Judge Dredd's Lawgiver is just around the corner . .


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nalioth
November 16, 2009, 02:45 PM
Judge Dredd 'Black Box' recorder/spy kit for guns unveiled
An accident you say, sergeant? But you reloaded. Twice
By Lewis Page
Posted 16th November 2009 16:51 GMT


A major weapons manufacturer has exhibited a so-called "Black Box" which could be fitted to small arms - for instance rifles or submachine guns - and record details of every shot fired, potentially including location, target and even user identity.


http://www.novarata.net/images/fn_black_box.jpg
Government spy kit invades the last bastion of freedom.
The Black Box (http://www.fnherstal.com/index.php?id=272&backPID=266&productID=126&pid_product=298&pidList=266&categorySelector=8&detail=) has been developed by Belgian-headquartered company FN Herstal, a famous name in the gun world. The new gizmo goes on show tomorrow at the MILIPOL securo-expo in Paris.

The idea is that the Black Box electronics would be installed internally in a void space such as the pistol grip of an assault rifle. (It "fits in any weapon type", apparently.) The gadget would run on a non-replaceable battery lasting ten years or 100,000 shots - covering the weapon handily between major overhauls.

The initial uses of the Black Box would, according to FN, be in logistics and maintenance. The in-gun shot counter would keep track of how many rounds were being fired, updating a future soldier's digital comm/puter system - Land Warrior (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/10/30/green_berets_land_warrior/) or some similar rig - as it went, using some form of wearable networking.

Not only would the soldier then know automatically how many shots he had fired without the need to keep count or look at his magazines and pouches, but so would his team leader - and higher commanders would be warned in advance if their people seemed likely to run out of ammo.

From the armourer's point of view, a permanent record of how many rounds a gun has had put through it would be invaluable - and even more so, the knowledge of how rapidly they had been fired. Various parts of a weapon degrade much more rapidly when a gun is being fired fast, owing to the high temperatures reached. The Black Box would also keep a record of stoppages as well as successful shots, which would help in identifying faults.
But 'Black Boxes' aren't really for maintenance - they're for the subsequent investigation

So far, so uncontroversial. But FN seem to hint at other uses to which the gizmo might be put - indeed the choice of name offers a broad hint that investigations following a shooting or a firefight might make use of the records held in weapons used. Monitoring might go further than this, with the company saying:

The FN Black Box can also communicate useful information to the chain of command during a mission. It contains the identification number of the weapon and, thus, can indirectly identify the soldier. When coupled to a GPS, it can transmit its identification and localization data to the upper level of the command through the communication equipment of the soldier.

Most current and planned digital-soldier rigs already include GPS, in some cases enhanced by the use of other navigation aids. It seems that with the addition of Black Box, commanders may know not just how many shots their troops fire and when, but where they were as they did so - perhaps in real time. The scheme is somewhat reminiscent of the idea, sometimes suggested (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/05/08/washington_gun_tube_plan/) for US police, of automatic gun cameras intended to record the target of every shot fired for use in subsequent investigations.

Fans of Judge Dredd will recall that his personal sidearm, the Lawgiver pistol (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawgiver), had capabilities akin to this in some versions - perhaps going as far as the tagging of every round fired with the user's DNA signature. (Though in the movie, even this level of record-keeping didn't suffice to protect an innocent Dredd from being busted by his fellow judges for a crime he hadn't committed.)

FN don't mention DNA bullet-tagging specifically, but they do say that the Black Box is intended to form just part of their planned "Armatronics™" kit, "a fully integrated system of electronic solutions mounted on or inside a weapon. Additional enhancements for increased functionality to the system are on the horizon as new technologies are explored."

The introduction of such systems might be used as much to keep tabs on cops or troops as to help them out with logistics and maintenance. And Black Box guvmint gunbutt spy modules required in every licensed weapon, doubtless remotely accessible by federal busybodies, would seem like a vaguely plausible bogeyman to disturb the sleep of many a righteous, free, gun-toting American.

Even more chillingly for those who see personal weapons as a guarantee of freedom from government oppression, FN speak of the Black Box as a "weapon manager", hinting that feds, military superiors etc. might even be able to disable a gun remotely.Original Article (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11/16/black_boxes_for_guns/)

It is always interesting when fiction become fact.

