fake can be just as good (1)

BurritoJ (75275) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840248)

You're absolutely correct... Some more supporting arguments:

- A 'GPS Bullet' small enough to be injected would not have any range to speak of. Atmospheric drag would stop it long before it got close to the target.

- If you can make a 'GPS Bullet'... Why spend any time/money developing a rifle? There are lots of ready-made rifles already available.

- If you insist on making a rifle, make it feasible. ie. not a crappy long-barrel pistol with a scope and a shoulder stock that will fold up whenever it is touched.

- Do they really expect anyone to believe that their software runs on every operating system known to man? All the versions of Windows, all versions of MacOS, SunOS, Linux...?

- The 'GPS Bullet' they show would appear to be ~1cm in diameter based on the wire/spool embedded in the plastic. I guarantee that the pain will be more noticable than a mosquito bite.

The list goes on and on... it's a hoax and a poorly implemented one at that.

Re:Fake can be just as good (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 10 years ago | (#8841157)

Actually, their camera with wireless (satellite) comm capability is just at the edge of feasibility. A wireless camera about that size with WiFi and cell-phone capability is feasible right now, but we have obvious problems with WiFi access and/or transmission speed. Satellite capability would obviously be useful in situations where there is a serious prospect of the camera (and maybe the photographer) being destroyed, but that's hard to do without a somewhat larger piece of hardware.

But it's probably not far away. This could put a serious crimp in the style of a lot of thugs, including those employed by their governments. Even if you notice the photographer, by the time you grab their camera, the picture of your actions could well be beyond your reach.

The current crop of cell phones with crappy cameras is just the camel's nose under the tent. In a few more years, we'll have serious wireless cameras available.

(Anyone have any links to the best wireless cameras right now?)

Re:Fake can be just as good (1)

Alan Shield (63455) | more than 10 years ago | (#8842452)

(Anyone have any links to the best wireless cameras right now?)

This [dpreview.com] do?

Re:Fake can be just as good (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 10 years ago | (#8844275)

Hey, cool! I didn't know about that one. It's a bit pricey, but that's to be expected now.

My one pointed observation is: FTP????? WTF?

Someone should explain to them that FTP sends everything, including login id and password, in the clear. So anyone with a good sniffer can intercept all your packets, assemble your pictures, and they also know your login id and password.

But I suppose what you'd do is use an anonymous login, with the ftp directory off in its own partition so your competitors can't bring your whole server down by filling the disk with garbage. You still have the problem of authentication, if you're at all paranoid about what the local thugs/government might do to mess with your comm links to the guys in the field.

Meanwhile, you should be complaining about this to Nikon, and insist that the next generation do scp instead. Maybe you could tell them it's called "ssl", and if they don't recognize that, explain that ssl is what the commercial web sites use to protect things like credit card numbers. They really oughta encrypt the camera's communications.

But this camera is awfully close to what the satirist was talking about. I want one.

Timely Invention (1)

4of12 (97621) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840031)


[Note: I've had plenty of reservations all along about the US decision to invade Iraq and still believe it was not the right thing to do.]

Now that US Marines are confronted with some of the worst of all possible scenarios(*) this technology would be helpful.

(*) Namely, a large crowd of demonstrators, 97% comprised of unarmed civilians, wearing civilian clothes, has 3% composition of similarly-dressed individuals but toting Kalishnokov's and firing at the Marines.

Current option: Marines could start firing into the crowd, risk injuring unarmed civilians, and create even more ill-will.

Or, now, sharpshooters could fire GPS mosquitoes at armed demonstrators for later surveillance, weapons-search missions. If they hit an unarmed civilian, it's not as much of a PR catastrophe.

Finally, after giving the Iraqi people democracy and an progressive constitution guaranteeing regular elections, women's suffrage, human rights, freedom of worship, no state-sponsored religion, leave them to deconstruct all of that and fashion their own hell - we've got enough of our own hell to deal with already.

since I'm out of mod points... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8841736)

I just wanted to say that I agree with the poster. Although I am quite liberal (and think that the next regime change should be in Washington D.C.), we're screwed unless we can find a way to "liberate" Iraq without destroying it. This means pacifying demonstrations without killing everyone. Even though THIS rifle is B.S. (my friend at Boeing designs the GPS satellites) if a rifle like this could implant RFID chips (like the ones in my dog) it would make demonstrators think twice about protesting (especially violently).

My college roommate is now a diplomat with the U.S. foreign service. He says oftentimes visa applicants believe the U.S. has a supercomputer that keeps tabs on everyone so that when they apply for a visa, the U.S. checks their records. So what if whenever someone applies for a visa (or a job working for the U.S. overseas) we wave a scanner over them? If we had a decent database that could pinpoint when that chip was implanted in them, we might have an idea what kind of violent activities they were up to! (Either that or they're going to have to get used to the idea of surgery after demonstrations!).

Where's the crap-science filter? (4, Informative)

Flumph (58891) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840051)

GPS antennas must be pretty big, because the signals from orbit are pretty weak.

Small projectiles are less stable. A projectile the size of a grain of sand could barely cross a room.

The kinetic energy required to overcome air friction would make the impact pretty serious, if you could magically overcome the instability problem, and magically make the tiny projectile carry that much kinetic energy without vaporising it.

As for tracking the thing, where's the transmit antenna? RFID tags have a short range, and they're a lot bigger than a mosquito-sized impact. No antenna means no signal range.

And as other posters have noted, there's no room for a power source, the GPS signals don't penetrate well, etc. etc.

Ardent Pedantry R Us,

Flumph

Re:Where's the crap-science filter? (1)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840422)

so the demo must have been faked?

