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Archive for the ‘law’ category

Dec 9, 2018

Future Cities & Societies: Governance, Law, Blockchain

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, governance, law, transhumanism

I’m speaking next Friday evening, Dec 14, at 6PM then doing a panel at the NodeSF in San Francisco. Hosted by the Institute for Competitive Governance and Startup Societies Foundation, the event will discuss innovative approaches for new cities and societies. Join us in building the future! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/future-cities-distributed-socie…gFeha96wn2 #transhumanism


How are the future cities going to look like? Are they going to be sovereign states? Will people have decentralized governments? What is the future of law like?

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Dec 1, 2018

The Hidden Danger of Cleaning Up Our Space Junk

Posted by in categories: law, policy, satellites, security

As an international relations scholar who studies space law and policy, I have come to realize what most people do not fully appreciate: Dealing with space debris is as much a national security issue as it is a technical one.

Considering the debris circling the Earth as just an obstacle in the path of human missions is naive. As outer space activities are deeply rooted in the geopolitics down on Earth, the hidden challenge posed by the debris is the militarization of space technologies meant to clean it up.

To be clear, space debris poses considerable risks; however, to understand those risks, I should explain what it is and how it is formed. The term “space debris” refers to defunct human-made objects, relics left over from activities dating back to the early days of the space age. Over time that definition has expanded to include big and small things like discarded boosters, retired satellites, leftover bits and pieces from spacecraft, screwdrivers, tools, nuts and bolts, shards, lost gloves, and even flecks of paint.

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Nov 30, 2018

What Health & Safety might look like in 2028

Posted by in categories: business, employment, health, law

by Russell Corlett, health and safety director for Peninsula. The HR and employment law business consultant is based in Manchester and has over 30 years’ experience, as well as an international presence in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

Health and safety has faced a major upheaval in recent years. The arrival of the digital revolution, and changing corporate and social attitudes, has seen a seismic shift in how the industry operates.

As we adapt to technological advancements and diverse workplaces, let’s break out a crystal ball, examine the available evidence, and see where things may be a decade from now. The future of business While we can’t say for sure what will happen, it’s possible to make an educated guess. There are already white papers speculating on the future business world, such as a detailed analysis by professional services network PwC. This report suggests four potential outcomes by 2030:

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Nov 26, 2018

Many scientists denounce researcher claiming 1st gene-edited babies born in China

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, cyborgs, ethics, genetics, law

Not sure if this is real or still vaporware yet. But it IS inevitable. It’s not a matter of “if”, but “when”. And we’re most likely not going to be able to regulate it much, either. If an embryo or fetus is not a human, then parents have the right to do anything they want to it. You might think that this is going to result in eugenics, like erasing melanin genes and starting a race against the fictitious “white genocide”. You’re right. But if you think that’s as bad as it’ll get, think more creatively. What happens when poor parents get paid to implant “willing servility” genes into their unborn children, in order to pay bills. The future is now. Cyborgs will not destroy humanity, but humanity itself might. What kinds of rights can be written into law to prevent this kind of extortion, that won’t also grant fetal personhood and end up derailing abortion rights? It’s going to be a bumpy ride, folks, buckle up!


A Chinese researcher claims he helped make the world’s first genetically edited babies — twin girls born this month, and with DNA he says he altered with a powerful new tool capable of rewriting the very blueprint of life.

If true, it would be a profound leap of science and ethics.

Continue reading “Many scientists denounce researcher claiming 1st gene-edited babies born in China” »

Nov 16, 2018

What a massive database of retracted papers reveals about science publishing’s ‘death penalty’

Posted by in categories: law, science

Still, the data trove has enabled Science, working with Retraction Watch, to gain unusual insight into one of scientific publishing’s most consequential but shrouded practices. Our analysis of about 10,500 retracted journal articles shows the number of retractions has continued to grow, but it also challenges some worrying perceptions that continue today. The rise of retractions seems to reflect not so much an epidemic of fraud as a community trying to police itself.