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50caliber123
November 16, 2009, 02:55 PM
The Feds will probably make us US citizens purchase these devices when the time comes for a national registration period. part of "keeping us safe"

jnyork
November 16, 2009, 03:20 PM
Will be mandatory in California by Christmas. :banghead:

rcmodel
November 16, 2009, 03:28 PM
Oh great!

Another useless combat do-dad that takes batteries to make it work.
As if there aren't enough of those already!

rc

goon
November 16, 2009, 03:29 PM
I can see how it would make sense for the military as long as a malfunctioning unit doesn't result in a malfunctioning weapon.

rbernie
November 16, 2009, 03:35 PM
I can see how it would make sense for the military How?

kingpin008
November 16, 2009, 04:10 PM
The Feds will probably make us US citizens purchase these devices when the time comes for a national registration period. part of "keeping us safe"

Wow, second post! I think that beats the record for the tinfoil-hat brigade! Oops, gotta go - the sky is falling! :evil:

Zoogster
November 16, 2009, 04:22 PM
Most of which would be destroyed by an EMP.

How many new electronic gizmos are shielded against EMP like they were during the Cold War?

Could a high altitude nuke kill most of the military electronics of the nation like it could most civilian electronics?
Now it may simply be passive, but any system which requires the electronics be utilized during operation is less reliable.

Will they all be waterproof so when the gun ends up underwater the battery or circuit does not short out?


hinting that feds, military superiors etc. might even be able to disable a gun remotely.
Oh that is wonderful, a good hacker could turn off the guns of soldiers, police, or even civilian home owners!
Such devices would become standard for SWAT teams and paramilitary teams around the world, like cell phone jammers are right now.

That reminds me of the cars they equip with remote disabling systems.
Can you see some individual driving around with a laptop turning people's engines off on the freeway?
Or maybe even more sinister, some predator making someone's car not work, so they pull over on the side of the road thinking something broke?
Can already be done by a good hacker. Many vehicles can be disabled remotely through the Onstar system or various lowjack type systems.

Now maybe they can hack into thier concealed carry firearm and turn it off as well!

Jamming cell phones is easy as well.

So you could turn off someone's vehicle, jam thier cell phone, and with this new technology turn off thier gun as well!
The things someone can do with a laptop these days.

SDC
November 16, 2009, 04:25 PM
"The things someone can do with a laptop these days."

Laptop? That's the latest IPhone app. :-)

mljdeckard
November 16, 2009, 04:49 PM
Looks like a........SMART gun or something.

How will it track the ID of the firer? If it tracks fingerprints, they could wear gloves. The only thing I can think of is that the firer will wear something like a ring or a tag that the gun recognizes. Which AGAIN, WILL ONLY TRACK PEOPLE IN THE SYSTEM. It will not track criminals at all.

The idea of a gun that can be disabled by someone other than the user is absolutely unacceptable, PERIOD.

Zoogster
November 16, 2009, 04:55 PM
"The things someone can do with a laptop these days."

Laptop? That's the latest IPhone app. :-)

Still needs a laptop with something that operates on the right frequencies plugged in. IPhones and cell phones operate on a very limited frequency range that will by unlikely to overlap such devices.

Look up the FCC band plan for just the basics of what frequencies electronics must operate on by law. You can open up almost any device and see what signal range it will operate in by what is on the circuit.

Most electronic devices can only communicate within a limited signal range, and that is mandated by federal law. Some devices can be altered to work within a slightly larger range, or with more power than FCC regulations, but still are physically limited. The laws governing these things are so the limited available frequencies can be maximized, and so important frequencies like aircraft communications are not overpowered and receive interference from less important signals.
But anyone with basic electronic skills can make something that transmits within any desired range. Then it is just a matter of software to make it do what is desired.


Actually communicating with a device though requires some software. The easiest way to figure out what was required would be to reverse engineer the device intended to be targeted or intercept data being sent to it.
Whether it is a lowjack or onstar system to remotely disable vehicles, or a firearm electronic system to turn off guns (or maybe even alter the stored data, bringing a Judge Dredd type conviction even closer to reality.)

The expansion of remote control options on devices and increasing installation of electronics even in devices which do not need them is greatly expanding the potential for micromanagement of populations on an unbelievable scale.




