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[liberationtech] TOMORROW: The Legality of Drone Warfare with UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk (Free Thai Lunch!)

Ale Fernandez skoria at gmail.com
Tue Feb 7 01:15:12 PST 2012


Hi,

On 06/02/12 17:33, Brian Conley wrote:
 > Please let us know if there is a recording!
 > On Feb 6, 2012 12:28 AM, "Yosem Companys"<companys at stanford.edu>  wrote:
 >

(snip)

 >> and Pakistan. Are drones legal though? Should questions of legality 
drive
 >> US military policy?
 >>

Rather than "are they legal" I think the question should be - how we can 
put an absolute stop to all robot violence! It seems completely wrong 
just out of common sense for them to do what they seem to be doing, as 
seen almost every day - here is one from yesterday: 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cei0pvyIqx8

Being able to create something that might one day be indistinguishable 
from life is a huge responsibility. After just working around 
electronics in a hackerspace for a year I don't have much experience in 
robotics, but enough to say these things are very very limited if used 
only for war/"defence", or controlled by the army, as arpanet was before 
it became the internet.

We are possibly even creating our own successors today - all these UAVs 
as well as the whole spectrum of mechanical creatures that do things we 
can't do, or can survive in climates we couldn't ever hope to, and are 
slowly gaining the ability to act autonomously, repair and reproduce 
themselves etc. It seems to me that if they are really going to be more 
and more part of our lives we should want these machines to be peaceful, 
and to be able to have access to some basic freedoms.

Like Stallman did in the 80s for software we should be figuring out 
today some more up to date "Asimov laws" for robot freedoms: such as the 
freedom not to be manufactured unethically, using closed proprietary 
plans or for secret, murderous purposes. I would add a legal framework 
to make the industry and war machinery directly responsible for crimes a 
robot commits on their behalf. Like with the GNU project and free 
software movement I think there should be an effort to get people making 
these open hardware, ethical drones all the more and realising that it's 
within a lot of people's reach to build peaceful/non violent UAVs 
transparently and use them for positive purposes.

Ale



>>   Richard Falk, the former Albert G. Milbank Emeritus Professor of
>> International Law and Practice at Princeton University, has served since
>> 2008 as the United Nations Special Rapporteur for "the situation of human
>> rights in the Palestinian territories since 1967." He has authored over
>> twenty books on international law and politics, focusing on core issues at
>> the intersection of law, human rights, and war, was a member of the
>> Independent International Commission on Kosovo (1999-2001), and is
>> currently a Visiting Distinguished Professor at the University of
>> California at Santa Barbara.
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