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Archive for the ‘law’ category: Page 36

Apr 6, 2016

Are we 20 years away from ‘designer’ babies?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, law, sex

What if prospective parents had the opportunity to make decisions ahead of time about the combination of genetic traits their child would inherit? The question is more than science fiction, says Hank Greely, a law professor at Stanford University.

The underlying science and technology are advancing rapidly—and now is the time to consider carefully “what kind of legal changes would be necessary to try to maximize the benefits and minimize the harm of this new approach to making babies,” he says.

Greely explored the legal, ethical, and societal implications of emerging biotechnologies for a new book, The End of Sex and The Future of Human Reproduction (Harvard University Press, 2016), that envisions a world where procreation may not start in bedrooms, but rather in a petri dish in a medical clinic.

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Apr 5, 2016

Federal legislation to jumpstart space solar power

Posted by in categories: climatology, economics, food, government, law, nuclear energy, security, solar power, space, sustainability

The United States is transitioning from a primary reliance on fossil fuels to greater use of sustainable natural and nuclear energy sources. There are two reasons for this transition. The first reason is that the abnormally high and increasing level of atmospheric carbon dioxide has created scientific uncertainty and concern as to the detrimental impact this may have on the environment and, consequentially, human civilization. Almost certainly, this abnormal level is due to anthropogenic causes linked to the tremendous expansion in the human population since the early 1700s, the growth of human civilization (e.g., agriculture and industrialization), and the increasing use of fossil fuels. Although fossil fuels have enabled worldwide progress in elevating the standard of living, most of the world’s nations have reached the conclusion that the world should transition entirely to sustainable energy by 2100 (see “The Paris climate agreement and space solar power”, The Space Review, February 29, 2016). It is, however, very important to manage this transition carefully to avoid economic hardship or energy deprivation.

While the United States has large remaining fossil fuel resources, only some are technically recoverable with current safe, legal, and profitable extraction methods. The remaining known and yet-to-be-discovered domestic technically recoverable fossil fuels are inadequate to sustain US fossil fuel energy needs to the end of this century, especially given likely continued immigration-driven US population growth (see “US fossil fuel energy insecurity and space solar power”, The Space Review, March 7, 2016). While the United States has an ethical environmental obligation to end its use of fossil fuels by the end of the century, the reality of having inadequate oil and natural gas resources makes the urgency of transitioning successfully to new sustainable energy sources a clear matter of national energy security. This warrants federal government leadership and strong American private sector engagement.

Unfortunately, due to its large and growing population and per capita energy needs, the United States lacks sufficient suitable land to utilize terrestrial renewable energy to replace fossil fuels. (see “US terrestrial non-fossil fuel energy vs. space solar power”, The Space Review, March 14, 2016). While the United States will utilize terrestrial domestic renewable energy to the extent it is politically acceptable, many factors will likely limit their scale-up. The expansion of nuclear fission energy is also not a satisfactory approach, given the large number of reactors needed. These factors lead to the conclusion that only space-based sustainable energy, such as space solar power, will enable the United States to practically transition away from fossil fuels.

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Apr 4, 2016

CRISPR Dispute Raises Bigger Patent Issues That We’re Not Talking About

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, law, robotics/AI

Good read; and highlights fair arguments around science and technology innovations and their patents. CRISPR was highlighted; however, the same can be applied to things like AI. What happens when a Humanoid robot owned by an investment bank innovates and develops new technology for Wall Street? The humanoid robot was (in this example) created by Microsoft; however, is owned by a Goldman Sachs. Who truly owns this new technology innovation? Could we see Goldman Sachs owning 70% of the patent & Microsoft owning 30%?


The worlds of science, technology and patent law eagerly await the U.S. government’s decision on who deserves patents on what many have referred to as the biotechnology invention of the century: the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technique.

Scientists hail CRISPR/Cas9 as more accurate and efficient than other, now-traditional genetic engineering methods. As a result, CRISPR has generated worldwide debate about how it could accelerate the manipulation of plants, animals and even human beings at the molecular level. That some DNA modifications can be passed on to future generations raises particular concern.

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Mar 20, 2016

Self-driving Cars and an Underappreciated Impact They Will Bring

Posted by in categories: business, law, robotics/AI, transportation

The momentum of self-driving cars on the road is accelerating with the question clearly becoming “when” not “if” the widespread use of self-driving cars will be allowed. A 2015 Business Intelligence Report forecasts a compounded annual growth rate of 134% from 2015 to 2020 with at least 10 million cars on the road by 2020.

2016-03-15-1458064694-2801158-drivelesscarsgraph.png

This should not come as a surprise, the descriptors for a car are heavily technology based with the importance of the car’s brains (software) rivaling its brawn (styling). Cars are already equipped with the ability to conduct specific tasks with varying degrees of driver interaction such as fully autonomous emergency breaking and semi-autonomous driver assisted parallel parking that are performed more adroitly — and safely — then the vehicle is operated by the driver. But the narrative of the self-driving car isn’t evolutionary but thought of as leapfrogging breakthroughs. Perhaps what has painted the imagery with futuristic color is the vocabulary of artificial intelligence. Fully autonomous driverless cars such as Google’s use an artificial intelligence system to pilot the car. In February the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration posted on its website that it informed Google that the artificial intelligence system pilot in a self-driving Google car could be considered the driver under federal law.

