The ID Sniper rifle is an art project, a fictional, hoax weapon devised by artist Jakob Boeskov and industrial designer Kristian von Bengtson.[1] The rifle supposedly shoots GPS chips, and the police force may tag persons with this rifle for later easy retrieval. It was produced by the fictional company Empire North.[2]
According to its specs, “It will feel like a mosquito-bite lasting a fraction of a second. At the same time a digital camcorder with a zoom-lens fitted within the scope will take a high-resolution picture of the target. This picture will be stored on a memory card for later image-analysis.”[3]

The design was presented in 2002 in Beijing at the China Police exhibition.[4] Boeskov created an artistic project, “My Doomsday Weapon”, a travelling exhibition of the ID Sniper rifle, in which he humorously describes his “infiltration” of China police.[5][6] Boeskov says that a Chinese company offered venture capital and a location for manufacturing.[1]
The news about the weapon was spread over the internet. When the news was “slashdotted”, the Empire North website was hit with about 1.6 million viewers.[1] Even Computerworld was hoaxed although they quickly withdrew the report.[7] In the spring of 2004 the news and work of the company reached Washington, DC, in the Homeland Security newsletter published by the Congressional Quarterly Group.[citation needed]
Engadget published a brief comment about the hoax, together with a picture of the “weapon” shortly after the Computerworld article was released.[8] Nevertheless, on March 7, 2007, Engadget posted further images and news of the “weapon” under the title “ID Sniper Rifle fires GPS tracking chip into unwitting humans” despite having denounced it as a hoax three years before.
On August 31, 2013 the Sydney Morning Herald reported that the ID Sniper Rifle had been referred to in a 2011 police paper titled “Microchipping of human subjects as a productivity enhancement and as a strategic management direction of NSW Police”.[9]


Further reading[edit]
“Abuse Your Illusions – The Disinformation Guide To Media Mirages and Establishment Lies”, edited by Russ Kick (2003) ISBN 0-9713942-4-5
“Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID”, by Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre (2005) ISBN 1-59555-020-8


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