Re:Where's the crap-science filter? (1)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 10 years ago | (#8841985)

I didn't read the rest of the comments before I read what I posted-^ so please ignore me >_

Re:Where's the crap-science filter? (1)

protohiro1 (590732) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840653)

The chip exists [4verichip.com] , but this site is definetly a parody. Never the less the fact that RFID chips the size of a grain of rice exist today should give us pause. This has been discussed for implantation in paroles, who could be tracked by RFID readers installed in various locations.

Re:Where's the crap-science filter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8841868)

The chips are that small, but the antenna isn't.

Feel free (1)

Cranx (456394) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840066)

Feel free to shoot this with far less discrimination than using a lethal weapon. Got a small demonstration that you think might get out of hand? Shoot everyone now just in case. Oh, people can still die from this? Well, it's safer than firing lethal weapons at them. If a surly mother or overly-concerned consumer buys the farm once in awhile on a picket line, well, maybe they should have stayed at home instead of being out agitating.

Doesn't the (1)

stimpy (11763) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840102)

priest in the picture look like Duke, from Doonesbury?

On the Radio (1)

frantzdb (22281) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840108)

This was on the radio last night. See here: http://nextbigthing.org/ (the third item)

Holy smokes.... (1)

dacarr (562277) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840111)

Here we go again, waiting for the conspiracy theory crowd to get their claws on this one.

Sorry kids, it's a fake (5, Informative)

ug52slh (770654) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840141)

Its based on an essay in Abuse your illusions [amazon.co.uk] called "How I crashed a Chinese Arms Biazaar With A Rifle That Doesn't Exist"

My favourite use would be tagging girls in night clubs and then stalk them. So much easier than asking for phone numbers.

Great idea (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840697)

Why the hell even bother to go inside? Most places have lines outside, and noone will object to you standing on a dark roof with a sniper rifle (as opposed to inside, where this possibly could get you kicked out for rowdy behaviour).

Then again, why not a nude beach? Might as well have a good look at what you're going to get (take) before choosing...

A more plausible solution is to use paint (1)

maddugan (549314) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840203)

Use 'infra-red paint' paint balls. Better real-world sniper range than a grain of sand and ruffle the same affect as a rubber bullet. Target knows they got hit, so maybe they will stop what they are doing and worry about the mess. Then use a infra-red camera to track local movement, they have to break away for a restroom break eventually.

Probably not real, yet (1)

Jahf (21968) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840247)

As pointed out by others, this is almost surely not a reality yet.

And no, it's not going to use a real GPS transmitter.

But the implications of this even as a thought (and while not real I bet it -has- been proposed to government folks as a concept) strike right back at the heart of the RFID debate.

While RFID may not be strong enough via commercial application to track this more than a few dozen feet, I am sure that with the right amount of money a much more sensitive receptor could be engineered. Even if not, having many very inexpensive receptors in various locations could form a detection mesh.

I sort of think that if anyone shot an RFID tag into me at high velocity I would probably be aware of it, but there are plenty of other ways to tag a person or item without them necessarily detecting it (anyone here ever slip a library anti-theft tag into someone's backpack?).

Since it comes down to the same ideas as gun control (ie, the criminals can always get the guns even if it is illegal just like the government can always aquire RFID trackers even if they legislate them out of the public sector), we're back to the same idea of needing to find ways to destroy and/or shield RFIDs.

okay, obvious fake (1)

MarvinMouse (323641) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840312)

Any GPS transmitter that small that implants something without you knowing will have so little energy in it, that unless oyu have sensors everywhere, there is no way whatsoever to track it. Especially track a person from satellite.

Unless there is some miraculous battery I don't know of, this is an obvious fake.

Endothem motor (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840759)

Just need something the uses bodyheat to draw out power.

I'm from Denmark (3, Insightful)

Xel'Naga (673728) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840350)

I'm 100% certain it's a fake. I remember seeing interviews on the television with the guy behind this, talking about his experiences in China with this completely nonexistant weapon.
I'll try to dig up a link with the real story about this.

Xel'Naga

Re:I'm from Denmark (4, Insightful)

Xel'Naga (673728) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840420)

Googling finds this: http://www.lixen.dk/artikel-arkiv.asp?code=2003-2- blackbox

Kunstneren Jacob S. Boeskov, redaktør på 'Answering Machine', rejste i sommer til en våbenmesse i Kina under dække af at være våbenhandler. Med sig havde han billeder af det fiktive våben, ID Sniper. Artiklen om Kina-turen i Black Box beskriver, hvordan Jacob S. Boeskovs fiktive våben tiltrak sig så stor interesse på våbenmessen, at Boeskov til sidst var mere eller mindre ødelagt af frygt for at blive opdaget.

The artist Jacob S. Boeskov, editor at "Answering Machine", this summer travelled to a weapon-con (?) in China, pretending to be armsdealer. He brought pictures of a fake weapon, ID Sniper. The artikle about the trip to China in "Black Box" (Magazine, Xel.) tells who Jacob S. Boeskovs fictious weapon attracted great interest at the weapon-con, untill Boeskov was terrified if he was revealed.

Xel'Naga

Re:I'm from Denmark (3, Insightful)

Xel'Naga (673728) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840494)

The artist who pulled this stunt, explaining how he faked this [jakobboeskov.com]
Click on "My doomsday weapon".
Xel'Naga

Mod Parent and Grandparent up (1)

SB9876 (723368) | more than 10 years ago | (#8843412)

Mod the parent and grandparent messages up.

I'm a bit torn between marvelling at the genius and the stupidity of someone willing to pretend to be an international arms dealer for the sake of art and a few yuks.

Clearly this is just a concept (1)

n1ywb (555767) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840398)

This obviously isn't a real product... YET. It's a scary thought, but I'm personally confident that the technology required to implement something like this is still at least 10 years away. But then again who knows?