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Mar 16, 2016

The 21st century Star Wars — By Dr Patricia Lewis | The World Today

Posted by in categories: governance, government, law, policy, satellites, security, space, transparency, treaties, weapons

Cover pic_0

“Modern life relies on satellite sytems but they are alarmingly vulnerable to attack as they orbit the Earth. Patricia Lewis explains why defending them from hostile forces is now a primary concern for states”

Read more

Mar 14, 2016

EU justice ministers defined cyber crimes as terrorism

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cybercrime/malcode, government, internet, law

EU Justice Ministers Claims Cyber Attackers are terrorists. I wouldn’t say all of them are terrorists. Those who attack hospitals, attack government infrastructures, threaten markets, etc, are terrorists. The next door neighbor’s 13 yr old kid hacking to use your wireless internet service; not a terrorist.


European Union justice ministers on March 11th adopted a general approach on the directive on combatting terrorism, including serious cyber crimes, informs LETA/BNS.

On Friday the council greed its negotiating position on the proposal for a directive on combatting terrorism. The proposed directive strengthens the EU’s legal framework in preventing terrorist attacks by criminalising preparatory acts such as training and travel abroad for terrorist purposes – hence addressing the issue of foreign fighters – as well as aiding and abetting, inciting or attempting such acts. It also reinforce rules on the rights for the victims of terrorism, the Ministry of Justice said.

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Mar 9, 2016

Apple Says the NSA Should Hack San Bernardino Terrorist’s iPhone

Posted by in categories: business, cybercrime/malcode, electronics, encryption, government, law, mobile phones, privacy

Let’s just hypothesize a little on this topic: let’s say Apple goes ahead and gives in to the US Government and enables government to access the phone’s info. Does Apple have any protection in the future from lawsuits from it’s customers in situations where their own customers information is hacked by criminals and published to the world or used for illegal activities? Because I do see in the future more lawsuits coming at the tech companies for not ensuring their platforms and devices are un-hackable. So, if the government has its way; what protections does tech have now with any future lawsuits by consumers and other businesses?


His comments come during the ongoing legal battle over an iPhone used by Syed Farook, one of the individuals responsible for the San Bernardino, Calif. mass shooting December 2. “I don’t think requiring backdoors with encryption is either going to be an effective way to increase security or is really the right thing to do for just the direction that the world is going to”.

This is because First Amendment treats computer code as speech and according to Apple, meeting the demands of the government would be equivalent to “compelled speech and viewpoint discrimination”.

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Mar 7, 2016

Crowdsourcing The Hyperloop: How A Group Of Redditors Are Taking On Elon Musk’s Challenge

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, engineering, law, sustainability, transportation

VideoDisclaimer: The author of this article, Jason Belzer, is a member of rLoop and serves as the non-profit’s legal counsel. When billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk proposed the Hyperloop — a futuristic transportation system capable of propelling passengers to supersonic speeds — back in 2013, it is unlikely that even he could have imagined that just a few years later his vision would be tantalizing close to reality. Yet ironically, Musk, who has helped build companies like Tesla Motors and SpaceX that are on the leading edge of technological innovation, will not receive the credit if the Hyperloop indeed becomes a reality. Instead, that honor will be bestowed upon on a small group of teams now working feverishly to construct a prototype that will be tested this summer at SpaceX headquarters in California.

Imagine tackling one of the most complex engineering projects in the history of the human race, requiring countless hours of collaboration and experimentation by some of the world’s most talented engineers, and never actually meeting the people you are working with in a physical setting. You might think it’s impossible, or you might be a member of rLoop — the only non student team to reach the final stage of the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition.

rLoop V6 3AM.259 - Final

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Mar 5, 2016

Rise in cyber risk leads to jobs boost

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, employment, internet, law

Big money in hacking law firms. Hackers being hired and paid by parties in suits, companies in acquisition, etc.


The growing influence of the internet in law has opened up a wealth of opportunities for cyber law specialists, according to cyber law expert Bradley Deacon.

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Mar 1, 2016

Autonomous Killing Machines Are More Dangerous Than We Think

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, drones, ethics, law, military, policy, robotics/AI

I see articles and reports like the following about military actually considering fully autonomous missals, drones with missals, etc. I have to ask myself what happened to the logical thinking.


A former Pentagon official is warning that autonomous weapons would likely be uncontrollable in real-world situations thanks to design failures, hacking, and external manipulation. The answer, he says, is to always keep humans “in the loop.”

The new report, titled “ Autonomous Weapons and Operational Risk,” was written by Paul Scharre, a director at the Center for a New American Security. Scharre used to work at the office of the Secretary of Defense where he helped the US military craft its policy on the use of unmanned and autonomous weapons. Once deployed, these future weapons would be capable of choosing and engaging targets of their own choosing, raising a host of legal, ethical, and moral questions. But as Scharre points out in the new report, “They also raise critically important considerations regarding safety and risk.”

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