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back to article Taser offers obsessive parents total mobe intrusion package

Famed cattleprod-launcher firm Taser International has diversified out of its core business in electric stun weapons. The firm has announced that it will soon release a "family safety platform" allowing parents to monitor their children's mobile phone use, location and driving. The parental spy/control tech is called "Protector …

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Stop

Empowers Parents?

So....here is a product that lets you spy on your kids more so you can stress out about every little move they make and still just be told to 'f--- off or I'll stab you' if you mention any of their behaviour....

Oh dear.

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Coat

Why Taser?

I have to admit that I was initially rather puzzled as to why Taser would head off into this sort of thing.

Then I followed the link, which gave me a rather nasty shock.....

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Paris Hilton

protect you from you

thats a brown wet dream right there. as we speak there probably working out how to integrate it into your id identity along with all your net traffic data. in the name of "terrorism of course"

paris.. coz she likes to be watched.

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Fear Sells

The more frightened businesses and government can make the populace, the more rubbish tat like this will be touted by "security" firms.

Why not just inject your sprog with an RFID tag and be done with it or more helpfully, if you see so much horror round every corner, don't foist another mal-adjusted fuck-tard onto society.

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Unhappy

It's just business

Well, industry contacts assure me that Taser International is already investing in RFID technology. Obviously they're drooling over the possibilty of mandatory RFID taser bracelets for airplane passengers; but I'm sure they're also busy exploring other markets like implantable devices for children. Fear sells, after all.

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Grenade

wow !

Or just keep them in, chained to your ankle the whole time. That'll learn them !!

Those people look scary on the website - can I sign up please, in case I have kids sometime in the future ? I may be pregnant now for all I know (I'm not buying this media conspiracy that only females can have kids...)

What utter shite. Still, what else to expect from the "Land of the Free"....

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Stop

Not only helicopter parents

will benefit from this. What's the bet that companies will start issuing their employees (those that require mobiles) with phones subject to the same system? What this is doing is teaching kids to expect being monitored, spied on, controlled and regulated throughout their lives.

To those helicopter parents who are so paranoid, I say YOU are the primary reason our civil liberties are being eroded away. If you're so terrified your little precious might get hurt, maybe you shouldn't have had them. No wonder kids today are so rebellious and anti-social. You reap what you sow.

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FAIL

Indeed...

I seem to remember reading an article on another website called The Register that claimed that today's youth have six times the mental health issues children in the great depression had. Now I never was good at connect the dots but I wonder....

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Unhappy

How to reduce your child's mobile usage and alienate them in one simple move

No self-respecting person of any age would submit to this sort of intrusion and nor should they.

Any child with more than two brain cells to rub together would just leave the phone at home and use a different one.

I have three children and I have an alternative solution to this. How about talking to them? Perhaps if your children trust you they will tell you what they are doing.

If I had found out my parents were spying on me like this, I doubt I ever would have spoken to them again. Technology is no substitute for parenting. How long before Taser et al offer an outsourced parenting solution, probably offshored to Mumbai.

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Happy

LOL

Greetings young Simon,

I am Wayne and I will be being your father today. Your vequest for permissionings to be skateboardings with your friends is declined, as your TaserBrush is telling me you have not be cleaning your tooths today! Please do the needful and revert ASAP.

Thankyou for your co-operation, I will now be making you connection to my colleague Kevin, who is responsibles for the CCTV in your bedroom and will assess tidiness before you can leave.

Have a great day!

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Coffee/keyboard

titular spray

hehe, first time I've sprayed my keyboard with coffee in ages. Cheers Dan 10, where do I send the bill? :P

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Big Brother

Copiously-tattooed and -pierced deviants

Looks like a bunch of my mates actually. I'd be perfectly happy for my kids to text them.

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Nev
FAIL

What, no built-in remote Tase facility?

Complete Fail.

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Go

It's a start, but leads to more questions

While this lets me monitor my childs mobile phone, I still can't monitor their thoughts? Does Taser have anything for this?

I'm handy with a power drill if I need to install anything.

Also, once finding out that my child dislikes me due to this intrusive monitoring, do Taser have anything that I can use to "re-train" my child to think as I require?