There is also have EMP weapons that can simply destroy unshielded electronics. They are easy to build. Look up a HERF gun. There is also microwave guns and other technology that can either interfere with or damage unshielded electronics.
Any modern unshielded electronic can be fried with an easy to make directional gun.
Parts from a few discarded appliances could be used to create a rather nasty directional item nearly for free. (If you don't know what you are doing screwing with something like a magnetron is a good way to go blind or radiate yourself.) Someone can even build a really powerful low tech cavity magnetron relatively cheap from scrap metal operating in a wide range of intended frequencies.
Nevermind EMP grenades, such as flux compression generators which are no more complex than your typical shaped charge.
Making the firearms of a military force vulnerable to EMP would be beyond stupid.

Anything that depends on electronics to function is vulnerable. Even just a passive device which gives the ability to monitor could pose a danger. Do you really want savvy enemy to be able to monitor or communicate with electronic devices carried by soldiers?
To check thier status?
See how much ammo is in thier weapons? (Which of course would result in a need for counter intelligence devices being made, and intentional misinformation being given to those attempting to monitor them.)
Or even just determine where they are based on the electronic's signal? Sounds like a good way for an enemy to determine where to send mortars.
Of course as high tech as some military units already are, it wouldn't be the first device than enabled a tech savvy enemy to exploit such strengths as weaknesses.

gunnutery
November 17, 2009, 02:05 AM
I'm kinda disapointed in FN Herstal. What exactly is the underlying meaning on why they developed this in the first place? Is it distrust, or just a helping hand in understanding battlefield tendancies, or something else that I'm not thinking of?

marine1
November 17, 2009, 03:53 AM
This is called selling to government to get contracts. Marketing to government, and doing it well can pay off BIG time. That is really all this is. Government has become the largest spender the earth has ever known. Why not market stuff to the only entity that can make it's own "money" out of thin air. I see cops getting this eventually, and it will be helpful in getting to the truth after these "spray and pray" no knock raids. This black box has no real use for civilians (a.k.a. citizens), and can't do what government WISHES it could to do us. The "smart" gun, as portrayed in the movies, is never coming. Mandatory trigger locks and selective gun bans are more likely. Retrofitting 500 million+ guns with "smart" technology will never happen.

RP88
November 17, 2009, 04:40 AM
ummm...so, so it doesn't really do anything useful at all?

berettaprofessor
November 17, 2009, 08:08 AM
Bring it on, my antique, unrecorded arms will just go up in value.

HKUSP45C
November 17, 2009, 09:24 AM
What exactly is the underlying meaning on why they developed this in the first place?

They probably wanted to do something crazy, like, I don't know, make money and stuff.

Government agencies eat logistics schemes up, especially when they can get more data than is needed for the same price. FN recognizes a market and has entered it in, seemingly, an elegant and sophisticated manner. I say kudos to them, they shpould be able to make a small fortune on the EU police forces alone.

jobu07
November 17, 2009, 09:50 AM
The initial uses of the Black Box would, according to FN, be in logistics and maintenance. The in-gun shot counter would keep track of how many rounds were being fired, updating a future soldier's digital comm/puter system - Land Warrior or some similar rig - as it went, using some form of wearable networking.

Seems like this is why they want to "use" it initially. Another solution to a problem that doesn't exist. We use 2404's to record how many rounds you fire through a weapon each time you do maintenance to it. At least the end user is supposed to record how many rounds he put through it...

MarineOne
November 17, 2009, 10:20 AM
I could see how this would help with round count and maintenance, but the reality is you would need some kind of reader (think USB, BlueTooth, or RFID technology) to get the data out of the weapon. And it doesn't mention how difficult (or easy) it is to disable the device, i.e, pull the battery out as it looks like a single store bought Energizer AAA.

It does, however, put us one step closer to what the Lawgiver pistol did in Judge Dredd .... tagging rounds with shooter identifiable information, whether DNA based or some kind of serial number, perhaps even your CCW license number.

Of course technology like this could easily be hacked ..... almost like the movie.



Kris

SuperNaut
November 17, 2009, 10:40 AM
Why doesn't the cycling of the firearm charge the battery? I think they missed a trick there...

DAVIDSDIVAD
November 17, 2009, 10:57 AM
How would the shot counter account for tactical reloads etc...?

highorder
November 17, 2009, 11:07 AM
Why doesn't the cycling of the firearm charge the battery? I think they missed a trick there...

THR. We dont make your products, we make your products better.

DAVIDSDIVAD
November 17, 2009, 12:04 PM
I think the reason they don't let you replace batteries is so that they have to buy new units

Kaeto
November 17, 2009, 12:14 PM
Also in Judge Dredd the reason that Rico was able to get Dredd in trouble is that they were both clones of the same person, and so had the same DNA.

