Wednesday January 13, 2016
Anti-terrorism suit presented to European Parliament, turns out to be hoax
more stories from this episode
- New website claims squirrels are the real cyber threat
- Anti-terrorism suit presented to European Parliament, turns out to be hoax
- After student's complaint, mental health gets a rethink at York University
- Scientists discover canyon under Antarctic ice that may be bigger than the Grand
- Amsterdam museum removes offensive names from artwork
- Full Episode
A company known as Global Security Response (GSR) describes its new anti-terrorism suit as the "truly democratic response to terrorism."
GSR's suit is called The ENDURAsphere, and it's meant to keep people comfortable while protecting them from terrorism. It was demonstrated at the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday.
The presentation, which included a lengthy Q & A session with members of European Parliament, turned out to be a hoax orchestrated by two MEPs and members of the prankster group, The Yes Men. The prank was tied to the one-year anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo shootings.
Yes Men performer, Andy Bichlbaum, appeared before parliament as security expert "Archibald Schumpeter." He described the suit as a "gated eco-commune for one, in which all materials and effluent are processed for reuse in the occupant's ENDURAsphere, or for trade and exchange with other ENDURAspheres."
"At the most obvious level, The ENDURAsphere is a defensive orb, with numerous redundant systems that ensure the comfort and thriving of the occupant," explained Bichlbaum.
He said the suit would protect occupants while demoralizing any enemy forces.
Emphasizing that the suit is only a prototype, Bichlbaum went on to say that the initial cost of the suit would be quite high, "only available to high net-worth individuals."
Despite the subtle hints in his presentation, the members of parliament did not catch on to the prank. In fact, after his presentation, the engaged Bichlbaum took questions about the suit.
Q: Is it easy to swim with this suit if you have to escape by river or sea?
A: Well, this is just a prototype but the actual suit will be completely floatable, buoyant, and it's actually able to dive underwater as well to a depth, I think, of 30 feet.
Q: In Germany, in Cologne, we have problems with men touching women. Is this a solution for these problems?
A: I think that would be like throwing a nuclear bomb at a village to obliterate it. Um, I think there are probably other solutions to that problem.
Q: Do we have to wear it all the time? I'm thinking of human reproduction.
A: That's up to the user … if you feel safe at home, of course, take it off.
Q: Can this thing help us in the refugee crisis in Europe?
A: Uh, it's not really meant to help with the refugee crisis. I'm not sure how it might. I mean, unless you fear refugees.
Check out a video of the prank, here: