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Greece to use controversial “sound cannon” LRAD against migrants at Evros border

Greece plans to use the controversial device “sound cannon” (LRAD) against migrants and refugees at the Evros border with Turkey. The use of the device has been revealed by Associated Press.The European Commission has requested official information by Greek authorities on the issue.

“As the world begins to travel again, Europe is sending migrants a loud message: Stay away! Greek border police are firing bursts of deafening noise from an armored truck over the frontier into Turkey. Mounted on the vehicle, the long-range acoustic device, or “sound cannon,” is the size of a small TV set but can match the volume of a jet engine, reported associated press on May 31.

The Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) is an acoustic hailing device, sound cannon and sonic weapon. Law enforcement organizations and the manufacturer claim that LRAD systems are primarily designed for long-range communications, however, the device has an extremely high decibel capacity, and is controversially used as a less-lethal weapon for crowd control.

Video: Testing the sound cannon at Evros borders by Deutsche Welle

LRAD in action against crowd in Pittsburgh, USA, Sept 2009

According to 902 Radio, the Greek Police has obtained two LARD devices.

The LRAD is part of a vast array of physical and experimental new digital barriers being installed and tested during the quiet months of the coronavirus pandemic at the 200-kilometer (125-mile) Greek border with Turkey to stop people entering the European Union illegally, noted AP.

A new steel wall, similar to recent construction on the U.S.-Mexico border, blocks commonly-used crossing points along the Evros River that separates the two countries.

Nearby observation towers are being fitted with long-range cameras, night vision, and multiple sensors. The data will be sent to control centers to flag suspicious movement using artificial intelligence analysis, notes AP among others.

Reactions

Human rights groups say the emerging technology will make it even harder for refugees fleeing wars and extreme hardship to find safety. They demand review the border surveillance methods regarding ethical concerns, writes AP.

Patrick Breyer, a European lawmaker from Germany, has taken an EU research authority to court, demanding that details of the AI-powered lie detection program be made public.

“What we are seeing at the borders, and in treating foreign nationals generally, is that it’s often a testing field for technologies that are later used on Europeans as well. And that’s why everybody should care, in their own self-interest,” Breyer of the German Pirates Party told the AP.

Ella Jakubowska, of the digital rights group EDRi, argued that EU officials were adopting “techno-solutionism” to sideline moral considerations in dealing with the complex issue of migration.

However, it is not just human rights groups that are concerned about the new AI technologies against migrants and refugees.

Also the European Commission follows with concern the “sound cannon” reports and has reportedly the requested official information from Athens.

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3 comments

  1. Why not just denounce all the international laws that restrict government behaviour and support individual human rights? After all, that is the correct Nazi approach.

    • Jordan Dullire

      Europe is being abused with the so called human rights.
      So I welcome any measure necessary, to me this a soft approach.
      Won’t really work because earplugs are cheap unless it penetrates earplugs.
      Respect our borders or deal with the consequences.

      • Ah, a real-life fascist comments… Yes, borders really matter, and human rights are of no importance whatsoever! Wanker. Crawl back into your sewer.