Yours sincerely

Loving parent of London

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Bronze badge

happy girlhood days

I used to head out on my bike for a whole day, or even days. Before mobile phones or anything. My parents explained the dangers of 'odd' strangers and nasty men, of being brave and sensible when hurt, of not being stupid when climbing trees, etc., but 'if duffers, better drowned; if not duffers, won't drown' was their attitude. So I and my siblings learned to repair our own bikes, get back home after dark, make treehouses, build rafts, play with other children unsupervised and unwatched, fight our own battles, spend our pocket-money as we chose, make the friends we wanted to make, and to rue the consequences of bad choices, and so on.

Maybe we were lucky, in a young city in a young country in an time period where children were thought to thrive best when not force-fed or watched too much. Are we better adults for it? I quess we'll see when this current crop of kids grows up and we can compare.

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Linux

Give em to the politicians :p

The point where I shuddered was imagining Gordon Brown instead of that big tattooed biker and tony Blair instead of the pierced tongue guy.

On a proper note, all this would do is push kids FURTHER away from their parents "I jus' wanna breathe". Tux because, he shows what good can come of being open :D

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WTF?

Driving?

Surely by the time your son/daughter has a car you'd have given them the freedom to talk with whoever they like?

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But this is for the US...

..Where 12 year old kids drive and parents want to know what their offspring are up to 24 hours a day until they reach 21, at which point they don't care any more.

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Grenade

Taser suffers a paucity of ambition

where's the big red button that gives all these miscreant offspring a swift 50kV around the ear for bad behaviour?

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Alert

titular embellishment

They've had to take that feature offline for the moment. It's something to do with it only triggering at about 72% efficiency. There will be a patch hopefully next tuesday.

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never stop

Aside from the obvious problems with this, the culture of complete control it brings means that parents that use this stuff can never expect their sprogs to grow up and leave home. They wont be prepared socially for anything but holding onto mummies apron strings well into their 40s, 50s ??

They will be reaping what they sow!

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Anonymous Coward

Ahh

Americans

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Anonymous Coward

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

One could probably argue that usinig such technique to monitor children could be a violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child article 16 ("No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honour and reputation.").

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Badgers

titular wotsit

Actually, the US does not subscribe to any form of International Law.

Kind of ironic really, as they seem to be the World Police....

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1,200 children go missing every day in the US.

I wonder why.

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Anonymous Coward

A rather large problem

From the pictures on that horrendous site, it looks like it runs on the iPhone - but I didn't think Apple liked background / call interception apps? So how exactly does this work? Does it require a jailbreak?

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And when..

..will the product incorporate a taser for when the brat just doesn't listen?

Only weeks away, for sure ..

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Big Brother

Preparation S(urveillance)

Get your kids used to 24/7 surveillance when they're young and they'll barely notice it when the gov takes over the job.

Once young people see it as normal we're all shafted.

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FAIL

Trust

If you can't trust your kids with a cell phone, DON'T GIVE THEM ONE!!! If you think they use it correctly and they don't, TAKE IT AWAY.

I'll get down from my soapbox now.

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Seconded

Won't be giving my kids anything but a pay&go phone until they can pay their own bills. Pay&go is pretty limiting unless you can afford lots of credit. Once they're earning enough to pay for a contract then I think my authority to say who they can and can't talk to will be all but gone.

Some of the indignation this system is receiving over here may come from the different attitudes to what constitutes a child. As far as I'm concerned, anything above 16 might not be an adult, but since they can legally have sex and move out on their own, they're certainly not a child. They can drive at 17, which is somewhat more dangerous than using an IM client. Once they're 18 they can vote and drink, so they're adults and you have pretty much no right to interferer in their lives. Of course if your kid has shown they can't be trusted up to the age of 18, they still live under your roof, and I suppose if the phone wasn't bought with their own money, take it away.

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Go

They should definately....

....be ashamed of that fear-mongering website and most of the features offered by this app are deplorable and unecessary but I find myself thinking that stopping people from calling\texting whilst driving is a really good idea.

Especially for young people who, if they are anything like I was, are convinced they're invincible and will pay lip-service to the advice you give them but will do what the feck they want when out of sight.

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christ

May I suggest a different tool for would-be "Protector" subscribers?

