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GPS projectile 'sniper rifle' hoax generates telling interest at China Police 2002

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Jakob Boeskov is a conceptual artist rather than a weapons dealer, yet he set off for China Police 2002, armed with a poster and false business cards from a fictitious firm, Empire North. His weapon was one "of the most terrible… he could imagine," the "ID Sniper Rifle," a 'GPS microchip based identification rifle' that fires a tracking device into a human target.

Boeskov shared his experiences at China Police 2002 with NPR’s Next Big Thing interviewers on 11 April, 2004.  Listen to the audio.

The project rose back in Copenhagen out of sci-fi conceptual art with colleagues. Boeskov left on day three of China Police 2002 as interest in his rifle was apparently getting serious. He was also rattled that no visitor to his booth evinced any human rights issue with shooting ‘microchips’ into a human body -- and the projectile in question was anything but small.

I found his comments on responses from a Brazilian arms dealer, a French diplomat, and a Chinese agency delegation to be revealing:

A Brazilian "arms dealer" was fond of the rifle’s concept, noting that Brazil has many prisoners held in jungle prisons subject to escape and this would facilitate their recapture.

A "French diplomat" asked what would happen to the target’s internal organs, appearing not to believe that its effect would "like a mosquito bite." Boeskov finessed him, saying (and I am speaking from my handscript notes of the interview) ‘that his firm was working on it as it was one of our most pressing issues.’

On day three, a "Chinese agency" visited Boeskov and appeared to show great interest. A prime question seemed to be, would the weapon violate human rights? Boeskov countered that ‘it is a problem that we watch and if things continue as they appear after 11 Sept, that we can proceed.’ The Chinese helpfully offered that ‘another solution would be to move production to China.’

Readers may draw their own conclusions as to merit.

FYI, checking the China Police 2002 website, there were luminaries from China’s Ministry of Public Security. From what I could make of limited English text, there were three country pavilions: Civipol (France), Defex (Spain), and Rosoboronoexport (Russia). Participating Countries were Belarus, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, Morocco, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, UAE, United Kingdom , and the US.

Gordon Housworth



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