SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL OPTIONS ASSESSMENT
AN APPRAISAL OF TECHNOLOGIES
OF POLITICAL CONTROL
Luxembourg, 6 January 1998
PE 166 499
Directorate General for Research
Title: An appraisal of technologies for political control
Publisher: European Parliament
Directorate General for Research
The STOA Programme
Author: Mr. Steve Wright - Omega Foundation - Manchester
Editor: Mr. Dick Holdsworth
Head of STOA Unit
Date: 6 January 1998
PE Number: PE 166 499
This document is a working document. The current version is being circulated for consultation. It is not an official publication of STOA or of the European Parliament. This document does not necessarily represent the views of the European Parliament.AN APPRAISAL OF THE TECHNOLOGY OF POLITICAL CONTROL
The objectives of this report are fourfold: (i) to provide Members of the European Parliament with a guide to recent advances in the technology of political control; (ii) to identify, analyse and describe the current state of the art of the most salient developments; (iii) to present members with an account of current trends, both in Europe and Worldwide; and (iv) to develop policy recommendations covering regulatory strategies for their management and future control.
The report contains seven substantive sections which cover respectively:
(i) The role and function of the technology of political control;
(ii) Recent trends and innovations (including the implications of globalisation, militarisation of police equipment, convergence of control systems deployed worldwide and the implications of increasing technology and decision drift);
(iii) Developments in surveillance technology (including the emergence of new forms of local, national and international communications interceptions networks and the creation of human recognition and tracking devices);
(iv) Innovations in crowd control weapons (including the evolution of a 2nd. generation of so called 'less-lethal weapons' from nuclear labs in the USA).
(v) The emergence of prisoner control as a privatised industry, whilst state prisons face increasing pressure to substitute technology for staff in cost cutting exercises and the social and political implications of replacing policies of rehabilitation with strategies of human warehousing.
(v) The use of science and technology to devise new efficient mark-free interrogation and torture technologies and their proliferation from the US & Europe.
(vi) The implications of vertical and horizontal proliferation of this technology and the need for an adequate political response by the EU, to ensure it neither threatens civil liberties in Europe, nor reaches the hands of tyrants.
The report makes a series of policy recommendations including the need for appropriate codes of practice. It ends by proposing specific areas where further research is needed to make such regulatory controls effective. The report includes a comprehensive bibliographical survey of some of the most relevant literature.AN APPRAISAL OF THE TECHNOLOGY OF POLITICAL CONTROL
The objectives of this report are fourfold: (i) to provide Members of the European Parliament with a guide to recent advances in the technology of political control; (ii) to identify. analyze and describe the current state of the art of the most salient developments; (iii) to present members with an account of current trends, both in Europe and Worldwide; and (iv) to develop policy recommendations covering regulatory strategies for their management and future control.
The report includes a large selection of illustrations to provide Members of Parliament with a good idea of the scope of current technology together with a representative flavour of what lies on the horizon. The report contains seven substantive sections, which can be summarised as follows:THE ROLE & FUNCTION OF POLITICAL CONTROL TECHNOLOGIES
This section takes into account the multi-functionality of much of this technology and its role in yielding an extension of the scope, efficiency and growth of policing power. It identifies the continuum of control which stretches from modem law enforcement to advanced state suppression, the difference being the level of democratic accountability in the manner in which such technologies are applied.RECENT TRENDS & INNOVATIONS
Taking into account the problems of regulation and control and the potential possessed by some of these technologies to undermine international human rights legislation, the section examines recent trends and innovations. This section covers the trend towards militarisation of the police technologies and the paramilitarisation of military technologies with an overall technological and decision drift towards worldwide convergence of nearly all the technologies of political control.
Specific advances in area denial, identity recognition, surveillance systems based on neural networks, discreet order vehicles, new arrest and restraint methods and the emergence of so called 'less lethal weapons' are presented. The section also looks at a darker side of technological development including the rise of more powerful restraint, torture, killing and execution technologies and the role of privatised enterprises in promoting it.
The EU is recommended to: (i) develop appropriate structures of accountability to prevent undesirable innovations emerging via processes of technological creep or decision drift; (ii) ensure that the process of adopting new systems for use in internal social and political control is transparent, open to appropriate political scrutiny and subject to democratic change should unwanted or unanticipated consequences emerge; (iii) prohibit, or subject to stringent and democratic controls, any class of technology which has been shown in the past to be excessively injurious, cruel, inhumane or indiscriminate in its effects.DEVELOPMENTS IN SURVEILLANCE TECHNOLOGY
This section addresses the rapid and virtually unchecked proliferation of surveillance devices and capacity amongst both the private and public sectors. It discusses recent innovations which allow bugging, telephone monitoring, visual surveillance during night or day over large distances and the emergence of new forms of local, national and international communications interceptions networks and the creation of human recognition and tracking devices.
