Air safety proposal: shock-bracelets controlled by flight attendants

Lamperd, a "firearm training system" company, has patented a bracelet that delivers debilitating shocks when remotely triggered. Their killer app for this is aviation safety: they're proposing that the TSA could force everyone who flies to wear one of these and then flight-attendants could zap us into a stupor if we turn out to be Al Quaeda.
A method of providing air travel security for passengers traveling via an aircraft comprises situating a remotely activatable electric shock device on each of the passengers in position to deliver a disabling electrical shock when activated; and arming the electric shock devices for subsequent selective activation by a selectively operable remote control disposed within the aircraft. The remotely activatable electric shock devices each have activation circuitry responsive to the activating signal transmitted from the selectively operable remote control means. The activated electric shock device is operable to deliver the disabling electrical shock to that passenger.
Best part? They're Canadian! Oh, my countrymen, you have a wicked sense of humo(u)r.

Link to patent, Link to Lamperd FTS site (via Schneier)


  1. I have to wonder Cory, how the hell do you compete with this? You write fiction and… my God how can any creative get in front of this? My mind is officially boggled.

    I think someone here said that sooner or later all passengers would striped naked and handcuffed to their seats. Looks like we’re on target! Fly Naked is Go!

  2. I’ll bet a BB reader will come up with a plausible way to defeat this security measure by the end of the day.

  3. Sounds awesome! I can’t wait until the real fun begins when someone figures out how to trigger the devices without the official control mechanism.

  4. If anyone is stoopid enough to wear one of these gadgets voluntarily, then they deserve to get zapped.

  5. Greetings

    Rutger Hauer in that movie with the bomb around his neck….

    Why this idiocy reminded me of that movie but having it posted one down from “Real ID” was just perfect!

    This is what we shoeless, waterless sheep deserve, next they just shove the electrodes up our ass and trigger it in the voting booth if we fail to vote ummm ‘right’

    TSA means never having to say you’re sorry ;)

    Enjoy the journey


  6. I don’t want to sound as if i’m defending it, just trying to think of the issues. What are the main problems here? That you are being treated as guilty until proven innocent? That the electric shock can kill you(as shown by tasers)? That the air crew would have total control over you and there is the threat of abuse? That the real terrorists on the plane would find a way around them, then they would have control of the braclets? If they developed a system whereby it was gaurenteed never to kill someone(yes yes i know probably impossible) would you still use it? Or does it come back to the issue of being treated as guilty at all times? Can you think of any reasons why this could be a good idea?

    Personally i kinda like the idea in the Fifth Element. Put you all to sleep!

  7. The mind struggles to comprehend how this thing exists. I mean, as far as I can tell, people work for this company. They actually go to this place of business in Sarnia, Ontario, they clock in for the day, and they do their part to move their products into the market. But it so happens that their products happen to reduce their fellow human beings to little more than cattle. So…if they manage to make flying the friendly skies a harrowing, science-fiction prison-like experience then do they all go get a beer after work and say to each other “Job well done”? What sorts of mental gymnastics must one go through to make this ok in his or her mind? What sort of person is capable of this?

    BTW, the youtube video on their website is ROCKsome. Love the xenophobia. Love the scare tactics. Love the 9/11 video replays. LOOOVE the EMD “We will fucks you up but good” Technology.

  8. That’s a good idea. As it is passengers aren’t treated as suspected terrorists quite enough.

    Why don’t they just cuff everyone to their seats?

  9. I wonder if they’ve accounted for this scenario…

    A terrorist manages to compromise a flight attendant (or, worse, yet, perhaps the terrorist IS a flight attendant), or otherwise gain access and proper authentication to run the system.

    Now they have carte blanche to shock everyone on the plane (save for the pilots and other flight crew) into submission.

    The whole “9/11 would never happen again because if anyone tries to hijack a plane they’ll be rushed by a horde of angry, defensive passengers” situation goes away, putting everyone in MORE danger than before!

  10. Why don’t they just cuff everyone to their seats?

    That sounds like an even better idea than the shock one. I tend to never have to use airplane restrooms anyways.

  11. So, how do they shock an individual passenger? Flight crews and Air Marshals are required to memorize every face and a specific number? Or Do they shock everyone onboard if something were to happen?

  12. Why not just skip this step and go straight to the Battle Royale-style head-exploding collars?

  13. That’s a great idea! Where can I invest? Is the company traded on any exchanges? Or can we just create a new “terror futures” exchange and start profiting on our growing paranoia? I’ll buy dirty-bomb at $35!
    Why stop with airplanes? What a great motivation tool for managers at fast food companies! Or Wal-mart! And bracelets? How 1980s. I want the electrodes implanted sub-Q. If you don’t have anything to hide, you shouldn’t complain, right?
    Oh, and #6, you can’t take gel-like substances onto a plane, remember. I’ll send a shock your way for stepping out of line there…

  14. The explanatory video on their website is absolutely priceless. Particularly the air marshal who “accidentally” brains the passenger who’s nowhere near the terrorist.