Dimis
November 18, 2009, 01:27 AM
they will make wonderful targets and nothing more

gunnutery
November 18, 2009, 05:29 AM
They probably wanted to do something crazy, like, I don't know, make money and stuff.

I considered that a given. I just thought that they'd want to appeal to people other than the mayor of New York City.

Ragnar Danneskjold
November 18, 2009, 09:30 AM
And the fact that anyone with some basic mechanical knowledge will be able to take this device out of the gun?

HKUSP45C
November 18, 2009, 09:55 AM
I considered that a given. I just thought that they'd want to appeal to people other than the mayor of New York City.


And the fact that anyone with some basic mechanical knowledge will be able to take this device out of the gun?

I think you're both missing a very important point. There is nothing in the article that even *hints* that this device is targeted for civilian use. For .mil, LEO and security forces this is a huge bonus for bean counters and will likely be the "norm" in service weapons sometime in the near future.

As for taking the device out of the gun, who would do something so blatant that could get them fired or, in the case of military, jailed?

It isn't a plot to control citizens, it's a plot to track professionals.

lechiffre
November 18, 2009, 11:11 AM
I can see how it would make sense for the military


How?

by allowing the brass to decide if the proper "rules of engagement" have been satisfied before they turn the soldiers gun on

7X57chilmau
November 18, 2009, 11:23 AM
It isn't a plot to control citizens, it's a plot to track professionals.

You can't be that naive! Implement in LEO/.mil applications, use that to perfect the product, then mandate its installation on new private firearms...

Thin edge of the wedge. This is a lawyer device, not unlike multiple safeties and locks on modern firearms.

J

Mandolin
November 18, 2009, 11:35 AM
Quote:
I can see how it would make sense for the military

Quote:
How?

by allowing the brass to decide if the proper "rules of engagement" have been satisfied before they turn the soldiers gun on

A perfect way to ge men killed. Their weaposnare unusable while some Washington bueracrat decides they don't need to fire.

HKUSP45C
November 18, 2009, 12:58 PM
You can't be that naive! Implement in LEO/.mil applications, use that to perfect the product, then mandate its installation on new private firearms...

Thin edge of the wedge. This is a lawyer device, not unlike multiple safeties and locks on modern firearms.

First, I'm not naive in the least, I'm as worldy, experienced and cynical as they come.

Second, it serves absolutely no purpose, whatsoever, in a citizen's gun as it's currently implemented. For a lawyer or even "Big Brother." It can only gather a few data points as it is and none of them have any way of being traced to a specific user. The .gov in ANY incarnation could absolutely NOT keep up with data points streaming in from 500 million civilian weapons. To think they can is madness.

What makes this device especially attractive to professionals is that they only have to monitor a finite amount of data points and for only a finite amount of users for very specific purposes.

Finally, last I checked locks and safties on guns are provided by the manufacturers at their discretion for liability purposes, not because the .gov is trying to herd us all into cattle cars after "The Great Disarmament."

The kind of rhetoric quoted above is very nearly the definition of "tempest in a teapot." And I'm the "naive" one. :rolleyes:

Joe Demko
November 18, 2009, 01:32 PM
Nothing in the article says one word about "turning guns on or off." The gadget is an electronic counter and recording device, nothing more. It can apparently also be tied in with a gps unit to monitor location. Everything else, especially the more paranoid rantings in this thread, are the product of your imaginations.

HKUSP45C
November 18, 2009, 01:38 PM
Joe, stop being so rational ... some of the posters in this thread will assume you're a plant put here to watch us by "The Man."

Joe Demko
November 18, 2009, 02:01 PM
The gadget isn't even remarkable technologically. Right this very second, you could duplicate its functions with easily written iPhone apps and tuck the iPhone in the butt stock of an M-16.
Using either the inertial sensor or the microphone to detect the shots is easy.
An electronic counter of the shots is easy.
Recording time between shots (rate of fire) is easy.
Retrieving the data, either wirelessly or via cable is easy.
The iPhone can already broadcast its physical location.
iPhones already have a unique device serial number.

Yeah...this black box just scares the pee out me.:rolleyes:

HKUSP45C
November 18, 2009, 02:06 PM
The iPhone can already broadcast its physical location.

This device can't, it has to be coupled with a GPS and use the soldiers comms to achieve that feat.

Joe Demko
November 18, 2009, 02:08 PM
Clearly, then, the iPhone is superior and, therefore, even more sinister.

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