Major problems
  • Power: How does the "gps chip" get power?
  • Signal reception: You can block GPS signals with your hand. They're essentially line of sight.
  • Signal transmission: Where is it going to transmit to?
  • Chip size: It's as big as a grain of rice. It'll hurt like hell and leave a serious wound when it hits.
  • Chip fragility: The damn thing will self destruct when fired from a gun.


Okay so for all of the above and more, we can conclude that this product is not for real. So what are the motivations of the people responsible for the web site? Who knows. FUD is probably one of their goals. Establishing prior art, maybe? Scaring you, probably.

It doesn't have to get power (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840590)

It looks more like a RFID tag, the one injected in pets. They can then be scanned when the tag is close to a transmitter.

So no you couldn't track someone with it as in james bond. You would need to place scanners in places like public transport entrances, hospitals, shops, banks, all the places people have to go. Then anyone you want can be easily tracked moving through the transmitters and arrested at your convenience.

I am reminded of a similar project several decades ago. It was a bit more primitive. It was a yellow star sewn onto the clothes.

This looks like a hoax but not a funny one. Oh well at least for this we can rely on the christian fundamentalists to be on the good side. Marking someone like this is the devils work.

BAHAHAHAHAAHAH (1)

n1ywb (555767) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840453)

I wish I'd seen THIS page on their site before I submitted my first post, now I'm starting to think that HUMOR is their goal

http://www.backfire.dk/EMPIRENORTH/newsite/product s_en002_instructions.htm [backfire.dk]

Notice how everybody in the instructions is white except for the one "suspicious" guy. These guys must have had a brain storm after watching Brazil [imdb.com] .

Re:BAHAHAHAHAAHAH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8842219)

Check the link at the bottom of the graphic: www.whitehouse.ORG
Dead giveaway.

But we all know... (2, Funny)

xgamer04 (248962) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840539)

If you recieve the mark of the beast involuntarily, you can still switch sides, right? ...right, guys?

GPS.... (1)

lcde (575627) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840542)

Time to get my gps jammer working

http://www.phrack.org/show.php?p=60&a=13

It's not parody, it's art. (3, Interesting)

Leven Valera (127099) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840636)

This was a performance art project...this artist (Danish, iirc) put together this idea, took it to a international arms fair, and then documented the reaction of the crowd...read about it in one of Russ Kick's books.

Sorry folks, nothing to see here, move along, citizens.

Re:It's not parody, it's art. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8841942)

nothing to see?! you're crazy, this is /. and there's plenty of anti-privacy, anti-globalisation, wierd-science discussion to get out of this article!

Certainly beats another SCO article now doesn't it?

art, blah blah blah. (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 10 years ago | (#8842832)

I guess you could call it "art", whatever that means. I personally wouldn't lower it down to that level though. Let's face it, what people call art these days is meaningless self-masturbation, and this is far more interesting than that.

I think it's more like journalism, or some kind of subversive research. As someone else pointed out, this isn't "nothing to see here". Your claim would seem to be the "Oh my god look at that horrible device" is the thing to see, and since it doesn't exist, forget about it. The far more startling fact is that this thing isn't that far away from what's possible. Sure, you couldn't really do the GPS tracking because of power requirements. But what about shooting someone with just an RFID? The range of the transmitter wouldn't be very good of course, but it would be proof later on that someone was at the protest.

I just hope my wife doesn't get one! (1)

kendoka (473386) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840698)

Hell with the government! She'd be hell on wheels if I had to wear a collar like that!

If it is possible, it's not GPS. (0, Redundant)

benchbri (764527) | more than 10 years ago | (#8840895)

I call bullshit on this one.

But, since it is an RFID tag, this could be employed much like how they are using it. To make this system a reality:

  1. Overcome the laws of physics and common sense to be able to shoot a grain of rice-sized transponder through a sniper rifle, and penetrate no more than 6 inches into the skin, no matter how close the target is, in any envronment/situation
  2. Use the RFID tags to "scan" people coming/going from airports, trains, busses, ports, etc. Odds are, the people that run this are going to know where the subject is within ~100 miles, and their travel records could provide further intelligence.

Not goin' to happen anytime soon, although putting a camera in a sniper rifle and hooking up to a db is a stroke of genius. Makes me wonder who they stole the idea from.

Re:If it is possible, it's not GPS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8841905)

I'm not so sure it would be physically impossible to design a projectile that could implant a chip no more than 6" into a person. First of all it could have a sabot(?) those things that fit around the actual projectile to allow it to be shot out the muzzle. (They use these with M1-A tanks with the depleted uranium slugs which don't have a tight fit with the muzzle. Imagine a plastic/rubber version that would carry the chip to the person's skin).

Also although such a weapon would be completely illegal in the U.S. what about situations like in Iraq? As I mentioned in a previous post:

"My college roommate is now a diplomat with the U.S. foreign service. He says oftentimes visa applicants believe the U.S. has a supercomputer that keeps tabs on everyone so that when they apply for a visa, the U.S. checks their records. So what if whenever someone applies for a visa (or a job working for the U.S. overseas) we wave a scanner over them? If we had a decent database that could pinpoint when that chip was implanted in them, we might have an idea what kind of violent activities they were up to! (Either that or they're going to have to get used to the idea of surgery after demonstrations!)."

Sorry but the Big Brother side of me keeps thinking this idea actually has legs!

Ladies and gents, it's a fake - Now with proof! (2, Interesting)

AEther141 (585834) | more than 10 years ago | (#8841049)

The site was created as part of a hoax to see if the chinese police would actually buy something like this. They did. The whole sordid affair is documented in this book [amazon.co.uk] .