The EU is recommended to subject all surveillance technologies, operations and practices to: (i) procedures ensuring democratic accountability; (ii) proper codes of practice consistent with Data protection legislation to prevent malpractice or abuse; (iii) agreed criteria on what constitutes legitimate surveillance targets, and what does not, and how such surveillance data is stored, processed and shared. These controls should be more effectively targeted at malpractice or illegal tapping by private companies and regulation further tightened to include additional safeguards against abuse as well as appropriate financial redress.
The report discusses a massive telecommunications interceptions network operating within Europe and targeting the telephone, fax and email messages of private citizens, politicians, trade unionists and companies alike. This global surveillance machinery (which is partially controlled by foreign intelligence agencies from outside of Europe) has never been subject to proper parliamentary discussion on its role and function, or the need for limits to be put on the scope and extent of its activities.
This section suggests that that time has now arrived and proposes a series of measures to initiate this process of reclaiming democratic accountability over such systems. It is suggested that all telephone interceptions by Member States should be subject to consistent criteria and procedures of public accountability and codes of practice. These should equally apply to devices which automatically create profiles of telephone calls and pattern analysis and require similar legal requirements to those applied for telephone or fax interception.
It is suggested that the rapid proliferation of CCTV systems in many Member States should be subject to a common and consistent set of codes of practice to ensure that such systems are used for the purpose for which they were authorised, that there is an effective assessment and audit of their use annually and an adequate complaints system is in place to deal with any grievances by ordinary people.
The report recommends that such codes of practice anticipate technical change including the digital revolution which is currently in process, and ensure that each and every such advance is subject to a formal assessment of both the expected as well as the possible unforeseen implications.INNOVATIONS IN CROWD CONTROL WEAPONS
This section addresses the evolution of new crowd control weapons, their legitimation, biomedical and political effects. It examines the specific introduction of new chemical, kinetic and electrical weapons, the level of accountability in the decision making and the political use of such technologies to disguise the level of violence being deployed by state security forces.
The research used to justify the introduction of such technologies as safe is reanalysed and found to be wanting. Areas covered in more depth include CS and OC gas sprays, rubber and plastic bullets, multi-purpose riot tanks, and the facility of such technologies to exact punishment, with the possibility that they may also bring about anti-state retaliatory aggression which can further destabilise political conflict.
This section briefly analyses recent innovations in crowd control weapons (including the evolution of a 2nd. generation of so called 'less-lethal weapons' from nuclear labs in the USA) and concludes that they are dubious weapons based on dubious and secret research. The Commission should be requested to report to Parliament on the existence of formal liaison arrangements between the EU and the USA to introduce such weapons for use in streets and prisons here.
The EU is also recommended to (i) establish objective common criteria for assessing the biomedical effects of all so called less lethal weapons and ensure any future authorization is based on independent research; (ii) ensure that all research used to justify the deployment of any new crowd control weapon in the EU is published in the open scientific press and subject to independent scientific scrutiny, before any authorization is given to deploy.
In the meantime the Parliament is asked to reaffirm its current ban on plastic bullets and that all deployment of devices using peppergas (OC) be halted until such a time as independent European research on its risks has been undertaken and published.NEW PRISON CONTROL SYSTEMS
This section reports on the emergence of prisoner control as a privatised industry, whilst state prisons face increasing pressure to substitute technology for staff in cost cutting exercises. It expresses concern about the social and political implications of replacing policies of rehabilitation with strategies of human warehousing and recommends common criteria for licensing all public and private prisons within the EU.
At minimum this should cover operators responsibilities and prisoners rights in regard to rehabilitation requirements; UN Minimum Treatment of Prisoners rules banning the use of leg irons; the regulation and use of psychotropic drugs to control prisoners; the use of riot control, prisoner transport, restraint and extraction technologies.
The report recommends a ban on (i) all automatic, mass. indiscriminate prisoner punishment technologies using less lethal instruments such as chemical irritant or baton rounds; (ii) kill fencing and lethal area denial systems; and (iii) all use of electro-shock, stun and electric restraint technology until and unless independent medical evidence can prove that it safe and will not contribute to either deaths in custody or inhumane treatment, torture or other cruel and unusual punishments.INTERROGATION, TORTURE TECHNIQUES AND TECHNOLOGIES
This section discusses the use of science and technology to devise new efficient mark-free interrogation and torture technologies and their proliferation from the US & Europe. Of particular concern is the use and abuse of electroshock devices and their proliferation. It is recommended that the commercial sale of both training in counter terror operations and any equipment which might be used in torture and execution, should be controlled by the criteria and measures outlined in the next section.REGULATION OF HORIZONTAL PROLIFERATION
The implications for civil liberties and human rights of both the vertical and horizontal proliferation of this technology are literally awesome. There is a pressing need for an adequate political response by the EU, to ensure it neither threatens civil liberties in Europe, nor reaches the hands of tyrants. The European Council agreed in Luxembourg in 1991 and in Lisbon in 1992 a set of eight Common Criteria for Arms Exports which set out conditions which should govern all decisions relating to the issue of licences for the export of arms and ammunition, one condition of which was "the respect of human rights in the country of final destination."
