They Live Taser Saucer To Become A Reality
UN declares stun guns to be instruments of torture while Taser rep says "it's not real pain" and puts drone craft into development
November 26 , 2007
One of the biggest Taser representatives outside the US base has declared the company's intention to produce and sell internationally a small airborne drone version of the weapon that can administer electrical jolts of 50,000 volts.
Antoine di Zazzo has told the AFP that his French company is "developing a mini-flying saucer like drone which could also fire Taser stun rounds on criminal suspects or rioting crowds. He expects it to be launched next year and to be sold internationally by Taser."
The idea conjures up memories of the flying saucer spy drones from the 1988 dystopian cult classic movie They Live . The opening of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four also features the idea of police flying overhead and snooping into homes. Now this nightmare vision is set to become reality.
With 250,000 Taser stun guns in use all over the world from North America, Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, Singapore and New Zealand, to name just a few of 70 or so countries, it hardly takes a stretch of the imagination to foresee the take up of Taser's airborne drones.
In addition we have also seen moves by police forces around the world to test and use flying drones. Most recently controversy was raised after it was discovered that Houston police have been secretly testing spy drones that use a high-powered cameras designed to look into buildings or even follow people in moving cars.
Drone Planes are not new to the United States. The military has been using drones for secret war zone surveillance for years; drones were also used to put out the California wildfires last month. The drones used for the test in Houston weigh only 40 pounds, but can carry 15 pounds more in gear. They are able to stay airborne 15 to 24 hours without landing.
Reports from June indicated that the Department of Homeland Security used a spy drone to stake out the property of income tax protestors Ed and Elaine Brown before they were arrested in September. In April the British press reported on a British amateur inventor who won a contract with the US government for a 3ft-wide flying saucer contraption, a cross between a hovercraft and a helicopter, which is being considered as a surveillance tool.
We have also recently seen drones used to keep tabs on concert goers in Britain. Such devices have since been deployed by police in areas of the UK for "tackling anti-social behaviour and public disorder". Other reports have highlighted interest in drones and testing by police departments nationwide. Some protestors are even adamant that they have witnessed tiny insect like drones in deployment at anti war rallies. Such creations are certainly in development if not already in deployment.
Taser has been mired in controversy, since the wide uptake of its stun guns by police forces, due to the level of pain the devices inflict and the amount of deaths that have occurred after their use. Last week a perfectly healthy 20 year old man died in police custody after being shocked with a taser. Another 36-year-old man died Saturday five days after an altercation with police who used a Taser to subdue him. Last month a Polish man was killed at Vancouver airport after being stunned up to 4 times.
Further questions have been raised over more frequent police use of tasers. The guns are supposed to be the last response before lethal action, however, we have increasingly reported cases where police use them without warning and in non threatening situations.
Amnesty International has said there have been about 300 deaths around the world after Taser use and has called for it to be suspended while a full investigation into the impact is conducted.
On Friday, a UN Committee said the stun gun "causes acute pain, constituting a form of torture ".
Despite this Antoine di Zazzo of Taser International says that no death has been attributed to the use of the gun and that the controversy is caused by misunderstanding of new technology.
When asked about the UN verdict on the weapons di Zazzo replied "You cannot call it real pain," and added that far from causing death, the gun "saves lives".
How long will it be before small flying saucer drones are zipping around our cities zapping people in order to "save lives"?
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