Hoax: Admission by the Creator (4, Informative)

WaldoJMU (2651) | more than 10 years ago | (#8841069)

Jakob Boeskov, the purported "CEO" of "Empire North", is a satirist. Here is a link to his personal homepage, along with an explanation of the FAKE GPS Sniper Rifle (emphasis is mine):

http://www.backfire.dk/JB/indexreal.html [backfire.dk]

"Giant balloon sculptures, voodoo-cursed technology and blueprints for hi-tech weapons smuggled into Chinas first international weapons fair - in the world of Jakob S. Boeskov the amazing meets the political in a unique mix.

Coming from a background in comics, Copenhagen based artist Jakob S. Boeskov seems destined to work with satire and pastiche. Using a palette of different media such as web, paintings, writings, 3D drawings and animations, as well as collaborations with musicians, writers, voodoo priests (!) and industrial designers he "hacks and bends" media, reality and technology to give a startling and shocking view of life in the 21st century.

His recent works has been created within the framework of his self-styled "sci-fi art" (or "fictionist") concept where he takes "an imaginary product from the future" and tests it out today, in a real environment. He did this most notably in his MY DOOMSDAY WEAPON project where he created "the most horrible weapon in the world" (- a piece of "pre-crime technology" designed to mark demonstrators with GPS (Global Positioning System) chips "before the crime is committed"). Jakob S. Boeskov brought drawings of this weapon to China Police 2002, Chinas first international weapons fair, where the international weapons dealer elite and greeted this nightmarish weapon with much enthusiasm."


Happy April Fools Day, 11 days late! :)

Coming to an FPS near you (1)

mingust (726690) | more than 10 years ago | (#8841374)

If you can track the monsters coming to find you, just run away when you know you're low on ammo!

Tried (1)

salesgeek (263995) | more than 10 years ago | (#8841646)

I believe back in the 50s and 60s both the US and USSR attempted to use radioactive tagging to track people. Sucked to be the subject. A subdermal device would not be useful as it is too small to have enough power for satelite. A variation on an RFID would be interesting, though - you could literally pick people up as they moved through town.

Here's the scoop: (2, Informative)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 10 years ago | (#8841684)

from www.jakobboeskov.com [jakobboeskov.com]

For this daredevil project Jakob S. Boeskov infiltrated an armsfair in Beijing with "the ID Sniper - the worlds most horrible hi-tech weapon" Too fantastic to be true? No its not! Read parts of the story here:

In June 2002 Jakob S. Boeskov travelled to the belly of the dragon to meet the enemy eye to eye - infiltrating China Police 2002 the first international weapons fair in China. He brings with him four hundred fake business cards, a promotional poster of a horrible hitech weapon, and the worst stomach cramps ever. Tag along to the Kingdom in the Middle and meet robot salesmen, enthusiastic Chinese entrepreneurs and singing teenage policemen.

Basically, the idea was to come up with the most terrible weapon imaginable, and to test it in a real environment. We had three days to finish up the weapon. Our fake company, Empire North, already had a logo and a slogan ("The Logical Solution" aping the Nazi classic "The Final Solution") but we had no weapon yet. Genius designer Von B and I worked overtime, and in two days we had the ID Sniper ready.
The day before I was leaving, BLACK BOX editor Mads Brügger called designer Von B and asked him to change the design, because "it was too far out and he couldn't be responsible for what happened, if I was found out."
Changing was not possible at this late stage. I guess he knew that. Maybe he was just, more or less elegantly, trying to shake off his share of the burden. I can understand it, because we were all becoming afraid. Afraid of what would happen if I was found out, and afraid of what might happen if the weapon was taken seriously. Would it be copied? Would we be responsible for the production of one of the most inhumane weapons in the history of man? We justified our project by telling ourselves that right now, a few people were walking around with socalled VeriChips implanted in their bodies, chips manufactured by the company Applied Digital Solutions. We kept reminding ourselves that right, now prisoners in Sweden are doing time at home wearing GPS chip wristbands. It would merely be a question of time before the technology would be used preemptively on suspicious persons, and as we repeatedly told ourselves, all new technology has been used for military purposes, and this technology would too, we concluded. Why not bring it out prematurely, so at least we could have a small part in getting a thorough discussion about this kind of technology? With this question, we basically came up with a brand new art concept. Let's for now just call it scifi conceptual art, defined like this: take the essence of an imagined future, turn it into a concept and present this concept in present day reality. Report the reactions.
Would this new concept lead to a brave journey, searching for truth or would it just be a highly irresponsible prank? There was only one way to find out, and that was to do it.
This is how it was done.


FACTS
THE ID SNIPER RIFLE AS PRESENTED ON THE EMPIRE NORTH POSTER


GPS microchip based identification rifle

Empire North is proud to present the preliminary showcase of the ID Sniper Rifle a brand new tool in longterm riot control, and antiterror management. Please notice that some aspects of this cuttingedge technology are still in its outmost infancy, and more research is needed before the ID Sniper Rifle is a reality. Hence we are welcoming investors and business partners to join us in the important quest of developing the ID Sniper Rifle.


What is the ID Sniper Rifle?

To put it short, the idea is to implant a GPS microchip in the body of a human being, using a highpowered sniper rifle as the long distance injector. The microchip will enter the body and stay there, causing no internal damage, and only a very small amount of physical pain to the target. It will feel like a mosquito bite, lasting a fraction of a second.
At the same time, a digital camcorder with a zoom lens fitted within the scope will take a highresolution picture of the target. This picture will be stored on a memory card for later imageanalysis. GPS microchip technology is already being used for tracking millions of pets in various countries, and the logical solution is to use it on humans as well, when the situation demands it.


Why use the ID Sniper Rifle?