Other conditions also relate to the overall protection of human rights. However these eight criteria are not binding on member states and there is no common interpretation on how they should be most effectively implemented. However, a code of conduct to achieve such an agreement was drawn up and endorsed by over 1000 Non-Governmental Organizations based in the European Union.
Whilst it is recognised that it is not the role of existing EU institutions to implement such measures as vetting and issuing of export licences, which are undertaken by national agencies of the EU Member States, it has been suggested by Amnesty International that the joint action procedure which was used to establish EU regulations on Export of Dual use equipment could be used to take such a code of practice further.
Amnesty suggest that the EU Member States should use the Joint Action procedures to draw up common lists of (i) proscribed military, security and police equipment and technology, the sole or primary use of which is to contribute to human rights violations; (ii) sensitive types of military, security or police equipment and technology which has been shown in practice to be used for human rights violations; and (iii) military, security and police units and forces which have been sufficiently responsible for human rights violations and to whom sensitive goods and services should not be provided. The report makes recommendations to help facilitate this objective of denying repressive regimes access to advanced repression technologies made or supplied from Europe.FURTHER RESEARCH
The report concludes by proposing a series of areas where new research is required including: (i) advanced area denial and less-lethal weapon systems; (ii) human identity recognition and tracking technologies; (iii) the deployment of 'dum-dum' ammunition within the EU; (iv) the constitutional issues raised by the U.S. National Security Agency's access and facility to intercept all European telecommunications; (v) the social and political implications of further privatisation of the technologies of political control and (vi) the extent to which European based companies have been complicit in supplying equipment used for torture or other human rights violations and what new independent measures might be instituted to track such transfers.
1 Introduction 1
2 Role and Function of Political Control Technologies 3
3 Recent Trends and Innovations 6
4 Developments in Surveillance Technology 15
5 Innovations in Crowd Control Weapons 22
6 New Prison Control Systems 40
7 Interrogation, Torture Techniques and Technologies 44
8 Regulation of Horizontal Proliferation 53
9 Conclusions 59
10 Notes and References 60
11 Bibliography [Not transcribed here] 73
Appendix 1. Military, Security & Police Fairs. [Not provided with report] ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Whilst sole responsibility for the accuracy and contents of this study rest with the authors, the Omega Foundation would like to thank the following individuals and organisations for providing information and assistance to compile this report:
Professor Jonathan Rosenhead of the London School of Economics, London, U.K; Simon Davies and David Banisar of the London and Washington branches of Privacy International; Tony Bunyan & Trevor Hemmings of Statewatch, London; John Stevenson, House of Commons, London; Julian Perry Robinson of Sussex University; Detlef Nogala of the University of Hamburg; Heiner Busch Of CILIP, Berlin; Hilary Kitchin of the Local Government Information Unit, London; The Committee For The Administration of Justice, Belfast; David Eisenberg, Center For Defense Information, Washington; Terry Allen of Covert Action Quarterly, Washington; Brian Wood of the International Secretariat of Amnesty International, London; Kate O'Malley of Amnesty International U.K. Section London; Human Rights Watch, Washington; Lora Lumpe and Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists, Washington; Brian Martin of the University of Wollongong, Australia; Cathy Rodgers of RDF Films, London; Martyn Gregory Films, London and Dr. Ray Downs, Program Manager of Technology Development, U.S. National Institute for Justice, Washington.
Thanks are due to the Press officers serving the Northern Ireland Office, the British Army and RUC Information Offices between 1976 - 1982, who provided the comprehensive statistical data required to perform the quantitative analysis outlined in section 5.
We would also like to thank David Hoffman for permission to use many of the black and white images used to illustrate the text.1. INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this report is to explore the most recent developments in the technology of political control and the major consequences associated with their integration into processes and strategies of policing and internal control. A brief look at the historical development of this concept is instructive.
Twenty five years ago, the British Society for Social Responsibility in Science warned that a new technology of repression was being spawned in an effort to contain the conflict in Northern Ireland. (B.S.S.R.S., 1972). In 1977, members of BSSRS took this concept further in a seminal work, the Technology of Political Control (Ackroyd et. al., 1977). BSSRS analysed the role and function of this technology in terms of a new apparatus largely created as a result of research and development undertaken as part of Britain's colonial wars, (most recently in the ongoing Northern Ireland conflict), and whose main purpose was quelling internal dissent.
