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"If we're going to be consistent and advocate freedom of speech we have to advocate freedom of encrypted speech too. The genie is out of the bottle, cryptologically."
- Neal Stephenson

Defuser  
  Electroshock cellphones to keep unruly individuals under control.  

"Oh, and this is your private... sponsorbaby security force?", Tendeka says, whirling on the cop, who is already aiming his scanner at him."

"[The police dog] barks in warning, echoed by a bleep from Ten's cellphone as the cop isolates his SIM from all the others in the room with the scanner.

"Yeah.. You don't.. log a warning on me. I have the constitutional right to express my f***ing opinion. Ever heard of freedom of expres--"

The cop doesn't bother to register a second warning. He goes straight for the defuser. Higher voltage than necessary, but when did cops ever play nice? Tendeka drops straight away, jerking epileptic and setting off the damn dog with excited yipping. I'm reckoning there's 170 to 180 volts right there. Anything over 200 requires extra paperwork.

Some wasters I know set off their own phone's defuser, on low settings for those dark and hectic beats. Even rhythm can be induced kids. But, it's not easy. You have to hack the hardware, and if you don't know what you're doing it will crisp you KFC. Or worse. It's a disconnect offense to tamper with a defuser. You can't play nice by society's rules? Then you don't get to play at all. No phone. No service. No life.

From Moxyland, by Lauren Beukes.
Published by Jacana Media in 2008
Additional resources -

Compare this device with Frederik Pohl's joymaker from his 1965 novel The Age of the Pussyfoot, and in particular the tranquilizing spray feature that could sedate the user, if, in the judgement of the network, the user was becoming violent or overwrought.

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  More Ideas and Technology from Moxyland
  More Ideas and Technology by Lauren Beukes
  Tech news articles related to Moxyland
  Tech news articles related to works by Lauren Beukes

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