Activists and aid workers who document government abuses or monitor elections often risk abduction by those who oppose their work. Now one organization has developed a gadget to help.
Stockholm-based Civil Rights Defenders is distributing a bracelet that sends out "Help!" messages when its wearer activates it, or if someone pulls the bracelet off its wearer forcefully, the BBC reported. The bracelet has a GPS tracker and will send information about the wearer's identity and location to nearby workers who could come to the rescue. The Civil Rights Defenders headquarters also gets a notice.
At the same time, the bracelet posts messages to Twitter and Facebook, which Civil Rights Defenders says will make repressive regimes warier of garnering international condemnation for kidnapping activists.
The advocacy group hopes to give out 55 bracelets within the next year and a half.
Civil Rights Defenders says the bracelet was inspired by the case of Natalia Estemirova. Estemirova documented human rights abuses in Chechnya in the northern Caucaus region. In 2009, she was abducted and shot in the head.
Interested folks can sign up to get alerts from the Civil Rights Defenders bracelets. People may also donate to the program.
Insert hand or ankel in a bucket of water and remove bracelet. If it continues to work, the signal is unlickely to broadast very far and then you still have the opition of breaking it, while it is the bucket of water.
The concept is still a good idea.
Worse is the bad guys are motivated cut off the bracelet, hand and or ankel too.
With so few of them it seems unlikely they would recognize it
It also alerted the people that needed to be alerted and gave a position so even if it would be removed people would know about the alert and they would even know the most recent location.
In cases it wasn't removed a rescue could start while most of the time they can`t do this because they just don`t know where an aid worker was taken. Seems like a great tool for these European aid workers.
Sadly, Anylcon is correct. Kidnappers will almost certainly find some gruesome way around this...or they simply won't care if they are being tracked.
The kind of groups who kidnap already know that they are tracked...day in and day out...by all sorts of people...CIA, NSA, military intelligence, etc.
Unless these agencies feel confident that they can rescue an aid worker without significant loss of life to their teams, they won't try it.
And the kidnappers know this. And they are often quite cocky about it.
I hate to be real...
But probably the best course of action for anyone in harm's way is to either:
A) See the kidnappers coming well ahead of time, which means CONSTANT surveillance of one's surroundings, or
B) Be prepared to take a few kidnappers with you if you are caught...
Deciding on the latter course of action means KNOWING that you are going to die...not all kidnappers do kill...but distinguishing between those that kill and those that simply frighten their captives can be rather difficult.
In a kidnapping situation, it really IS up to the captives to decide how to get out of their predicament....at least until support can arrive.
But if the kidnappers DO plan to kill you, it will be shortly after abducting you.
So you normally have about a minute, at best, to decide what course of action to take.
Seriously flawed as a defense but probably a brilliant way to get the device (and organization) written up in credulous publications
All you need to kidnap someone wearing such a device is a cosh (or sand-filled sock) and some aluminum foil to wrap around the device.
As a "red flag" for "I'm important enough to kidnap", it's probably as good as driving a Bentley.
You guys are too smart for your own good.
The device is designed for a QUICK HELP MESSAGE. Period. It is designed, obviously, to be worn UNDER CLOTHING, not as some advertising for im important.
The design of this device is such that it is activated at the first sign of trouble. Its a race to the button, as it were.
I assure you, the wearer will be able to push the panic button before you get the bucket over the hand...
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clearly someone's missed the point completely; a brace/anklet of this type would:
A). give a direction and path of travel, if not the entire journey and place of captivity, rebel or terrorist base of operations along with prison location inside a camp were other captives would also be held, even if it was later cut off or submerged in water. (all extremely important intel.)
B). rescuers would require 48 hrs observation on a camp or building complex or an [apartment] building to locate captive(s), this bracelet would give information as to the captive is alive, location inside the building and the room, whether the person is awake, whether they're dead, sleeping or restrained (all major factors in rescue/recovery planning)
C). immediately raises the alarm when a [UN] workers' camp get raided or attacked by hostile forces to everyone near any electronic device (potentially to a camp alarm system), allowing security services to better respond and workers to hide or escape capture.
D). ANY AND ALL RESULTS that are BETTER a million billion trillion infinity times more than if the device was not present at all...
... several comments above this one are all "well I see this and this and this wrong with it so it's a bad idea and it wont do anything and that's my armchair know it all opinion so therefor it's right and the inventors who clearly have working knowledge of what the actual situation is on the ground for these workers and the rescuers' challenges that they face.. blah blah blah netgativity i'm holier than all of thou and my new account's name is anyicon now so heed all words I MUST place on every article ever on popsci no matter how irrelevant, pointless or trollacious"
Invention is the product of necessity .. if they didn't need something exactly like this.. they wouldn't have made it... and it sure as **** is impossible for it to make life any worse for a aid worker being held in a crap hole with a machete to their necks and camera in their face. WTF .. WTF indeed.. a case of head up ass "I'm smarter than the world!", or dropped on head as a baby.. you decide
I'm holier than all of thou, is you.
The concept of this device is good. I just do not like its shape or color. Part of any panic\duress button is to blend into the area and this device needs to be accessible while being comfortable.
To the bad guys, this device looks obvious and to the user it looks uncomfortable to wear. But, I am the kind of person who does not wear a watch or jewelry. You act like its design shape or color could not be adapted to anything else.