According to critical U.S. NGO research organisations of that period such as NARMIC & NACLA, work on this technology of political control was further enhanced by technical developments achieved by the United States' military industrial complex, largely as a result of the extended global military interests of the U.S., and its deployment of highly technocratic counter-insurgency doctrines, particularly during the Vietnam War.1
Up until that period, shrewd commentators on technology and society such as Haabermas Ellul (1964) recognised the potential risk of a specific loss of traditional freedoms and civil liberties associated with broad technological advances in the future, such as surveillance. However, BSSRS was the first group of scientists and technologists to identify and characterise a whole class of technology whose principal designated function was to achieve social and political control.
In Ackroyd et. al (1977), BSSRS. defined the technology of political control as "a new type of weaponry." "It is the product of the application of science and technology to the problem of neutralising the state's internal enemies. It is mainly directed at civilian populations, and is not intended to kill (and only rarely does). It is aimed as much at hearts and minds as at bodies." For BSSRS, "This new weaponry ranges from means of monitoring internal dissent to devices for controlling demonstrations; from new techniques of interrogation to methods of prisoner control. The intended and actual effects of these new technological aids are both broader and more complex than the more lethal weaponry they complement."
The concept of technology has many and varied interpretations. As emphasised in the interim report (Omega 1996), the definition adopted for the purposes of this work encompasses not just the 'hardware' - the tools, instruments, machines, appliances, weapons and gadgets (i.e. the apparatus of technical performance); but also the associated standard operating procedures, routines, skills, techniques (the software); and the related forms of rationalised human social organisations, arrangements, systems and networks (the liveware) of any programme of political control.2 In other words, it is insufficient to describe developments in a purely technical sense, it is also necessary to consider these technologies as social and political factors.3
When first published in 1977, 'The Technology of Political Control' anticipated that the deployment of these technologies in Northern Ireland, which acted as a laboratory for their future development, would spread to mainland Britain. For BSSRS, governments would no longer reach for the machine gun when threatened at home.
It will have plastic bullets which kill only occasionally, depth interrogation which tortures without leaving physical scars. It uses electronics for telephone tapping and night surveillance; computers to build files on actual or potential dissidents. NARMIC also warned that this technology was not just reserved for low intensity conflicts overseas but would return to be used to quell dissent on the homefront.(NARMlC, 1971) Little by little this has happened.
There have been quite awesome changes in the technologies available to states for internal control since the first BSSRS publication, a quarter of a century ago. So many new technologies have been created that specialist publications have emerged to service the burgeoning market.4 In the limited space available here, it is not possible to describe all the many new technologies which have been developed.
However, a broad selection of illustrations have been incorporated (at the end of the report), to give MEPs a good idea of the scope of the current technology and a representative flavour of what lies on the horizon. An extensive bibliography has been provided for those Members of the European Parliament wishing to explore specific areas and implications in more depth.5
For the purposes of this report and its focus on appraising subsequent developments in the technology of political control, it is worth focussing on the same areas of Technology covered by BSSRS, which have not already been the subject of recent STOA reports.
Whilst the need to examine the critical role of Northern Ireland in the evolution of some of these technologies makes the overall assessment somewhat anglo-centric, every effort has been made to show evidence of the proliferation and impact of this technology in other European countries and worldwide by naming the actual companies and corporations involved in both manufacture and supply.
Taking into account the multi-functionality of much of this technology, Section 2. of this report explores its role and function and the continuum of control which stretches from modern law enforcement to advanced state suppression. With specific reference to problems of regulation and control and the potential some of these technologies present for undermining international human rights legislation, Section 3. provides a analysis of recent trends and innovations.
Section 4. explores current developments In surveillance technology, from bugs and wiretapping to new global systems of mass supervision and telecommunications surveillance already approved by the European Union. Section 5. discusses the political and biomedical implications of innovations in crowd control weapons including the prospect of a 2nd. generation of paralysing and disabling technologies currently being developed by former US nuclear weapons laboratories, together with the secret arrangements to incorporate such technologies into EU policing practices and export markets.
Section 6. is devoted to the emergence of new prison control systems and the prospects of privatised multinational prison corporations transforming crime control into industry. Section 7. presents evidence of Research & Development devoted to the creation of new interrogation, torture techniques & technologies which leave few marks and the growing role of EU member states and their allies in creating export markets for supplying this equipment to tyrannical states.
The report ends with an examination of the whole question of future regulation of the vertical & horizontal proliferation of this dual use technology, in the face of relatively weak democratic controls on its manufacture, deployment and export.
