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From Your Friends at Homeland Security [updated]

Some Washington Times blogger is reporting that:

[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®.

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’m pretty inclined to take all this with a healthy dose of salt. I say this because it is the Washington Times after all, and the scanned letter purportedly originating from the DHS official that he links to is incomplete and refers to a meeting that took place in 2006. And nevermind the fact that the idea of giving airline passengers shock bracelets instead of boarding passes is one of the most batshit crazy things I’ve ever heard.

If it is true, though, then everything that’s been said about the dangers of an intrusive government is true.


A recent comment on the Washington Times site from “S&Tspokesman” clears things up:

The bracelet was never intended to replace boarding passes, contain ID information or be worn by all passengers as asserted in the Lamberd video and discussed in the Washington Times Blog.

The hypothetical use of the bracelet would have been for transporting already apprehended prisoners and detainees at prisons and border patrol facilities, and DHS was looking to see if there were potential air travel applications for apprehended suspects.

This concept was never funded or supported by the DHS or TSA and hasn’t even been discussed for two years. The letter circulating throughout the blogosphere from Paul Ruwaldt was not addressed to Lamberd and merely states the DHS was interested in learning more about the technology. Neither side followed up.

DHS/TSA does NOT support the asserted use and has not pursued the development of such technology.

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