Xeni on NPR, CNN: Sonic Weapons in Iraq — and now, US cities

I filed a report for the NPR News program Day to Day on the latest in non-lethal acoustic weapons — electronic devices that use sound to disperse crowds, "gain compliance," or beam spoken messages for long distances in areas where normal communications systems do not function.

Earlier this month I attended a demo of these technologies hosted by the LA Sheriff's department at Edwards Air Force Base in the California desert.

Here is a photo of one such device being used by military police in New Orleans, outside of the Superdome in post-Katrina flooding. This is the LRAD, or long-range acoustic device, made by American Technology Corporation. More photos of sonic devices from ATC and HPV Technologies, some of which are being used by authorities in New Orleans, are here.

The NPR report "Focused Sound 'Laser' for Crowd Control" airs today, and you can also listen to it here online (after 12PM PT/3PM ET). I believe they're podcasting these now, too, in addition to offering Real and Windows streams.

At 445PM Pacific / 745PM Eastern, I'll be a guest on CNN International to talk with Techwatch host Kristie LuStout about how the devices are being used in Iraq and other war zones, and why law enforcement agencies throughout the US are considering using them here in the States.

Previously on Boing Boing:

Wired News story "Sonic 'Lasers' Head to Flood Zone"

Reported presence of long-range acoustic device (LRAD) at protests