Some of these technologies are highly sensitive politically and without proper regulation can threaten or undermine many of the human rights enshrined in international law, such as the rights of assembly, privacy, due process, freedom of political and cultural expression and protection from torture, arbitrary arrest, cruel and inhumane punishments and extra-judicial execution. Proper oversight of developments in political control technologies is further complicated by the phenomena of 'bureaucratic capture' where senior officials control their ministers rather than the other way round Politicians both at European and sovereign state level, whom citizens of the community have presumed will be monitoring any excesses or abuse of this technology on their behalf, are sometimes systematically denied the information they require to do that job.
Therefore possible areas of policy change are presented at the end of each section, which could bring much of this technology back within the reach of democratic control and accountability, as well as suggesting some further areas of future research.2. THE ROLE & FUNCTION OF POLITICAL CONTROL TECHNOLOGIES
Throughout the Nineties, many governments have spent huge sums on the research, development, procurement and deployment of new technology for their police, para-military and internal security forces.6 The objective of this development work has been to increase and enhance each agency's policing capacities.
A dominant assumption behind this technocratisation of the policing process, is the belief that it has created both a faster policing response time and a greater cost-effectiveness. The main aim of all this effort has been to save policing resources by either automating certain control, amplifying the rate of particular activities, or decreasing the number of officers required to perform them.7
The resultant innovations in the technology of political control have been functionally designed to yield an extension of the scope, efficiency and growth of policing power. The extent to which this process can be judged to be a legitimate one depends both on one's point of view and the level of secrecy and accountability built into the overall procurement and deployment procedures. There are essentially two opposing schools of thought.
The first school of thought identifies developments in policing technology with efficiency, cost-effectiveness and modernisation. This school believes that the police and internal security agencies require the most up to date forms of equipment to fight crime, mob-rule and terrorism. Sophisticated law enforcement is viewed as value free and state security agencies are considered to be in the best position to determine their operational requirements.
(See Applegate 1969), New technologies aid the police by ensuring that messages are rapidly received and dealt with, personnel are freed for other duties and overall efficiency is enhanced. Only those with something to hide need fear the enlarged data gathering capacities of police computers. Modern riot technology is presented as a much preferred non-lethal alternative to the use of guns and the police should always be allowed to use 'minimum force when dealing with actual or potential law breakers.
Existing controls and regulations governing the use of this technology are considered by adherents of this school to have been adequately designed to ensure that no misuse takes place. Advanced police technology is therefore understood in this context as an invaluable aid to upholding the freedoms cherished as inalienable rights by citizens living in Western Liberal democracies. Its export to other countries sharing the same economic and ideological views, is viewed as an opportunity to help modernise law enforcement and buttress mutual stability, law and order.
The opposing school of thought on the other hand views police technology and the associated 'policing revolution' quite differently (See Manwaring-White, 1983). They believe that innovations in political control technology has put powerful new tools at the disposal of states in need of technical fixes for their most pressing and intractable social and political problems.
It is at the point where authority fails that repression begins (Hoefnagels, 1977) and at that point an illegitimate government will use more force just to keep the lid on.(See Chart.1a.) As the crisis deepens, further force is required and the role of technology in such a situation is to act as a force amplifier. Once the shaded area is reached (Chart.1b), terror becomes the only government service.
New police technologies are perceived to be one of the most important factors in attempting sub-state conflict control. Such 'control' is viewed as more apparent than real, but serves the purpose of disguising the level of coercive repression being applied.
This school of thought argues that once operationally deployed, these technologies exert a profound effect on the character of policing. Whether these changes are symptom or cause of the ensuing change in policing organisations, a major premise of this school of thought is that a range of unforeseen impacts are associated with the process of integrating these technologies into a society's social, political and cultural control systems.
The full implications of such developments may take time to assess but they are often more important and far reaching than the first order intended effects. It is argued that one impact of this process is the militarisation of the police and the para-militarisation of the army as their roles, equipment and procedures begin to overlap. This phenomena is seen as having far reaching consequences on the way that future episodes of sub-state violence is handled, and influencing whether those involved are reconciled, managed, repressed, 'lost' or efficiently destroyed.
Police telematics and their use of databanks (the subject of an earlier STOA report in this area) for example, facilitate prophylactic or pre-emptive policing as 'data-veillance' is harnessed to target certain strata or classes of people rather than resolve individual crimes. (E.g. the proposed introduction of the Eurodac system which will utilise biometric information to control and restrict the entry of all Asylum seekers into Europe, building in the process a new technopolitics of exclusion).8
New surveillance technology can exert a powerful 'chill effect' on those who might wish to take a dissenting view and few will risk exercising their right to democratic protest if the cost is punitive riot policing with equipment which may lead to permanent injury or loss of life. As highlighted in the interim report, the human response to the deployment of such technologies may be counter-intuitive and render progressive, deployments of newer more powerful systems either obsolete or dysfunctional. This possibility is discussed in greater detail below.