Better editorial oversight, not more flawed papers, might explain a flood of retractions.

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Nov 15, 2018

Tell the FDA to identify and punish law breakers

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, law

Tell the FDA to identify and punish organisations who have broken US law by not reporting clinical trial results.


The US’s Food and Drug Administration has at last published its plan to identify and punish the organisations and people who have broken the law by not reporting clinical trial results. The FDA now wants to hear what we think about the plan.

The FDA Amendment Act 2007 says that lots of clinical trials in the US should be registered on ClinicalTrials.gov and report results information there within 12 months of the end of the trial. AllTrials’s FDAAA TrialsTracker shows that 628 clinical trials have broken this law since the first trials became due in January this year. We have written to the FDA every week to update them on the trials that have breached the law and shared with them a rolling estimation of the amount in fines the Agency could levy on the law breakers. The FDA has the power to fine people up to $10,000 a day and we have assessed that they could have raised $904,499,127 – nearly a billion dollars – but no one has ever been fined. That the FDA is now seriously considering how to start doing this is a long-awaited step forward.

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Nov 12, 2018

Dutch man, 69, starts legal fight to identify as 20 years younger

Posted by in category: law

Motivational speaker Emile Ratelband compares bid to alter age to gender change.

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Oct 15, 2018

To be – or not to be – an enhanced human

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, law, wearables

Should there be any ethical or legal boundaries to technologies that enhance humans? I pondered this last week as I read an online article about the recent trials of upper-body “exoskeletons” by production line staff at Volkswagen and at Chrysler-Fiat. These lightweight wearable frames greatly reduce the physical strain of repetitive overhead assembly work, and will be an important industrial enhancement as workforces age.

We tend to think of medical advancement in terms of better cures for diseases and recovery from injury. Enhancement however goes beyond therapy, and extends us in ways that some may argue are unnatural. Some human enhancements are of course also pre-emptive therapeutic interventions. Vaccination is both an enhancement of our immune system, and a therapeutic intervention. However, in cases where there is little preventative justification, what degree of enhancement is acceptable?

We drink coffee expecting our work performance to improve. We accept non-elective operations, breast implants, orthodontic improvements and other interventions which improve our perception of ourselves. We generally accept such enhancements with little question. However devices and drugs that improve athletic performance can lead us to question their legitimacy.

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Oct 13, 2018

China legalizes Xinjiang ‘re-education camps’ after denying they exist

Posted by in categories: education, government, law

Authorities in China’s far-western Xinjiang region appear to have officially legalized so-called re-education camps for people accused of religious extremism, a little more than a month after denying such centers exist.

The Xinjiang government on Tuesday revised a local law to encourage “vocational skill education training centers” to “carry out anti-extremist ideological education.

Human rights organizations have long alleged the Chinese government has been detaining hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs — a Turkic-speaking, largely Muslim minority native to Xinjiang — in such centers as part of an effort to enforce patriotism and loyalty to Beijing in the region.

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Oct 10, 2018

New FAA Rules for Drones Go Into Effect

Posted by in categories: drones, law, robotics/AI

The 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act maintains a distinction between recreational and commercial activities, but the FAA is no longer constrained by law not to impose rules on the former: Section 336, which had previously carved out an exception for model aircraft, has been entirely repealed. In its place is a new Section 349, which covers what the FAA expects of recreational flyers.

The title of Section 349 betrays a very different attitude compared with the earlier Section 336. It reads: “Exception for Limited Recreational Operations of Unmanned Aircraft.” No more calling them model aircraft: Small models—including things sold as toys, even paper airplanes—are referred to as “Unmanned Aircraft.”

That seems a little ridiculous to me. In my view, the FAA is committing what philosophers sometimes call the fallacy of the beard: A paper airplane is clearly not something the FAA should worry about, whereas a large octocopter with whirring blades carrying a heavy camera is. But where do you draw the line? The FAA refuses to set a threshold under which it bows out, insisting that everything not carrying people and capable of flight is an “unmanned aircraft” requiring the agency’s oversight and regulation.

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