High-tech handcuffs can shock, inject prisoners as required

Today, handcuffs are just steel restraints. Tomorrow, however, they could be much more. According to U.S. Patent Application 20120298119, Scottsdale Inventions…of Paradise Valley, Arizona has invented a pair of high-tech handcuffs that could deliver electric shocks to prisoners by means of an incorporated Taser-like system hooked to wireless controls and sophisticated sensors.

In some ways, the Scottsdale cuffs are like a combination of invisible fences and training collars used for dogs. Where the canine versions provide a mild joy buzzer of a shock, however, the cuffs could immobilize a prisoner. They’re based on the principle of the Taser, which uses electrodes to administer high-voltage, low amperage shocks to disrupt a person’s voluntary nervous system. In this case, the system is part of a pair of handcuffs, though the company says that it could also be used in an ankle cuff, restraining belt, straitjacket, harness, facial restraint, helmet or neck collar.

The Scottsdale cuffs are more than just a shocking device. They are part of a system for exercising an almost frightening degree of control over single or multiple prisoners. The cuffs could not only shock, but also deliver warnings if the prisoner fails to follow instructions. These warnings might be an audible signal, a vibration, a flashing light or a mild electric shock as a prelude to a more severe jolt if not obeyed.

The cuffs are also programmable. They could be set to respond to radio transmitters so that prisoners must remain in a certain areas, avoid other areas or only move in a prescribed zone. They could also be triggered by RFID tags attached to weapons, vehicles or other items detainees aren’t allowed near…

Aside from their deterrent functions, the Scottsdale cuffs could also keep track of prisoner movements, behavior and number of shocks administered…the cuffs could also release gases, liquids, dyes and even inject the prisoner with sedative drugs.

Just in case you wondered what we can look forward to if the rightwing nutballs of this land get their way and charge our police departments with handling disobedient and independent thinkers. After all, there is nothing a modern-day libertarian of the Paulista ilk enjoys more than taking away someone’s liberty.

All to be thoroughly tested beforehand, of course, on unwilling subjects in destinations outside the United States but well under the control of the military and CIA.

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13 comments

  1. Malcolm Greenhill

    “there is nothing a modern-day libertarian of the Paulista ilk enjoys more than taking away someone’s liberty.”

    What an incredible statement. Whatever you may think of his politics are you seriously making a negative comparision between Ron Paul’s track record on civil liberties and that of Obama or Romney, or come to think of it, any other mainstream polician?

    • god

      Both Pauls limit their “liberty” to white heterosexual males. That puts them years behind most traditional liberals, moderates – like Obama, or conservatives.

    • moss

      Daddy and son are voted back into office in their districts for their guaranteed support of Christian “virtues” like opposing most reproductive rights for women, any constructive rebuilding of rights and compensation for Hispanics and Blacks for decades and centuries of bigotry, and isolationism – a subject completely apart from supporting struggles for a peaceful world. Add in their homophobia and you have a pair of old-fashioned white Southern politicians with a touch more populist ideology than usual.

      Ideology which is narrow by their own definitions. They get no support outside their home districts except from folks who never read what it is they stand for in practice – rather than the crap they crank out for fund-raising among the naive.

      They are a joke, a farce laughed at by the American electorate. They couldn’t get as many votes as Gary Johnson in a national election. They know that – which is why they’re quite happy to stay inside the Republican Party and Nixon’s southern strategy.

      • eideard

        Have a few free minutes to be more expansive – hopefully, not longwinded.

        Malcolm, don’t libertarians in the UK automagically divide into Left and Right? The first “big blog” I continue to be associated with as senior contributing editor is owned by and was started by a journalist well-known in tech – who then considered himself a conservative libertarian, The 2nd word being common to the much larger number on board since, mostly conservative – but, not always.

        I find conservative libs end up being Conservatives with a capital “C” – like the founder of that other site. A descriptive change he now declares.

        On the Left, generally, we maintain the same skepticism of those who seek power for its own sake, we often agree about fiscal conservatism – though not how to implement it. Of the political economists writing and speaking in the US business community I’d wager a significant majority support the success of Keynesian efforts that have moved the market positively from its bottom in March of ’09.

        None of us are surprised about the others. The conservative libs simply add more allegiance to the past and past Conservatism to justify their positions. Lefties stick with democracy and democratic ideals.

        Cripes, I managed to hold it down to not too many paragraphs. :)

        • Malcolm Greenhill

          Eideard, I intend to write a post on Malcolm’s Corner in the next few days addressing at least some of these issues. If I don’t answer all your points at that time let me know and I will address them separately. All the best for the New Year.

      • Malcolm Greenhill

        Ron Paul is a Christian and is personally opposed to same-sex marriage but he has repeatedly stated that he wants the government out of marriage so that nobody is able to impose their standards on others. In his book ‘Liberty Defined’ he states, “In a free society…all voluntary and consensual agreements would be recognized.” He adds, “There should essentially be no limits to the voluntary definition of marriage. Everyone can have his or her own definition of what marriage means, and if an agreement or contract is reached by the participants, it would qualify as a civil contract if desired…Why not tolerate everyone’s definition as long as neither side uses force to impose its views on the other?” This is perfect consistent with his Libertarian approach to virtually every other issue.