Any evaluation of these opposing schools of thought needs to identify common ground since few would doubt that there are fundamental changes taking place in the types of tactics techniques and technologies available to internal security agencies for policing purposes. Yet many questions remain unanswered, unconsidered or under-researched. Why for example did such a transformation in the technology used for socio-political control dramatically change over the last twenty five years?
Is there any significance in the fact that former communist regimes in the Warsaw Treaty Organisation and continuing centralised economic systems such as China, are beginning to adopt such technologies? What are the reasons behind a global convergence of the technology of political control deployed in the North and South, the East and West? What are the factors responsible for generating the adoption of such new policing technology - was it technology push or demand pull?
What new tools for policing lie on the horizon and what are the dynamics behind the process of innovation and the need for a vast arsenal of different kinds of technology rather than just a few? Are the many ways this technology affects the policing process fully understood? Who controls the patterns of police technology procurement and what are the corporate influences?
In deciding between these schools of thought, we need to determine the extent to which future innovation is about the maintenance of existing power relationships, rather than citizen protection In other words, the extent to which their deployment ensures that only certain permitted ways of behaving are allowed to continue without interference.
Since this technology provides a continuum of flexible responses or options, perhaps the overriding factor is the extent to which its development and deployment is subject to democratic control. Is the process of regulation democratically accountable or are there more hidden processes at work? Do these technologies proliferate, if so why and how and what are the most important mechanisms or processes involved?
Since all this technology represents an unequal distribution of coercive power, it is important for Members of the European Parliament to be satisfied that sufficient democratic control is exercised to ensure that such powers are not abused and that unwanted technological and decision drift is adequately checked. Whilst the Interim Report (Omega, 1996) provided a brief analysis of the role and function of specific classes of political control technology, what follows is an analysis of the state of the art in certain key areas of this technology which the authors believe warrant further scrutiny.3. RECENT TRENDS & INNOVATIONS
Since the 'Technology of Political Control' was first written (Ackroyd et al.,1977) there has been a profusion of technological innovations for police, paramilitary, intelligence and internal security forces. Many of these are simple advances on the technologies available in the 1970's. Others such as automatic telephone tapping, voice recognition and electronic tagging were not envisaged by the original BSSRS authors since they did not think that the computing power needed for a national monitoring system was feasible.
The overall drift of this technology is to increase the power and reliability of the policing process, either enhancing the individual power of police operatives, replacing personnel with less expensive machines to monitor activity or to automate certain police monitoring, detection and communication facilities completely.
A massive Police Industrial Complex has been spawned to service the needs of police, paramilitary and security forces, evidenced by the number of companies now active in the market.9 An overall trend is towards globalisation of these technologies and a drift to increasing proliferation, without much regard to local conditions.
One core trend has been towards a militarisation of the police and a paramilitarisation of military forces in Europe. Often this begins via special units involved in crisis policing, such as the Special Weapons and Tactics Squads such as the Grenz Schutz Gruppe in Germany; the Gendarmeries National in France; the Carabinieri in Italy; and the Special Patrol Group in the UK or the federal police paramilitary teams in the United States (FBI, DEA & BATF) that adopt the same weaponry as their military counterparts.
Then a growing percentage of ordinary police are trained in public order duties and tactics which incorporate some element of firearms training. The tactical training is often a mirror image of the low intensity counter-revolutionary warfare tactics adopted by the military (See Chart 2). In Britain, where 10% of police on a revolving basis train according to a military style manual,
'Public Order - Tactical Options' using batons, shields and colonial style military wedges (See Fig.1[No figures provided with report]) (Northam, 1988). In the US, one study uncovered a pattern of former and reserve soldiers being intimately involved in police operations with almost 46% of trainees drawing expertise from "police officers with special operations in the military." (Krasker & Kapella, 1997).
In some European countries, that trend is reversed, e.g. Last year, the Swiss government (Federal Council and the Military Department) made plans to re-equip the Swiss Army Ordungsdienst with 118 million Swiss Francs of less-lethal weapons for action within the country in times of crisis. (These include 12 tanks, armoured vehicles, tear gas, rubber shot and handcuffs).
The decision was made by decree preventing any discussion or intervention. Their role will be to help police large scale demonstrations or riots and to police frontiers to 'prevent streams of refugees coming into Switzerland'.10 A disturbing case of police deploying riot weapons against a peaceful festival occurred last year in Zurich on 1 May, using water cannon laced with CN irritant and rubber bullets below the advised 20 metres threshold, shows the process of convergence well.11
Convergence is the process whereby the technology used by police and the military for internal security operations converges towards being more or less indistinguishable. The term also describes the trend towards a universal adoption of similar types of technologies by most states for internal security and policing. Security companies now produce weapons and communications systems for both military and the police.(Fig.2).
