“Never send a man to do a machine’s job.”

Posted by Anti Citizen One on January 29th, 2008

I found references to a “Fascinating (and long: 117-page) paper on ethical implications of robots in war.”

Hollywood often portray robotic soldiers as being very unreliable – but is that any worse than the humans currently in war zones?

Anti Citizen One

News Comment: At Least They Are Being Honest About It

Posted by Anti Citizen One on December 11th, 2007

AMERICA has told Britain that it can “kidnap” British citizens if they are wanted for crimes in the United States.

A senior lawyer for the American government has told the Court of Appeal in London that kidnapping foreign citizens is permissible under American law because the US Supreme Court has sanctioned it. The Times

Retired CIA agent John Kiriakou speaks to ABC John Kiriakou said he felt water-boarding may be torture. A retired CIA agent has said a top al-Qaeda suspect was interrogated using a simulated drowning technique but that he believes it was justified. BBC

So if someone makes a mistake in US law enforcement, you might be falsely abducted and tortured. Due process does not apply since you are not in US legal jurisdiction.

Next time the US demands some hostage should be released or have good treatment, can I laugh ironically?

Did I mention that 2+2=5?


Legal Protection of Religion In The News

Posted by Anti Citizen One on November 28th, 2007

Dawkins publisher may be tried for attack on ‘sacred values’

A Turkish prosecutor is considering whether to prosecute the Turkish publisher of Richard Dawkins’ bestselling atheist polemic, The God Delusion, on the grounds that it incites religious hatred. The Guardian

Pupil defends teacher in Muhammad teddy furore

A seven-year-old Sudanese boy has defended his British teacher, who stands accused of insulting Islam’s prophet, saying that he had suggested calling the class teddy bear Muhammad because it was his own name. The Guardian

Might as well put this one in from last week for completeness:

Springer show judgement reserved

The BBC will have to wait to see if it will be prosecuted for screening Jerry Springer – The Opera in 2005. The High Court reserved judgement on whether Christian activist Stephen Green should be allowed to bring a private prosecution for blasphemy. BBC

I have already expressed my views. AC1

Copyright Reform (Please)

Posted by Anti Citizen One on November 8th, 2007

A pet topic of mine: copyright law. It needs reform. I read an interesting speech calling for “Fair use reform; limits on secondary liability; protections against copyright abuse; fair and accessible licensing; orphan works reform; and notice of technological and contractual restrictions on digital media”.

To quote FN (again):

“Just see these superfluous ones! They steal the works of the inventors and the treasures of the wise. Culture, they call their theft—and everything becometh sickness and trouble unto them!”

Radiohead’s recent album release, although not directly addressing the copyright problem, did make a small step in the right direction. They allowed people to pay from zero to £100 to get their album at the purchaser’s discretion. This removes the record company from the equation. I think record companies can be grouped with the “superfluous ones”.

Anti Citizen One

Legalise All Drugs?

Posted by Anti Citizen One on July 24th, 2007

I heard an interesting debate in the ol’ radio (Law in Action) about legalising all drugs. Both arguments are strong in my opinion.

To Maintain Prohibition (aka War on Drugs):
Harmful drug use will rise, increasing the burden on social services (ok, this is the big one)

To Legalize (but have some regulation presumably):
Drugs are fun (allegedly) and many users don’t have problems.
We can monitor the users for ill effects through the official channels of drug supply.
Law enforcement focused on more harmful crime (users will not clog the courts, police time and prisons)
Less crime (since drugs would be affordable, crime to feed drug habits would be unnecessary. Also organised crime would be reduced since there is no need to import and distribute drugs illegally.)
Quality of drugs will be regulated and reducing risks for users.
Some people currently self medicate for legitimate illnesses – they could do so legally.
“Narco” states could be stabilized because illegal drug production would be replaced by regulated production.

It is inconsistent that alcohol (and tobacco smoking) are legal and drugs are illegal. Many people die due to alcohol, so harmfulness is not the deciding issue?
Many people use recreational drugs (approximately 10% of the UK population in the last year), so banning is criminalizing a common behavior. If enough people do any activity, we should question laws that ban that activity.
Some drugs are linked with mental illness.
Most arguments on both sides have little evidence to support them.

Tricky one.

Anti Citizen One

‘False’ Asbo woman wins payout

Posted by Anti Citizen One on July 5th, 2007

“A woman given an Anti Social Behaviour order (Asbo) based on false allegations made against her is to be compensated by the council that issued it.” BBC

Blair attacks civil liberties groups over terrorism

Posted by Anti Citizen One on July 2nd, 2007

‘In his last broadcast interview before his resignation, Mr Blair insisted that large-scale surveillance of terror suspects was essential, and said some criticism from civil liberties campaigners was “completely absurd… loopy-loo in its extremism”.’

“The idea that that’s an assault on hundreds of years of British civil liberties is completely absurd,” he said. The Guardian

I beg to “differ from the hollow lies” and so do many others:

In the period under review [2nd half 2006], instead of bringing people to justice, the UK authorities continued to impose “control orders” under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 (PTA) on individuals allegedly involved in “terrorism-related activity”. Consequent judicial proceedings were profoundly unfair, denying individuals the right to a fair hearing, including because of heavy reliance on secret hearings in which intelligence information had been withheld from the appellants and their lawyers of choice, as well as a particularly low standard of proof. Amnesty Int

Lords investigate ‘unconstitutional’ surveillance society – The Register, April 2007

“A recent survey conducted on behalf of the Daily Telegraph found that hundreds of thousands of UK citizens would refuse to sign up to a national identity register in the first place, even if it resulted in fines.” The Register, April 2007

“Four people have been found guilty of defying a ban on unauthorised protests near Parliament.” BBC, January 2006

“However, Parliament should take a long view, and resist the temptation to grant powers to governments which compromise the rights and liberties of individuals. The situations which may appear to justify the granting of such powers are temporary—the loss of freedom is often permanent.”

“…we are not persuaded that the circumstances of the present emergency or the exigencies of the current situation meet the tests set out in Article 15 of the ECHR” Joint Committee On Human Rights (2001) on ANTI-TERRORISM, CRIME AND SECURITY BILL

Also the continuing allegations of extraordinary rendition make me deeply concerned.

“whatever [the state] saith it lieth; and whatever it hath it hath stolen.” Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra (oh I love that quote!)

I got to go answer the door… oh I’m “looking, with knowledge, at a member of the Thought Police.”… bye world! (… “completely absurd” indeed…)

Anti Citizen One

Criminal nation [UK]: Two-thirds break law regularly

Posted by Anti Citizen One on June 25th, 2007

“Britain is a nation of petty criminals in which nearly two-thirds of people regularly break the law if they think they can get away with it, research shows.

And the middle classes are the most guilty, committing a range of offences that could land them with a criminal record against business, the Government and their employers. A study found that of those who admitted an offence, nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) committed up to three, and 10 per cent owned up to nine or more offences.”

The Independent