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The Surveillance Games

November 19, 2009

I’ll be off the next few days at ‘The Surveillance Games’ conference in Vancouver.

Coincidentally, the local police have recently announce that they will be buying the same kind of sonic weapons we saw being used against protestors at the Pittsburgh G8 meeting. Except they want us to call them ‘megaphones’ and claim they won’t use them aggressively*. I think we still need to call a weapon a weapon. Just think, with such rebranding the police could get over their recent little problem with tasers too: just call them ‘joy-buzzers’ (just with a whole lot more ‘joy’...). The urban arms race that such mega-events always spark off as manufacturers push their latest toys to anxious governments, of course just adds another layer of bitter irony to the fact that Canada also intends to ignore its own call for global truce during the Games… it seems that you don’t even need the actual gesture for gesture politics these days.

*Even if these devices were just megaphones, this purchase would in any case be rather ironic given that Vancouver city has banned protestors from using any amplification devices by amending their bylaws in July 2009.

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