Such systems increasingly represent the muscle and the nervous system of public order squads. For example, according to BSSRS(1985), GCHQ's telephone interception network was used to track UK miners during the 1984-5 strike, so that when miner's cars were stopped, police knew who they were and punishment or dissuasion could be targeted appropriately.(See Fig.3)
3.1 Area Denial replaces personnel guarding either areas or perimeters. It has involved deploying technology which can either create punishment when its limits are infringed or systems with built in intelligence which can both locate the point of infringement and activate a corrective response.12 Sophisticated varieties incorporate punishment mechanisms which vary from pain induced by electroshock to kill fences and fragmentation mines.
Many European companies make electrified razor coil stun fences e.g. Bollore, Cogny & Santerne in France; Birmingham Barbed Tape, Gallagher and Armbell, in UK; Reinaet Electronics in the Netherlands. Many South African companies remain in the market from the 'snake of fire' days, e.g., Edair; Grinaker; Microfence.13 Nowadays, the South African Government has introduced new regulations on the maximum voltage for stun fences and new criteria for not mixing barbed wire and stun capacities - if snagged a victim can't be repelled and continues receiving current.
Europe needs to adopt best practice in this regard. It would also be useful if existing research justifying company claims for sub-lethality of stun fences should be made public. These systems are not cattle fences and the same criteria cannot be used.
Neural networks with semi-intelligence are being introduced to protect sensitive control zones. Systems produced by companies, such as Productivity Systems in France and Cambridge Neurodynamics in the UK, can allow pattern recognition and an ability to learn. Neural systems will play an increasing role in sentinel duties as robot technology improves Already prototypes known as insectoids are being evolved to cheaply replace personnel on routine guard duties that require 24 hours cover and can be programmed to track the fence and carry either lethal or sub-lethal weapons (Knoth, 1994).
The Non-lethal Warfare programmes discussed in 5.6 below are also exploring area denial technology. For example, Defense Week reported (19/11/96) that Alliant Tech Systems (USA) is working on alternatives to anti-personnel land mines. One of these is a wire barrier system dispersed by the Volcano Mine System. The company received a 10 month contract in early August  from the Army Armament, Research, Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey.
The company is still to decide what kind of wire to use for the canister-launched area-denial weapon system, but the general idea is that the Volcano system will shoot out thin wire with something like fish hooks along it in enough mass to cover a soccer-field sized area. "It's intended to snag. It's not going to kill you" said marketing manager Tom Bierman.
3.2 Surveillance Technologies are one of the fastest growing areas of the technology of political control and a key problem is how to deal with the torrent of information it yields The term covers a vast range of products and devices but the overall trend is towards miniaturization, more precise resolution through the adoption of digital technology and increasing automation so that the technology can be more effectively targeted.
The technology also parallels political shifts in targeting so that instead of investigating crime, a reactive activity, the fastest growing trend is towards tracking certain strata, social classes and races of people living in red-lined areas before any crime is committed. Such a form of proactive policing is based on military models of gathering huge amounts of low grade intelligence. With new systems such as Memex, it is possible to quickly build up a comprehensive picture of virtually anyone by gaining electronic access to all their records, cash transactions, cars held, etc.
Such pre-emptive policing means the majority are ignored and policing resources are more tightly focused on certain groups. Such powerful forms of artificial intelligence need continuous assessment. They have an important role to play in tracking criminals. The danger is that their infrastructure is essentially a massive machinery of supervision that can be retargeted fairly quickly should the political context change.
Automatic fingerprint readers are now common place, and many European companies make them14 (see Fig 5). But any unique attribute of anatomy or personal style can be used to create a human identity recognition system. For example Cellmark Diagnostics(UK) can recognise genes; Mastiff Security Systems(UK) can recognise odour, Hagen Cy-Com(UK) and Eyedentify Inc.(USA) can recognise the pattern of capillaries at the back of the retina; whilst AEA Technology (UK) are capable of signature verification.
Over 109 companies in Europe are known to be supplying such biometric systems. DNA fingerprinting is now a reality and Britain has set up the first DNA databank, and is already carrying out mass dawn raids of over 1000 people at targeted suspects.15 Plans are being drawn up by at least one political party to DNA profile the nation from birth.16
The leading edge companies are racing towards developing face recognition systems which they see as being able to revolutionise crime customs and intruder detection as well as service access control. Whilst fully reliable systems are perhaps five years off, prototype systems have been developed in France17, Germany18 the UK19 and the USA20.
