The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones - Confronting a New Age of Threat
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[Read by Tom Weiner]
From drone warfare in the Middle East to digital spying by the National Security Agency, the US government has harnessed the power of cutting-edge technology to awesome effect. But what happens when ordinary people have the same tools at their fingertips? Advances in cybertechnology, biotechnology, and robotics mean that more people than ever before have access to potentially dangerous technologies - from drones to computer networks and biological agents - that could be used to attack states and private citizens alike.
In The Future of Violence, law and security experts Benjamin Wittes and Gabriella Blum detail the myriad possibilities, challenges, and enormous risks present in the modern world and argue that if our national governments can no longer adequately protect us from harm, they will lose their legitimacy. Consequently, governments, companies, and citizens must rethink their security efforts to protect lives and liberty. In this brave new world where many little brothers are as menacing as any Big Brother, safeguarding our liberty and privacy may require strong domestic and international surveillance and regulatory controls. Maintaining security in this world where anyone can attack anyone requires a global perspective, with more multinational forces and greater action to protect (and protect against) weaker states who do not yet have the capability to police their own people. Drawing on political thinkers from Thomas Hobbes to the Founders and beyond, Wittes and Blum show that, despite recent protestations to the contrary, security and liberty are mutually supportive, and we must embrace one to ensure the other.
The Future of Violence is at once an introduction to our emerging world - one in which students can print guns with 3-D printers and scientists' manipulations of viruses can be recreated and unleashed by ordinary people - and an authoritative blueprint for how government must adapt in order to survive and protect us.
is a key feature of any security regime because of both the intelligence it generates and the deterrence it creates. It will be a key feature of long-term governance of new platforms, just as guards patrolled the Roman roads and the railroads hired Pinkertons both to hunt down and to deter train robbers. Surveillance is not, however, the answer to every security problem—and it represents a complete answer to very few. There is always space between the sentries along the roads, thieves tend to
Harcourt, 2013), 8–9. 2. For an account of the time a fly really did land on President Obama’s forehead, see Jason Howerton, “The Latest in the Obama vs. Fly Saga: Large Fly Lands Defiantly on President’s Forehead,” Blaze, January 24, 2013, http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/01/24/the-latest-in-the-obama-vs-fly-saga-large-fly-lands-defiantly-on-presidents-forehead (accessed July 4, 2014). The quotations from Joel Brenner can be found in Joel Brenner, America the Vulnerable (New York: Penguin,
world government and became the guiding spirit of the rising world federalist movement.23 Just as different political philosophers had their own visions of the domestic social contract, competing ideologies imagined different roles and functions for a world government. On their side of the Iron Curtain, for instance, the Soviets viewed Western proposals for world government as nothing but an exercise in American capitalist imperialism. The communist social order had its own attendant vision of
prevent spying domestically or on US citizens or residents. They seem to believe that US law and policy owes them something. And the president of the United States seems to agree: in a January 2014 speech, Barack Obama announced that the United States recognized the privacy rights of foreigners abroad in conducting its espionage operations.30 In the absence of an international Leviathan, it necessarily falls to the member states of the international community to negotiate their mutual
fashion on all platform users, not on specific categories of them—particularly not when those categories are suggestive of invidious discrimination or are not reasonably tailored to individuals who pose some high risk to the platform. Indeed, one perpetual challenge of platform surveillance is to keep a policy that appears neutral on its face from becoming discriminatory in practice.25 Oversight also matters. That is, we are far more comfortable with platform surveillance measures when we