As the urban battlefield grows more complex and intense, new ways of managing and controlling crowds are needed. The attention of the media changes the rules of the game. Sometimes it is difficult to engage the enemy in the streets without causing damage to the allimportant image of the state. Instead, Empire North suggests marking and identifying a suspicious subject from a safe distance, enabling the national law enforcement agency to keep track on the target through a satellite in the weeks to come.


What is Empire North?

Empire North is a young, progressive Danish HiTechcompany committed to developing new tools for solving the problems of the 21st century.
We combine outstanding knowhow, a network of gifted adhoc consultants, a flair for Danish design and creative thinking - and are always focused on discovering the logical solution.

DAY 3
SO DENMARK MAKES WEAPONS NOW?

Marching and singing teenage policemen

I wake up early before the hotel wake up call. I look out the window. Is it already afternoon? I am suddenly confused; my sense of time is messed up from the jetlag. Did I oversleep?? I feel another panic attack coming on, my heart racing as if I have had too much coffee. I still have terrible stomach cramps.

One hour later, I am at The National Agricultural Exhibition Hall of the People. I am late. It's the first public opening of Empire North and I am late. Fuck. At the gates, it's total mayhem, an inferno of marching policemen, Chinese businessmen (all dressed in the traditional Chinese businessman uniform: white polo shirt, black polyester pants, silk socks, black loafers or pointy, shiny shoes, no tie), trucks unloading, Europeans getting out of cabs with sunglasses and briefcases, handing bills to drivers who whiff off, unbearable blinding sunlight reflected in my eyes from shiny cars, helmets, mobile phones and skyscrapers. I wave my card and I am allowed to pass the guards. A wide range of new police vehicles has been lined up since yesterday, police cars of all shapes and sizes, a few more helicopters, a couple of boats and even a police tank in blue and white. It has some kind of automatic gun stuck to the roof. Jesus Christ! They are preparing for WAR!

I am standing in the marble entrance of the hall waiting for my little bag to come through the Xray machine, when a group of marching and singing policemen move very quickly up the wide stairs, their justoutofpuberty faces stern and determined.
I get my bag, go into the main hall and am met by a cacophony of voices in all languages. I am trying to locate my booth, but I am confused and also very afraid to go there. What should I say and what should I do and what will happen if they find me out? I shudder at the thought of getting involved with the Chinese police. I walk on the red carpets, going nowhere in particular.
Voicedover presentations are booming from sound systems, people shouting into mobiles, large groups of Chinese men shuffling about in units of seven or eight, French dealers of underwater equipment stand smiling at their booth, ready for business. A middleaged European couple go through the metal detector. The woman, turquoise dress, heavy makeup, has an expression on her face like she is arriving at a suburban cocktail party. I turn the corner and am about to collide with a sixwheeled robot that is driving towards me. It turns around, now facing me frontally, its heavy wheels spinning eagerly, like a huge mechanical insect. A hydraulic arm with a DVcam mounted at the end lifts upwards, towards my face.
A huge crowd of smiling and photographing Chinese men gather around the robot. I pass through them and the distracting flashlight and run into another group, fifteen or more, plainclothes policemen. They hover around a Chinese man selling Kevlar gloves, repeatedly cutting and stabbing at his gloved hand with a Stanley knife, shouting and laughing and gesturing, his head whirring like a happy animal. The plainclothes policemen clearly like the glove, all of them grinning, some of them even clapping their hands.
A Japanese girl is posing in front of a remotecontrolled helicopter with a Sony camera mounted underneath it. Several people are drinking colas and Chinese soft drinks.


Bad techno + corporate latex teenagers from Japan

The heat and noise is unbearable.
I can't get myself together to go to my booth; I turn my card, so that nobody can see that I represent Empire North. A redhaired European man and two Asians are demonstrating voice recognition software to a group of Chinese men; on their laptop a 3D landscape accompany a word in Chinese that's being repeated over and over. In front of the Honda booth, four police motorcycles surround a large column, where massive Honda light box logos are mounted next to three fortyinch Sony flat screen monitors that show images of racing Honda police cars and offroad police motorcycles flying in the air. On screen, a clumsy white Honda robot appears, and a text reads "Honda the power of dreams." Everything is cut fast, scratchvideo style and accompanied by fast and bad Japanese techno. Three teenage girls enter the elevated stage, dressed in shamelessly erotic militaristic clothes; white miniscule latex dresses and Hondalogoed red berets. They start posing in front of the motorcycles, and then smilingly get on top of them, their tiny latex costumes radiant under the hard light. On the fringes of the stand are several male Honda people, older, and all dressed in black pants and white Honda polo shirts, huge smiles on their faces, clearly enjoying the sight of their corporate whores flaunting themselves on top of their new technology. I back away and find myself in yet another crowd. A caterpillar robot the size of an Icelandic pony rolls towards us, raising its huge robotic arm over the crowd, its mechanic fingers snapping high above people's heads. More pictures are taken. It's very warm and the heat is killing me. Young policemen in green uniforms, armystyle, walk by in large groups.


The ID Sniper goes public

Turning a corner, I pass a Brazilian booth with a huge poster of a policeman opening his jacket, exhibitioniststyle, revealing a wide array of grenades in many different colours. Over it, huge white letters spell out: "Surrender to this concept!"
And there my booth is. I go into it, get behind the little table, put my bag in the space under the table, and stand up, forcing a smile on my face. Here we go, now there's no turning back.
Fifteen seconds go by and a balding Chinese man stops in front of the booth. While manically spewing out extremely bad English, he points to my poster and smiles and gestures wildly, and hands me his card.
I introduce myself properly and start to explain him the basic concept of the ID Sniper.
"First of all..." I say, stuttering, making a gesture with my hands I have often seen politicians and persons on American TV shows make: Palms facing outwards, hands cupped as if I'm stroking an imaginary ball.

