Ship captains in the Indian Ocean are using a new tactic to keep pirates away – songs sung by U.S. pop star Britney Spears. An officer with Britain's merchant navy, Rachel Owens, said Britney Spears' songs did a good job against Somali pirates. Ms Owens, 34, said: "[Britney's] songs were chosen by the security team because they thought the pirates would hate them most. These guys can't stand Western culture or music, making Britney's hits perfect." A spokesman for a security company said playing loud pop music was an effective way of stopping attacks on ships. He said not all shipping companies choose Britney Spears' music. He added: "Each security company will have its own music choice."
This is not the first time loud music has been used to scare people. It has even been used as a form of torture. Prison guards at Guantanamo Bay started using music in 2003 to keep prisoners awake. In 2008, prisoners had to listen to very loud music for weeks and months. A former Guantanamo prisoner, Ruhal Ahmed, explained that the loud music played in his cell for weeks at a time was worse than being beaten up. He said: "It makes you feel like you are going mad." Many people think prisons must stop playing loud music to someone for days or weeks at a time. A human rights charity called Reprieve has started a campaign to end it. It wants rock stars to ban prisons from using their music for torture.