Feeds

Calls to ban hoodie-busting sonic weapon

Campaigners tell Mosquito to 'buzz off'

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Campaigners are calling for hoodie-busting sonic weapon the Mosquito to be banned, claiming it targets innocent young 'uns and is an "infringement of their human rights", the Telegraph reports.

The Mosquito emits a high-pitched whine inaudible to the majority of adults over 30, while causing yoof ne'er-do-wells a level of irritation sufficient to drive them from any premises packing the device. Successful trials a couple of years back in a grocery store in Barry, South Wales, and a shop in inventor Howard Stapleton's home town of Merthyr Tydfil, provoked plenty of interest in the product, and there are now an estimated 3,500 deployed nationwide in the fight against anti-social tearaways.

However, a campaign led by the children's commissioner and backed by civil liberties outfit Liberty says the Mosquito should "Buzz off", as the slogan puts it.

Children's commissioner for England, Sir Al Aynsley-Green, explained: "These devices are indiscriminate and target all children and young people, including babies, regardless of whether they are behaving or misbehaving. The use of measures such as these are simply demonising children and young people, creating a dangerous and widening divide between the young and the old."

Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti chipped in with: "What type of society uses a low-level sonic weapon on its children? Imagine the outcry if a device was introduced that caused blanket discomfort to people of one race or gender, rather than to our kids."

Stapleton is having none of it, and said he wants "a test case in the courts to firmly establish the legality of his invention".

He countered: "People talk about infringing human rights but what about the human rights of the shopkeeper who is seeing his business collapse because groups of unruly teenagers are driving away his customers? The noise is only emitted over a 15 metre radius and no one is taking away the rights of teenagers to walk away." ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.