  15. Cuffing people into their seats sounds like the next step all right. Of course, to make it work, they’d have to require all passengers to wear diapers. Depends, anyone?

  16. As idiotic as the airlines are, I can’t imagine they wouldn’t hire a lawyer good enough to tell them why this would be a liability they don’t want to mess with!

  17. The silliness has peaked. No one is going to travel anymore unless they can afford charter flights.

    I suppose this will be the future; flying clubs, affinity groups pre-cleared and above suspicion – because they are “just like you”.

    The irony is that all the extra expense is`really benefiting no one.

    Has anyone done an economic analysis to show just how much real productivity has been lost in phony security “industries”?

    How much of the current slump is directly attributable to the Waronterror “Industry”?

  18. Further proof that we are indeed losing the war on terror. If we were winning, would we have to tolerate these “security measures”?

    This is exactly what the terrorist want. We have been forced by our government and a few paranoid individual to live in spoon-fed fear of a terrorist attack.

  19. After watching the video on the link… not to worry! It will only be used on the most “elite” and “agressive” terrorists. What a pile of crap. Who believes this shit. Are the DHS and TSA people dumber than a bag of hammers or what.

  20. Ohhh…want a fun drinking game? Drink every time you see some form of the word “active” in that press release! You’ll be tipsy in no time.

  21. Two words: personal autogyro.

    I know my life’s gotten a hell of a lot easier since I got mine.

  22. I assume the flying naked thing will be the most likely. In order to fly ANYWHERE, you will have to ship all belongings ahead. There will be lockers for anything you brought to the airport: clothes, shoes, purses, wallets, everything. You might be issued a hospital type gown and all passengers will be subjected to full body search: cavity and xray. Once on the plane, there will be metal seating with restraints for arms AND legs. No more in flight food or drink and armed guards will replace stewards. Once at your destination, you better hope your packages of clothing, etc, arrived and that you have paid the convenient fees. Have a nice flight…

  23. As mentioned, this is utterly nonsensical. Their intended system of activation looks clumsy at best. By the simplest method of activation, simply waving a remote to activate the bracelet, even a trained user will likely miss their target or ‘taze’ a wide swath of innocents in the heat of the moment and potentially add a number of medical situations to the ongoing threat. If it is a specific frequency / code to each bracelet, in an emergency how is the crew to identify the unique code or label the specific wearer as a threat? Maybe a on-board visual monitor to ID people standing up in the case of a hijacking? Would you just taze everyone placed in the a ‘potential threat’ group and hope you got the actual aggressor? Its certainly not something thats going to have a reaction time to stop a concealed, fast acting threat like an explosive or a takeover that subdues the passenger crew quickly. In the worst case scenario that this kind of device was ever implemented, it would need to be a hierarchical / zone based system with emergency manual backup. The most vital points of the plane would be unaccessible to a passenger with a shock following transgression (ie. a shock to anyone entering the cockpit other than plane crew). Perhaps the same in regards to handling crew with a delayed timer that shocked a hostage taker or assailant (not someone who brushed or touched a steward/ess).

    Also, enforcing the RFID’ing of a whole airports worth of flyers to their luggage would require another paid employee and dedicated system to monitor the correlation passenger and bag. Even then its a loss as mistakes happen, people forget their bag somewhere, and all hell is unleashed as a result (in turn compromising the security of the airport as attention is focused elsewhere). It wont stop a TSA thief from stealing your possessions during inspection or help you retrieve a lost bag.

    As all things with our current flight and airport security you know it’ll be faulty from the beginning or misused in practice and more of a liability than a benefit. Hope the people that are not at the top of the company or rich enough to charter enjoy their own product.

  24. With this the TSA would have to ban aluminum foil since you could IR and RF shield the device by covering it. Granted, it might be tough to get a perfect seal, but you’d probably get enough attenuation so others people’s cuffs would get set off first.

  25. To #27 re economic cost of security theatre


    I think Bruce Schneier (sp) did a cost/benefit of the whole “nine one one vote Republican TSA security theatre” and the imputed cost of lost time and lost productivity was astronomical!

    Check his website — it was his or linked through him

    The cost of time, the rat hole of tax dollars the loss of constitutional rights with the attendant building of a fearful terrified sheeplike group of citizens who forget how to question their leaders but merely follow dumbly shoeless waterless and terrified of shadows

    Enjoy the journey


  26. “Alice, I swear to God, if that guy in 19c presses the attendant call button ONE more time I’m going to fire up his bracelet.”