Night vision technology developed as a result of the Vietnam war has now been adapted for police usage (See Fig.6). Particularly successful are heli-tele surveillance versions which allow cameras to track human heat signatures in total darkness. The art of bugging has been made significantly easier by a rapidly advancing technology and there is a burgeoning European market.21 Many systems described in Section 4 (below), do not even require physical entry into the home or office.
For those who can secure access to their target room, there is a plethora of devices, many pre-packaged to fit into phones, look like cigarette packets or light fittings and some, like the ever popular PK 805 and PK 250, that can be tuned into from a suitable radio. However, the next generation of covert audio bugs are remotely operated, for example the multi-room monitoring system of Lorraine Electronics called DIAL (Direct Intelligent Access Listening) allows an operator to monitor several rooms from anywhere in the world without effecting an illegal entry.
Up to four concealed microphones are connected to the subscribers line and these can be remotely activated by simply making a coded telephone call to the target building. Neural network bugs go one step further. Built like a small cockroach, as soon as the lights go out they can crawl to the best location for surveillance.22 In fact Japanese researchers have taken this idea one step further, controlling and manipulating real cockroaches by implanting microprocessors and electrodes in their bodies.
The insects can be fitted with micro cameras and sensors to reach the places other bugs can't reach.23 Passive Millimeter Wave Imaging developed by the US Millitech corporation can scan people from up to 12 feet away and see through clothing to detect concealed items such as weapons, packages and other contraband. Variations of this through-clothing human screening under development (by companies such as the US Raytheon Co.), include systems which illuminate an individual with a low-intensity electromagnetic pulse.
A three side very-low X ray system for human useage, in fixed sites such as prisons, is being developed by Nicolet Imaging Systems of San Diego. Electronic monitoring of offenders or 'tagging', where the subject wears an electronic bracelet which can detect if they have relocated from their home after certain hours etc, has entered into use in the 1990's after being developed to regulate prison populations in the USA. (Schmidt, 1988). Satellite tracking of VIPs, vehicles, etc., is now facilitated by the once military Global-Positioning System(GPS) which is now available for commercial uses. Vehicle recognition technologies are discussed in Section 4 below.3.3 Data-veillance
- The use of telematics by the police has revolutionised policing in the last decade and created the shift towards pre-emptive policing. It is properly the focus of an earlier STOA report on the technology of political control. Some of the most recent trends are discussed in Section 4 below. A comprehensive analysis of how such equipment has led to widespread abuse of civil liberties and human rights has been published by Privacy International (1995) and includes 100 pages of all the companies involved in servicing the security requirements of the regimes mapped in Fig.38.
Using data profilers, torturing states have used these systems to compile death lists. For example, the Tadiran computer supplied to Guatemala and installed in the control center of the national palace. According to a senior Guatemalan military official, "the complex contains an archive and a computer file on journalists, students, leaders, people on the left, politicians and so on." Meetings were held in the annex to select assassination victims.
A US priest who fled the country after appearing on such a death list said, "They had printout lists at the border crossings and at the airport. Once you got on that - then its like bounty hunters."24 Within Europe, systems, such as that produced by Harlequin, allow the automatic production of maps of who phoned whom to show friendship networks. Other companies such as Memex described above, allow entire life profiles of virtually anyone in a state having an official existence.
Photographs and video material can be included in the record and typically up to 700 other databases can be hoovered at any one time, to extend the data profile in real time.25 Significant changes in the capacity of new surveillance systems can be anticipated with the advent of new materials such as Buckminster Fullerene, which will lead to minaturisation of systems by several orders of magnitude.263.4-Discrete Order Vehicles
- Hundreds of companies are now manufacturing police and internal security vehicles in Europe.27 The newer companies entering the market for law enforcement vehicles tend to manufacture for both military and police purposes (e.g., armoured personnel carriers, patrol, riot control, mobile prison, perimeter patrol etc.) and configured to have a 'non-aggressive design'.
In real terms this means that their external appearance rather than their operational characteristics are modified to give a non-threatening appearance. Such 'discreet order vehicles' look benign - like ambulances, whilst retaining a retaliatory capacity, capable of dispersing, containing or capturing dissident groups or individuals.(See Fig.7 Savage, 1985). Some models such as the Amac vehicle and more recently the Talon incorporate repellant electrified panels as well as a weapons capacity such as water cannon. Such vehicles are frequently used to seal people into a dispersal zone where the riot squads are at work, rather than chase them out.3.5 Less-lethal Weapons
- For reasons explained more fully in Section 5 (below), the essential role of new crowd control weapons and tactics is to amplify the level of aggression that can be unleashed by an individual officer. Thus the same rationale lies behind the use of the new US side handle batons, the use of horse, riot shield charges using riot wedges and snatch squads and the new martial arts style arrest techniques which entered European policing training in the mid 1980's.28 (see Fig 8.)