"We are a very young company, this is a brand new concept..." I point my finger at him, turning my head a bit sideways, in a Don Johnson kind of way. I continue with my presentation. He looks quite happy, but I am not sure if he understands what I am saying.
"What's so wonderful about this machinery is the general media friendliness of this weapon. Now, let's say we have a normal situation, a situation where the police wants to control and identify a group of demonstrators. Normally, this would require quite solid methods and the presence of cameras could mean that there might appear unwanted pictures on television; pictures of demonstrators bleeding, you know, that kind of stuff," I say and smile.
"Using the ID Sniper, you don't get unwanted media coverage, with the ID Sniper we can...." I gesture as if I am holding an invisible ID Sniper, my right index finger pulling an imaginary trigger, pausing: "...MARK the subject with the GPS chip, and then...", I raise my finger, "...track down the demonstrator later on and then apply the necessary means".
The Chinese man smiles.
"I laik dis weapon!", he says smiling and laughing, his head nodding, as if he was an eager, autistic kid.
"We can, uuh, do business together!", he says, handing me his card and saying something unintelligible in Chinese. I give him mine, we promise to stay in touch, and then he leaves. I am left at the booth, flabbergasted, feeling like Alice taking the first step through the looking glass.


Jason from Beijing Sen Qili Scientific Trade Centre

And then something happens: A tiny man, apparently no older than twentyfive, with cheap glasses, pimples and a body that looks like it belongs to a twelveyear old, suddenly appears. He's smiling and VERY energetic. He wears a blue polo shirt and he gives me his card. His name is Jason Fong and the name of his company has the intriguing name of Beijing Sen Qili Scientific Trade Centre.

I give him my card and explain the concept to him:
"So, generally speaking, it's a brand new concept, a brand new weapon! Now, it might not look like much..." I say and gesture to my poster in my booth. "...But we have the concept, we hold some patents, we have the software and the hardware and most important of all, we have the energy and the willingness to carry it out, so things are definitely looking very healthy for us! He looks very eager, smiling and nodding his head: "Yes, yes!!"

"Our compeny," he says in his thick Chinese accent, manically gesturing to his small chest. "We make hitech products, we make laser training gun equipment, hitech, yes?" He hands me a pamphlet in Chinese about his company, and points to a postal address.
"This is only valid till first of August! We are moving office then" he says and points to a 3D drawing of a skyscraper, about fifty storeys high. "This is our new headquarter!!"


So Denmark makes weapons now?

A guy in the white suit starts to speak to me in French, and then he elegantly switches to English. He's from the French embassy. He smiles and gestures towards my poster.
"So Denmark is making wepons now, oui??" he asks.
"Yes, there are a few of us starting up now!" I say, not even lying. He then looks at the poster for quite a long time, eagerly scanning it.
"I have neeeever seen anything quiiiiite like this before!" he says and smiles, crossing his arms over his chest. I break into a sweat.
The French diplomat looks at me intensely, with a sly smile on his face.
"So you fire off a GPS chip into the people, oui??"
"That's correct, we, err, mark them and then we locate them. We, uh, find them after the television cameras have gone away..."
He points his finger in the air.
"But what calibre are you using?"
I feel blood rushing to my face. I know absolutely nothing about guns, a fact many people also pointed out to me before going. I meant to research, but somehow I never found the time.
"That's optional!"
"Sorry?" He looks very confused; his face grimaced and tilted, mouth slightly open.
"22..." I say.
"Zero point twenty two inches??" he asks. "But...."
"No, no, not inches, centimetres!! Well 38, actually!!! We might use gas. We are not sure really!" I say and realise how silly all this must sound. I smile and check my pockets for cigarettes. The French diplomat has a slight frown on his forehead.
"But, but, will you not have problems with causing damage to the intestines of the demonstrators? If you shoot it off, it doesn't stop, you know. It will enter into the body and then it will... CAUSE DAMAGE." He looks at me.
"Well..." I say, lowering my voice. "That's a really important issue you are raising there, it's a crucial issue, it's our weak point, it is an important problem we have to solve, but we are determined to solve it, and when we do, we will have a perfectly healthy market situation." I say and smile at him eagerly. He looks at me, a smile forming on his face.
"Well, JUST SHOOT 'EM IN THE BUTT!!" he says, grinning, slapping his own right buttock with a loud SLAP, and then he leaves, laughing, his head turning on last time, looking at my direction. I am left in my booth, bewildered.

More people arrive, I explain more, hand out a lot of business cards, receive a lot of business cards, I sweat and smile. This is exhausting.
After two hours, the crowd thins out a little. Some Arab or Jewishlooking guys from across the aisle keeps looking at me, smiling. I get out my laptop, my plan is to write down notes, I turn it on, and I'm suddenly terrified by my messy desktop.
I turn off the computer, putting it back underneath the table, and get out my notebook instead. But I feel so selfconscious, sitting there writing; nervous and sweating and still plagued by stomach cramps. I can hardly keep the pen straight, so I leave my booth, go outside and buy some weird cold Chinese food, a Chinese beer, and sit in the shade under some bamboo, and start to manically scribble down notes.


The Banquet

I am at the hotel. It's evening and time to get ready for the big banquet, hosted in honour of all international weapons dealers, including Empire North. In the package sent to me in Copenhagen, was a goldrimmed invitation printed on expensive paper, informing me that my presence was requested at The Great Wall Sheraton Plaza, on the 19th of June, at 1800 hours. That was about fortyfive minutes ago, so I am in a hurry.
I put on an expensive tie I bought for this occasion, and to it I add a little something I got from a Chinese seller of shotguns today - a tiny golden tie clip, designed as a shotgun. I look quite spiffy.