        Similarly, Paul is against abortion but believes that the ninth and tenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution do not grant the federal government any authority to legalize or ban abortion. Instead, it is up to the individual states to prohibit abortion. While I am personally in favor of abortion I recognize that this is one of those issues where good men and women can legitimately have different positions and so some type of compromise is likely to be the optimum solution. While I do not support Paul’s policy it does represent one example of a possible compromise solution.

        Ron Paul’s stance on foreign policy is one of consistent non-intervention, opposing wars of aggression and entangling alliances with other nations and bringing troops home from U.S. military bases in Korea, Japan, and Europe, among others. Furthermore, he has repeatedly spoken out against the surveillance state. Compare that with Obama’s war and militarization policy. Not only are we still fighting wars in Yemen and Afghanistan but he has continued many of the most outrageous abuses of the George W. Bush administration (which were bad enough), including indefinite detention and warrantless surveillance of American citizens. Obama has also succeeded in expanding the power of the ‘imperial president,’ including the ability to assassinate American citizens abroad and unilaterally authorize drone strikes resulting in the deaths of countless innocent civilians, including women and children (what you call “‘struggles for a peaceful world”). Obama ordered more drone attacks in his first eight months than Bush had in his entire presidency.

        Despite claiming to be the transparency president more documents are being classified under Obama than under Bush. Furthermore the U.S. government now intercepts more than 1.7 billion messages a day from American citizens including email, telephone calls and other forms of communication. Obama’s signature on The National Defense Authorization Act places domestic terror investigations and interrogations into the hands of the military and opens the door for trial-free indefinite detention of anyone, including American citizens, so long as the government calls them terrorists.

        In the light of the above, I repeat, how can you in good faith negatively compare Ron Paul’s record on civil liberties with those of Obama, Bush or Romney?

        • god

          What he writes in his books are wholly divorced from what he does day after day after day in Congress. He votes in favor of most of the reactionary laws he says we don’t need. You’d be better served reading the Congressional Record than the ideology he preaches.

          None of the writers here think Obama is a solution – only the most likely stopgap against the rightwing corporate thugs in Congress and the Administration, the Pentagon and more. American foreign policy has never varied by liberal or conservative standards. The Cold War never ends.

          Simply enough, Obama used to use the same copouts as Paul. Then as he [says] change happened personally he turned it into politics – whether the Ledbetter Law or the end of DADT or public support for Gay Marriage, immigration laws change and more. Paul has done none of these.

          • Malcolm Greenhill

            Nobody’s perfect, particularly politicians, but Paul is nothing if not consistent. He’s also honest and probably uncorruptible, something that can’t be said for the rest of Congress. Sure, he is off-base with respect to immigration and he would never vote for the Ledbetter Law but he is still your enemy’s worst nightmare. If you really want to get rid of the ‘rightwing corporate thugs in Congress’ you could not choose a better ally, stopgap or not. Paul is an old school Jeffersonian and wants to roll back every piece of legislation that is not authorized by the Constitution. That means closing military bases, bringing back troops, no war, no special privileges for corporations, no bailouts for banks or anyone else, no tax loopholes, a less powerful Pentagon, definitely no Federal Reserve and the legalization of victimless crimes. You sound radical but your actions in terms of supporting Obama belie your words. Do you really believe Obama wants to change the system as opposed to just shifting around the pieces? There was a time when the likes of you are I were allies against war, militarism, corporatism and special privileges. True, we did not share the same ultimate vision, but we did share a common enemy.

            • god

              “None of the writers here think Obama is a solution” – is what I wrote. Eid and most commenters say the same, time after time. Yet, you continue to offer the straw man of faith in Obama to change the system.

              Feel like joining struggles against reactionary politics? Jump on board. But, don’t waste time maligning folks who know better with stereotypes better fitting Tea Party analysis than, say, a Stephen Roach.

            • keaneo

              The simplest of steps, voting for the first change back towards progressive taxation, Rand Paul voted NO. Not my working class hero.

        • moss

          Living in the same state as Eideard, I get to vote for a senator who not only espouses most of the ideological points made by the Pauls, he comes down on the side of progress on progressive issues of individual freedom affecting the broad American population, abortion, contraception, voting rights, rebuilding infrastructure, getting rid of reactionary crap like the filibuster.

          Tom Udall and his family have a broad tradition for a couple generations of achievement on more of these issues. As lame as are the Democrats, they remain the only choice for working people. The Pauls stand up alongside creationists and racists – by choice.

        • moss

          Reading around the international press, this morning, I realized another parallel in this discussion about Mr. Christian Libertarian Paul. Like most goldbugs in Congress, he makes wiseass remarks on the floor of the house about the US becoming Greece.

          Just as absurd – but containing the seed of truth – is that Paulistas are as willing to turn us into Pakistan. Albeit Christian. Not a lot of difference.

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