Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The last line of defence

Not a typo.

I came across this video for "The EMD Safety Bracelet." It's obviously several years old, as it references in the video that all airplane cockpit doors will be secured by 2003.

EMD stands for "electro-muscular disruption." It's basically a taser. And some halfwit wants us all to put these on before boarding a plane! Let's take a closer look at some of the video's claims.

At that time, they can also be fitted with a special electronic ID bracelet that they will wear until they disembark the flight at their destination.

Note that we have established that wearing this bracelet is (supposedly) voluntary. This in and of itself will basically render the entire proposal useless, because if you did have some sinister motives, you could simply decline to wear the bracelet. They also want to code passenger information onto this bracelet, making it a prime target for identity thieves.

Checked luggage could be coded to the bracelet to ensure no tampering or diversions.

How exactly? Are you also going to RFID tag luggage so it can only be opened in proximity to the bracelet-wearer? What if you lose your bracelet?

By further equipping each bracelet with EMD technology, the bracelets will allow crew members, using radio frequency signals, to quickly and effectively subdue hijackers.

Assuming that the hijacker is even wearing his bracelet, how exactly do you propose arming the bracelet? Airplanes are not big spaces. Are they going to arm ALL the bracelets on the plane, and if you happen to be near the hijacker when they tase him, tough noogies for you when your bracelet goes off too? Are they somehow going to know the specific RFID code for that particular bracelet? How do they know he didn't switch bracelets with his buddy in the back row, or even just take it off on the plane?

EMD technology is designed to incapicate a terrorist from a safe distance, without causing permanent injury, which means these criminals will survive and go to trial.

While the manufacturer of the Taser gun says that Tasers have never caused a death (and guns don't kill people, bullets do!) 70 people from 2003-2004 died after being tasered. I hardly think that there is any kind of guarantee that people will survive to be brought to trial.

Wearing an EMD bracelet for a few hours during a flight is a small inconvenience to ensure their safe arrival...many, if not most, passengers would happily opt for the extra security of the EMD safety bracelet.

And we come back to the first point, that if wearing these bracelets is on a voluntary basis, then it provides no additional security and accomplishes nothing except potentially putting yourself at risk for identity theft and electric shock.

Well done.


Matt Silverthorn said...

These people are all idiots. There will NEVER be another hijacked plane that has Americans on it, even if we completely do away with the TSA and metal detectors. 9/11 changed everything in that respect. Before 9/11, SOP was to let the hijackers take you to your destination and everything would be fine. The mentality has now shifted to "we die fighting or we die crashing."

Courtney said...

I liked the little red line in the video representing the bullet when the air marshal, standing like 5 feet from the terrorist, accidentally shoots the woman sitting in front of him instead. Just give the air marshal a taser and be done with it; we don't need this sci-fi crap about remotely activating "taser bracelets."