I leave, get a cab, show him the invitation and off we go zooming through the alien labyrinth of steel and concrete, neon lights and ancient buildings, as the red sun sets.
I look at my telephone to check the time: I am terribly late.

Forty minutes later, I am in front of The Great Wall Sheraton Plaza. A uniformed bellboy opens the door of the cab. Outside are the Chinese flag, the American flag and a Motorola flag. I step out on the red carpet, entering a gigantic temple of chrome, a futuristic monolith of old power and new wealth. A hostess in a black evening dress points me towards an escalator and up I go, towards the increasing noise of people partying. At the end of the second floor are two very tall doors, with yet another two hostesses standing by. As I approach, they open the doors, smile, and I enter.

The rumpus room of the Merchants of Death

I am in a stadiumsized room with no windows at all, but lit from matted glass panels in the roof. It's filled to the brim, with huge round tables where people sit on highbacked chairs, eating and drinking. Everybody seems totally pissed now, girls in lowcut silver Chivas Regal dresses pour generous portions of twentyyear old Chivas to everybody, talk and drunken laughter fill the room. Much food has already been eaten; much alcohol has already been drunk.

I go to the Chivas Regalsponsored bar feeling mighty out of place. I make some nervous movements with my hand and a boy pours me a glass full of ambercoloured liquid. After a few minutes, a loud Brazilian in his late Thirties appears.
"Why are you not eating??" he shouts at me. "Come over here, we have some very nice snakes over here!! HAW HAW!!"
"Oh no, I... I am really not hungry," I tell him, my stomach already revolting at his perverse suggestion. What does he want from me?
He gives me his card. His name is Federicio and he is the director of a company called Welser Itage. His sidekick, a goofy hippiecharacter, also Brazilian, is doing the video presentations for the company. We start to chat, and I ask Federicio about the fair, not trying to hide that I am an upstart in this business.
"I see a great potential here!" Federicio tells me.
"The Chinese police are building up a force of one million men. One million men!" He says this with much respect and gestures with his index finger.
"We're basically seeing all this because of the Olympics in 2008 and because China joined the WTO" Federicio says and lights up a Cohiba cigar. More whisky is poured. The goofy video guy offers me a Chinese cigarette.
"Yes," I say, "But I am just worrying, if they have the dedication to, uh, spend what it takes. They are used to old, cheap, technology, I wonder if they are ready to go hitech?"
"Oh, come on," Federicio says; "We are talking about a country with a growth rate of nine percent, some places even seventeen percent! Seventeen percent!!"
He raises his Cohiba vertically, so it resembles a small chimney. "Money is clearly not a problem here, they have what it takes, no problem, no problem!!"
"Yeah, you think so?"
"I know so!!" He says loudly, before lowering his voice.
"The only problem, as I see it, is to get in contact! They don't speak English, email is a problem here and new to them, it's very difficult, very difficult! You have to have a personal contact, otherwise there is no business."
Suddenly, a Chinese man appears on the platform. He introduces the next speaker as the Minister Of Public Security. Another anonymous little man steps up, and speaks into the microphone in a thick Chinese accent.
"Thankyou for ahrcomming. Goodnight!!" The little man steps down. Federicio and me laugh.
"They are very fast speakers here, huh?" I say.
I tell Federicio and his goofy friend about the ID Sniper. After I am done, Federcio's face lights up a beaming smile and he yells:
"That's GREAT!!!! In Brazil, we have so many problems with prisoners escaping prisons. We put them there, but they just run away," he sighs, as if he is talking about little kids sneaking out of kindergarten.
"But with your technology, with the GPS, we can catch them again"
His face glows.
"You have my card, right?? You see, we manufacture all kinds of nonlethal weapons, and if we get something going with these guys, we definitely need some new hitech concepts to get them interested."
"Yeah! That sounds great!" I say, although I don't know exactly what it is he wants from me.


Evil does not exist

And then Federicio starts off an endless, drunken ramble, about the problems of Brazil, about how he is going to buy a bulletproof car, and all the problems of the Landless Workers Movement who have connections with FARC in Colombia and so on paranoid thoughts of left wing conspiracies against order and stability in the civilised world.

Back at the hotel room, I fall into a drunken sleep. And then suddenly a loud: "RIIIING!"
I am woken up by the telephone. It's 1.30 AM. When I say "Hello?" somebody hangs up. This must clearly be a mistake. I light a cigarette. Fifteen minutes later the same thing happens. I get very nervous. I lie on the bed in a quiet panic, nasty stomach cramps.
Before I came here, I had some vague ideas about this world being sort of like a James Bond movie - filled with eccentric cynical inventors, and colourful, ruthless traders. I couldn't have been more wrong: this is reality, not James Bond. And these people are NOT cynical, ruthless evil people - they are basically nice people, who are absolutely one hundred percent convinced that they are doing the right thing. They believe that by pushing all their hitech killing equipment, they are fighting for freedom, democracy, and all that bullshit. And that's what makes them so fucking scary.


DAY 4
LEPERS AND MOBILES

Welcome to the 21st century

It's morning. No hangover from the whiskey. At the subway station I buy an issue of the Beijing Daily, which is in English. There is an article about the fair and, thanks to Empire North; Denmark has made it into the list of participating countries. Good. I read on. Two teenage girls sit in front of me with a new mobile phone; it has a colour screen and makes funny little noises. They are laughing, wearing tshirts with American words on it that they do not understand. The train stops. A leper enters the wagon, dressed in traditional Chinese clothes, carrying a wooden stick. He is very dirty and he has no nose, no eyes, no fingers; just a little hole for a mouth. He walks down the wagon, begging. Welcome to the 21st century.