  27. #12 – For those of us that have heart problems (including me!) flying would become more of a health risk than it already is!

  28. It’s OK, it’s only intended to be used on “predetermined passengers”. If you’re not one of the million on the list, a non-US citizen between the ages of 18 and 44, or otherwise a “risk”, you probably have nothing to worry about.


    Morally, somehow this makes it worse than wanting to put them on everyone.

    “But Alice, how will I know who to shock?”

    “Don’t worry Martha, you just need to look for the brown men with beards in white dresses.”

  29. In fact, why would a citizen who’s done nothing wrong ever have to remove the auto-tazer bracelet?

    I think as well as a mass issue of these devices, Bush and the TSA should mandate RFID enabled electric-shock devices to be be inserted through the soft-spot in the skulls of newborn infants, so it’s there right in the brain to track location and cause seizures when required.

    after all, we need protection from terrorists.

  30. #34 They propose 6 possible means of activating the thing (and combining two or more into a single remote). The aluminium could stop the RF, IR, mag field and microwave, and clothing could stop the laser, but how does one block ultrasound?

    I’d go with the conductive gel option. 100ml stored in a hand cleanser bottle should be more than enough.

  31. OMG!!!DO NOT LET RALPH NADER FIND OUT ABOUT(aboot)THESE! at least they’re not made by raytheon.

  32. From the website of “Lamperd Less Lethal” (at least their name carries some element of honesty):

    “These letters from the Department of Homeland Security show that the interest in the Safety (Security) Bracelet includes and goes beyond the Airline Industry.”

    (Cory posted the link to this. It’s the second article under “New Products”)

    Excerpts from one letter from the DHS:

    “Dear Mr.

    Our meeting on 18th July was of great interest and the concepts you proposed, would I believe, contribute significantly to a more secure US border.”

    “… we find your ideas have merit and believe it would be of great help on the borders and indeed for anywhere else, for which the temporarily restraint of large numbers of individuals in open area environments by a small number of agents or Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs).”

  33. Here’s a simple way around this, which would take the terrorists more than 20 seconds to think up since such devices are already “mainstream”:

    Strap a bomb pack to yourself and hold on to the trigger. If you get shocked, you let go of the trigger and the plane explodes. Are the crew members really going to be able to think of the “greater good” and zap the guy, killing everyone, in order to prevent a hijacking?

    [Note, if electrocution causes muscle contraction, you could easily wire the trigger so that instead of holding it closed you had to hold it open.]

  34. Mark Frauenfelder: We’ve already come up with aluminum foil to shield the device from controller signals, and conductive EEG jelly to short a more conductive path between the contacts.

    Here’s a third: there’s a very limited amount of time you can wear a tight restraint around a wrist without risking nerve damage and/or serious circulation problems. (When in doubt, consult technical BDSM references.) A bracelet loose enough to avoid those problems is loose enough to allow you to slide a sheet of non-conductive material in between the bracelet and your wrist.

    Now: since these bracelets aren’t all that applicable to airline safety, we have to ask: what are they actually intended for? Not border patrol; the people they’re trying to stop aren’t wearing bracelets.

    That quote Kieran O’Neill (45) dug up is terrifying:

    “…restraint of large numbers of individuals in open area environments by a small number of agents or Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs).”

    How many scenarios can you think of that have large numbers of individuals being held in “open-area environments” by a small number of guards, who are empowered to deal out indiscriminate shocks in the name of “restraining the prisoners”?

  35. This is quite possible the most ridiculous idea I’ve heard… ever. It took me like 2 seconds to think of a way to circumvent getting shocked by that thing.

    All you need is to slip some non conductive piece of ruber between that bracelet and your skin. No skin contact, no disabeling elctro shock. Not to mention what would keep a real hijacker/terrorist from forcefully remvoing the braclet once hes on the plane?

    To massproduce these things in the millions they’ll have to make em cheap. Meaning they’ll be made in china and most likely made of plastic. The resistance they’ll but up sure will be minimal.

    Although reports of mass malfunctions thanx to cheap shoddy production might be quite hillarious if you’re not one of the people who could zapped out of their mind thanx to a glitch.

    I just don’t get how anyone could believe this is a viable option to secure airtravel. Doesn’t take a genious to find a ton of flaws in the idea behind this gizmo.

    I for one would certainly not let anyone strip that junk to my wrist…

  36. That quote Kieran O’Neill (45) dug up is terrifying: “…restraint of large numbers of individuals in open area environments by a small number of agents or Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs).” How many scenarios can you think of that have large numbers of individuals being held in “open-area environments” by a small number of guards, who are empowered to deal out indiscriminate shocks in the name of “restraining the prisoners”?

