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Hardware Hacking The Military Build Hardware

Revisiting DIY HERF Guns 425

An anonymous reader writes "HERF guns have previously been regarded as nothing more than an interesting project with uses ranging from at-home experiments to malicious pranks. But the deployment of 'morally gray' forms of high-tech crowd control, such as the recent use of a sound cannon against domestic protesters, along with the likely future unleashing of the pain gun on more than just 'foreign terrorists,' creates a new purpose for these relatively easily assembled devices. Could HERF guns become a new method to counter the silencing of protesters via these sophisticated attacks, or is there any other way to prevent such efficient, convenient crowd dispersal?"
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Revisiting DIY HERF Guns

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  • by FooAtWFU ( 699187 ) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @05:24PM (#29559703) Homepage
    a HERF gun is "(a device like EMP but directional) ... capable of stalling cars at a distance and crashing computers as well."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 27, 2009 @05:53PM (#29559893)

    Uh, you do know that the Kent State shootings [wikipedia.org] was where National Guard troops shot non-violent war protestors and not the other way around, right?

  • History of the song. (Score:2, Informative)

    by NoYob ( 1630681 ) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @05:54PM (#29559911)
    Shit I forgot about you Young'ins> That song by Buffalo Springfield (Neil Young was in it - the crazy looking old guy who sang "Rockin in the Free World" ) was a song about the Kent State Massacre. A bunch of national guardsmen shot some college kids for protesting against the Viet Nam War.
  • by Shadow of Eternity ( 795165 ) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @06:03PM (#29559975)

    I don't know Stephen, that depends. Are they using those AP bullets against drug lords wearing body armor or are they spraying windshields on the highway after having an unmarked police car pull an illegal maneuver to give them an excuse?

    This isn't using molotov's in a riot "against the man", its a bigass radio antenna that breaks high tech equipment that's used to torture people sometimes to death in the streets after a few undercover cops threw rocks out of a crowd.

    The police and military are supposed to have an advantage, they're not supposed to use that advantage butcher american citizens just because its more convenient. Go read up on "Excited Delirium".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 27, 2009 @06:03PM (#29559977)
    Must be nice to be a rich white man. And I say this with all due respect... you are a tool. HERV weapons don't blow things up, they aren't designed to do so, and they aren't generally capable of doing so. They do disable sophisticated electronics in an area.

    The police are not "supposed" to have an unfair advantage, WTF ever gave you that idea? The same armor police wear is available to anyone that wants to buy it. The same weapons the police use are available to anyone that wants to buy them (with some exceptions). However, the systems and weapons to defeat the police are also available to anyone that wants them. (or can build them).

    Ultimately the people will take the power back. The only question is how much and whoes blood will be spilt in the process.
  • by assemblerex ( 1275164 ) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @06:55PM (#29560345)
    Video 1 VS a PC [youtube.com]
    Video 2 [youtube.com]
  • by mortonda ( 5175 ) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @07:13PM (#29560487)

    but sometimes a person will pull into the left lane and either maintain the same speed as the right lane (two-lane scenario, for simplification), or so minimally faster that it will take several miles before they pass the car on their right.

    Just so you know, this is illegal in Kansas [kake.com], as of July 1st. They will be issuing warnings for a year, and then start ticketing.

  • by magnusrex1280 ( 1075361 ) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @07:22PM (#29560553)
    Guns, as used by the police, have actual restrictions and policy in place to direct their use. These new nonlethal technologies are, well, new. Any policies in place aren't going to be as clearly defined, or as restrictive.

    The fact that the police have guns, doesn't make push-button control of crowds any less scary.
  • by Ronald Dumsfeld ( 723277 ) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @08:34PM (#29561039)

    In short: Yes, there are anti-democratic forces at play, and yet we are still our own worst enemies.

    Yes. And the worst offender is Rupert Murdoch.

    Look at the lengths this man will go to in order to have control of the media, he took American citizenship so he could buy a TV station in the country. Now, you have Fox News.

    To Mr Murdoch it is about power. His control over media - on a near-global scale - makes politicians his playthings. If you are suspicious of government, then perhaps you should not be ignoring the man behind the curtain. Nobody fucking elected him.

  • by Brian Gordon ( 987471 ) on Monday September 28, 2009 @12:10AM (#29562241)

    I looked up what he's talking about if anyone's curious.

    Apparently tempered safety glass is made to explode into tiny fragments when broken. A small shard of a very hard material will cut the glass and shatter the entire window. The classic thing to use is a piece of porcelain from the capacitor in a spark plug. There are youtube videos of people throwing that little hunk of ceramic at tempered glass and it shatters.

  • by Thomas Shaddack ( 709926 ) on Monday September 28, 2009 @01:42AM (#29562611)
    To implement difficult your proposal is, as Yoda would say. Everything is dual-use. A DVD writer can be turned into a laser dazzler. A RC toy or a cellphone can become a remotely activated switch. Regarding EMP, the most difficult part of the design is getting enough energy in short enough time. Luckily, technological development marches on. Supercapacitors are being investigated as possible replacement for batteries; they are able to charge much faster and provide extremely high currents on discharge; a 1500 farad capacitor available just now on eBay for $50 can provide you with peak power of over 5 kilowatts. And the available power will go up, and the price will go down. In few years, such capacitor banks will be in most cordless power tools, and in many electric cars. It's difficult to stop technology based on car spare parts, don't you think? The knowledge is out there. Even for explosion pumped flux compression generators there is a detailed book on Amazon that describes the construction and the necessary calculations. Many other related weapons are lower-tech than that, and are within the development capabilities of even a moderately smart electronics geek. Sometimes even a lower power is enough; jamming enemy's communication takes just a few watts at the right frequency, causes great tactical discomfort, and in combination with other measures may tip the balance of power. The cops are not supposed to abuse their advantage. If they become doing so, they aren't cops anymore, just above-the-law thugs in uniforms. And then (and only then) they should be dealt with accordingly. Armor piercing bullets? A commercially available bulldozer can be armored with a homemade composite armor from alternating steel sheets and concrete layers, and become virtually impervious against everything below an antitank rocket. (With all the disadvantages of a heavy, slow, poorly maneuverable vehicle.) People should know how to arm themselves. The Man should then behave so they will not have reasons to actually do so. It's not that difficult; just be fair and restrained in wielding the power, and actually punish its abuse. The Man is here FOR the people, not AGAINST them.
  • by ShakaUVM ( 157947 ) on Monday September 28, 2009 @02:53AM (#29562859) Homepage Journal

    >>Has that ever really happened anywhere?

    Yep, happened to a friend of mine back in February. Guy cut in front of him, slammed on his brakes, and then sued him for a million dollars. Pain and suffering, you know? Plenty of witnesses to the event, but his auto insurance company settled with the guy for 100k or so. He was PISSED at his insurance company for caving in to what was pretty blatantly insurance fraud. He wanted to go to court over it.

"The following is not for the weak of heart or Fundamentalists." -- Dave Barry