At the fair I stay in my booth the whole morning, hand out some business cards; give some presentations of the weapon. A Russian guy comes over, it's the boringlooking old guy I saw the first day at the office. He is the editor of the Russian magazine Military Parade. He likes my weapon and says he would like to write about it. He gives me his card.
I go outside and buy a Chinese beer and some food. The food looks slimy and tastes weird. I eat some of it. I take a Valium from my wallet and gulp it down with beer. I smoke a cigarette; take some notes, already calmer. You'd have to be crazy to feel normal here, but I already feel better. I go back in, back to my booth, but decide that I can't stay there, so I pack my little bag and go for a walk around the premises.

The fair has not calmed down, sound systems still boom out promotional slogans in English and Chinese, mixing with music and the constant sound of sirens, an evil soundtrack to a new millennium. I walk around like a zombie, surrounded by pump guns, gas masks, clubs, handcuffs, knives, flashlights, sirens, stun guns, pump guns, handguns, pepper sprays, rocket launchers, machine guns, DNA samplers, police helmets, sniper scopes, surveillance cameras and bulletproof vests.
I look at myself in the shiny surface of a police helmet. I am smiling for the first time, looking really relaxed. I thank whoever invented Valium, its effect wraps around me like a blanket of normality. A Chinese guy from a company called Mystery Shields Inc. starts to demonstrate a peculiar designed flashlight with spikes around the end. He turns it on, the light blinds me and then he pushes a button and an earnumbing hooting fills my ears, people from his neighbouring stands are shouting to make him turn it of. And then he turns another button and huge, blue electrical flashes spew out of the flashlight towards my face with a menacing electrical sound. The man laughs, loudly. I back away, shocked and dazzled. What is wrong with these people? They treat these weapons like toys; it's a fetish for them. Yesterday on the street, I noticed stacks and stacks of weapons magazines competing with Chinese TV guides and lifestyle magazines, one simply called "Armoured Vehicles."
Why are Asians obsessed with weapons? Because of their height? Or is it a common human flaw? God knows that I myself can be found guilty of this obsession. I have spent large parts of my childhood making traps, shooting BB guns and killing endless numbers of ants with a magnifying glass, before advancing to explosives. When we were ten, my brother and me had a lucrative business supplying the kids in our neighbourhood with firecrackers we bought on our holidays in France. I am still terribly obsessed with fireworks and own a really cool harpoon. But all these instruments designed for inflicting maximum pain and damage on humans, they might have appealed slightly to me as a kid, now they only make me nauseous and depressed on behalf on the human race, which seems disposed to torment and dominate.


Disgusting robots

I see a catalogue for a company producing rocket launchers. There is something basically contradicting about this fair and yet it makes sense: They call it China Police 2002, but still they sell tanks, jetfighters and rockets, equipment you'd normally associate with the army. Maybe the landscape of police work is changing. Globalisation might rid us of international wars, at least among highly industrial countries, since it's simply too damaging for the multinational corporations. Instead, it seems like all countries have silently agreed to wage war on their own populations. The hate has to go somewhere; the technology has to be used on somebody.
A Chinese weapons dealer gives me a hardcover weapons catalogue. Inside, there's a picture of a robot dragging the remains of a human being, leaving a bloody trail on the dirty asphalt. In the background is a police van with Hebrew lettering. The robot is identical to models I saw here, also with guns attached to them, for detonating bombs or killing halfdead suicide bombers. A prelude to Robocop world. Someone hands me a bizarre information CD, with the word MacGyver written all over it, a tragic homage to our favourite gadgetwise secret agent of the Eighties.
And then I run into a strange booth, it's huge, but I can't figure out what their product is. I ask a young woman sitting on a chair. She eagerly gets up and answers:

"Oh, I represent China Police Report. We make dramatised versions of police events."
She must be referring to some of the many dramatic kickboxingcommunistcop shows I have seen on TV.
"We have 250 million viewers every day. Also, we can advertise your product."
She smiles and gives me a badge.

This cant be real.. (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 10 years ago | (#8842167)

Someone confirm its just a bad joke..

Their other product -- (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 10 years ago | (#8842196)

Juju..

"citizen narc"

This whole thing must be a joke....

Parody site link (1)

brad77 (562411) | more than 10 years ago | (#8842825)

Definitely not the real deal.

Take a look at the link at the bottom of the JUJU instructions [backfire.dk] pointing to whitehouse.org/homeland [whitehouse.org] .

Looks like hours of fun.

Non-lethal my ass (1)

Deanasc (201050) | more than 10 years ago | (#8842932)

And who is liable for the first person who dies from an infection from this device? There's a reason why you rub the skin with alcohol before and after a shot. I see no safety precaution here. I also see no mention of sterility for the device itself.

The GPS-tag gun is a joke... (2, Interesting)

barakn (641218) | more than 10 years ago | (#8842939)

but it reminds me of when the Hell's Angels held their annual rally in Missoula, MT in 2000 (the full story in 4 parts: 1 [missoulanews.com] , 2 [missoulanews.com] , 3 [missoulanews.com] , 4 [missoulanews.com] ). They decided to party at a local ski hill, and the army of police officers that had been recruited from far and wide attacked the local citizenry in the downtown area instead. A friend of mine whose sole indiscretion was to have a job downtown that let him off at midnight was pepper-sprayed while trying to make his way home. The moral:

Just because you've been GPS-tagged doesn't mean you're guilty.

Should be used during car chases (1)

mc6809e (214243) | more than 10 years ago | (#8843220)

Innocents get killed regularly by people running from police.

Maybe police should tag the cars of those that run, then stop the chase. They could then track the car later at sane speeds.

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