    Coming to a FEMA camp near you! Presumably Alex Jones is already on top of this.

  37. I look forward to this. My travel would be much more relaxing and calm…

    because I would be on a train.

  38. To #9 WarLord: I love your humor. Is it just me, or is this type of humor the new zeitgeist? Making fun of desperately painful realities. I can’t imagine jokes like that in the 70s. P.C. must be dead! Hurray!

  39. To #28 nikkesen: You really aren’t paying attention. The “war on terror” is a ruse to get you to willingly comply with expanding government powers.

  40. To #47 Teresa Nielsen Hayden: You are paying attention. Yes, an uprising has been predicted by the US government, and from what I hear they are preparing for it, and have started construction on many huge new prisons.

    This is why I think the US will become the next China. The U.S. is capable of using its military against it’s own people, and it has the resources and ability to quell any form of dissent.

    Unless somehow the democrats dismantle what has been building up. But why do I get the feeling that the Dems and Repugnicans are not entirely two separate political parties? That is to say, why do I get the feeling that both Dems and Repugnicans are not entirely beholden to the will of the people, and both serve the same base of support?

  41. Just to add to the fun, here would be my counter-measures to your counter-measures:

    Have the bracelet’s taser contacts also measure skin resistance. If that resistance is interfered with by tinfoil, gel or plastic shim, then start an alarm. The flight crew would then shoot you as an example for the other inmates/passengers.

    As for my own idea if wearing a ferric glove that would block activation signals but not change the skin resistance measurement: Have the central system send a signal every minute or so, If the bracelet does not receive several signals in a row, forget the alarm. Let the taseing begin.

    Top conclude: “I for one hail or bracelet overlords…”

  42. @54 sproing3

    But why do I get the feeling that the Dems and Repugnicans are not entirely two separate political parties? That is to say, why do I get the feeling that both Dems and Repugnicans are not entirely beholden to the will of the people, and both serve the same base of support?

    Because you’ve been listening to Bill Hicks:

    I’ll show you politics in America. Here it is, right here. “I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs.” “I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking.” “Hey, wait a minute, there’s one guy holding out both puppets!”

  43. David, all you’d have to do is make your gel connection stop just short of the bracelet, then complete it just before starting your attack.

    If these ever get used on anyone for ordinary airtravel, I will seriously look into finding a free country to live in.

  44. @ Lucifer Sam no 41: I’d second that. We need these on the streets in the UK too. There are thousands of terrorists taking photographs everywhere. I am worried every time I step out my front door and expect the Gov’ment to hurry up and get on with the crackdown. We are all terrorists now and we need to be controlled. Inmates on planes are just the first group that need to be constantly threatened with a good tasering. Come on Gordon, what are you waiting for, actual evidence or something!?

  45. Hmm, I’ve tried to Favorite this twice, and it’s not working. Is there a limit to how many Favorites you can have? If so, is there any way to UNFavorite posts you no longer need?

  46. Anyone notice that they refer to 2003 in the future tense? “Reinforced Cockpit doors should be installed on all planes by 2003…”
    How old is this video?

  47. Xopher (#57) Sorry for the delay, Dr Strangelove was on another call. His suggestion:

    How about we add a little C4 into the bracelet? In the event you manage to defeat the taser, and do away with the cabin crew, the captain can blow your hand off by remote control.

    As for your wish to find a free country to move to. Good luck with that.

  48. You’d like to think that it’s a joke. Imagine being a pilot in a plane like that. Imagine joking with the stews. Imagine it NOT working in a real hijacking, after having it work on people a stew is pissed off with (there’s one at least on every flight). Imagine it being used in a lawsuit. Imagine the airline going out of business.

    Some things are best left to science fiction.

  49. David 62: Yes, I know, but there are countries that will be better than this one (in respect of freedom) should shock bracelets become standard airline equipment here. I daresay the EU won’t allow them, and I can’t see them appearing on Australian or Canadian domestic flights, either.

  50. It is amazing the creators are so dense. The unit is a good idea but they have the wrong application.

    If they want to make serious money it should be used for dieting!

    “mmmMmMmmm pizza!” ZAP!!

  51. I think this entire article shows what we are going to be in for in the future.. Fake a terrorist attack, then blame some terrorist group thats never existed.. (Al Qaeda is the name of a computer file)
    go to war, remove more and more of our civil liberties (Both in the USA and Canada and around the world) Scare us into accepting virtually anything, and then start forcing us to wear control bracelets, fingerprint us for our licenses.. Have Laws changed to require us to carry ID at all times, Allow the police in break our human rights for what?

    I’m afraid an Authoritarian Government is on it’s way.. And we are playing right into their hands.

    So sad.

    Rob Menard
    Winnipeg, Manitoba

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