Thursday, July 10, 2008

Shocking, but False

Some of you have asked about the Washington Times Blog Piece that talked about shock bracelets. We reached out to the Department of Homeland Security’s Science & Technology Directorate to see if there was any validity to this story, and there isn’t.

Here’s what S&T's John Verrico posted as a comment on the Washington Times blog, and we wanted to make sure all of our readers saw it was well.

DHS-S&T spokesman said...

Shocking, but False 

Sometimes it just amazes me how these stories evolve. Let me start off by saying that the Department of Homeland Security’s Science & Technology Directorate nor TSA have been pursuing shock bracelets for airline passengers as alleged by the Washington Times Blog. 

This allegation stemmed from a misleading video posted on the Lamberd Website which depicts an ID bracelet that would contain identifying information as well as the ability to stun the wearer. The company claims to connect use of such a device to DHS and TSA, but no discussions between these agencies has ever taken place. 

This all originated from a meeting held two years ago with a private company representative (not Lamberd) who proposed bracelet technology in response to the TSA's desire to find less-than-lethal means to detain an apprehended suspect. 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. - John Verrico DHS S&T Spokesman


EoS Blog Team