Saturday, September 11, 2004

Crowd control hightech style

One movie that stuck in my head from my childhood was Soylent Green. A dystopia based movie of over population, crime, starving people, and future crowd control, but mainly where and what was for dinner. One of the two images that has stuck in my head from it was Charlton Heston yelling saying Soylent green is made of people! You've got to tell them! Soylent green is people!, now that would stick in a kids head. The other image was the form of crowd control they used. Dump trucks with scoops for new food the rioters.

With the recent RNC in NY they pulled out a lot of new toys they had bought with our tax money for control. Not crowd control as much as people control. One of the items is an LRAD projector.

Looks cool up there on that reinforced Hummer. All round and black. Just ready to blast the heck out of you and teach you to mess with the man.

LRAD is a breakthrough long-range hailing and warning, directed acoustic device designed to communicate with authority and exceptionally high intelligibility. From either a static or mobile location, LRAD can transmit a verbal challenge with instructions at operationally significant distances in a focused beam, and follow up with a powerful warning tone to influence behavior or determine intent. Recorded messages can be selected and transmitted over LRAD in multiple languages. Used in maritime roles, LRAD supports force protection of critical assets against small boat terrorist threats plus visit/board/search and seizure missions during maritime interdiction operations. Land based applications include crowd control, area denial, clearing buildings, psychological operations, and protection of critical infrastructure. Military services are also evaluating LRAD for use in helicopters to further extend their ability to hail and warn at longer distances and in remote locations. LINK

Sounds all soft and nice until you get the real details.
LRAD operates within OSHA guidelines to deliver communications and safely disorient the listener based upon range, exposure time, power output, frequency and tonal patterns controlled by the operator

Now this may seem like a non lethal device, but if it causes you real pain, and it causes you permanent hearing loss then it can be, and will be, abused by the users.
"Inside 100 yards, you definitely don't want to be there," said Mr. Gruenler, adding that the device is recommended for a range of 300 yards or less. He said he lacked "initial feedback" on how they are working in Baghdad.
Hearing researchers say sound that loud and of that high a frequency - about 2,100 to 3,100 hertz - could be dangerous if someone were exposed to it long enough.
"That's a sensitive region for developing hearing loss," said Richard Salvi, director of the Center for Hearing and Deafness at the University at Buffalo. "The longer the duration, the more serious it is." LINK

So the crowd control of today is a lot nicer looking then the movies ever showed, but just as oppressive. Something like this is a collective punishment. The protests and mass arrests in NY recently is full of stories of regular people getting rounded up, and charged. So this is at best overkill.

We outlawed public torture, but will cause you pain and permanent hearing loss if you do not follow orders without question. Good job NT city

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