It's called "talking to your children". Benefits of "talking to your children" include:

1. building up a trusting relationship with them

2. finding out what they are up to in a direct and straightforward manner

3. lets them know that they are worthy of human interaction with you

4. inexpensive

Optional extra packages include "talking to their teachers", "talking to your neighbours", and of course the "I realise that there are not peadophiles lurking round every corner" reality check system.

Free while stocks last.

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Grenade

Workarounds

My uncle recently tried to use a call blocking service on my much younger (17ish) cousin. Within 5 hours she had already used a hidden £20 to go and buy a new phone. He also tried putting web-filtering software on the family PC and locked down their accounts. That lasted about 10 minutes before they had learned how to get around it, in several ways including forcing the PC into 'safe mode' and creating new admin accounts.

Kids are not stupid and any system to monitor and restrict what they do will be thoroughly picked at. Remote control of your kids just isn't possible if they don't agree to it. What will make a difference, however, is raising them to be good people and to respect you.

The best and only method that works is Voice Control (A.K.A "Talking")

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Go

re:workarounds

THere are ways of locking down a computer so kids can't get into safe mode or the bios. This sounds like the parent wasnt smart enough to lock down his technology and the kids took advantage of it. If all your kids do is email, and websurfing and texting, install Linux on their computer and lock it down. I doubt they would have the smarts to unlock it.

I have to disagree and say that kids are inherantly stupid by nature and use whatever is in front of them to make their world seperate from the adult world, no mater how illegal it is or how many people get hurt, they dont care. It only revolves around them. Kids think they are the center of the universe.

I do agree that by talking to them a parent can make their child understand they are not the only one in this world and their actions have concequences that effect other people. Such as texting while driving could not only kill them but someone else.

Personally I dislike kids and have nothing but contempt for them and wish things were like the 19th century regarding them---that they should be seen and not heard until they are of legal age or consent.

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Better IDEA

Why not take the phone AWAY form the damn kids? Or, better yet, get them a phone and dont activate it and let them use it for 911 use only. Or have it set to so they can only phone home.

Why do parents think their spoiled brats need a phone?

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Because children want them.

For birthdays and christmas and the like. They want one to fit in. Just the same as when I was young you wanted a gameboy and a walkman to fit in.

Its not about need, but want, and wanting to fit in. Children are crule to those who done.

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Reminds me of this:

http://plif.courageunfettered.com/archive/wc161.gif

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More than just children

Imagine how useful this would be to someone that beats their partner. If they have nothing to hide, there is nothing to fear, so would be forced into monitoring.

I told you not to call your friend, smash

I told you not to drive, smash

You tried to call the refuge centre, smash

This is an infringement against privacy that should be stopped, lets hope that a few well targeted US lawsuits do the job.

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Happy

I do hope

it monitors text entry and punishes TXT SPK with a shock to the child's hand

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Text speak

How long before the kids create indecipherable text speak so the parents reading it can't make sense of it? Kids 1: Parents 0

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WTF?

empowered?

Any parent who needs a device to 'empower' them to control their child merits a long talk with social services & a quick trip to a doctor to prevent them inflicting any more delinquents on society.

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FAIL

Might work...

until the kid turns 5 and wants its own phone / learns to unlock the control device.

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WTF?

Protector - trademarked?

How can they Trademark the word Protector? Surely there are/have been loads of products called "The Protector" or similar.

BFA!

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FAIL

TM

You can put TM on anything and fool people - there is no penalty. There is a penalty if you incorrectly use that R circled symbol - ®... well, at least in the UK this used to be the case.

I thought we might have legislation in the UK that might prevent this product (interception of calls) working here?

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May actually be illegal

In the US at least, there are laws (at the state level, I think) against intercepting telephone calls. And as far as I know they do not include an exception for parents. I doubt any parents have have been prosecuted for this, but there was a case where a conviction was thrown out because it was based largely on evidence obtained by an eavesdropping parent. A judge ruled that was in invasion privacy against both the child and, more importantly in this case, the other party to the call.

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Grenade

And another thing!

Parents have tried this and failed for years. When I was 12 my folks wanted me off the computer more so dad put a BIOS password on my machine. Took me all of about 5 minutes to figure out a way around that one. If you don't have time to parent your children don't have them to begin with. Anonymous so mom doesn't beat me again.

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FAIL

What's to stop the kids

buying another cheap-ass PAYG phone?

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