About

The research and writing are the work of Chris Allsup and based on his original Masters research at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

The objective of this blog is to address the degree to which technology has changed domestic and international politics in the modern Information Age with profound implications upon human civil liberties.

Throughout the arc of history, there is clear and compelling evidence the development and ownership of complex tools and technologies, as a product of human creativity, has changed the course of humanity. There is no shortage of excellent books and blogs written by profound authors on these advancements. There seems, however, to be a gap in the dialog that this blog will address. Specifically, this blog intends to illustrate three compelling questions for the reader to consider from the point of view that humans have a digital persona that mirrors their physical one, but the two personas do not share the same set of constitutional and human rights despite being one in the same.

Part 1:

Is America a Democratic or Authoritarian National Surveillance State with respect to the natural law treatment of human civil liberties?

Given the expansive data collection revelations of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), part one of this blog will address whether or not the United States is a democratic or authoritarian national surveillance state with respect to the natural law treatment of human civil liberties. I will use an analytical framework provided by Jack Balkin from Yale Law School and place the United States on a spectrum between an authoritarian and democratic national surveillance state. I will also outline what the three main threats national surveillance systems pose to our rights. After this I will discuss how blanket warrants for information on all citizens has occurred in U.S. history and describe the response by the people. The discussion will then turn to the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment; it’s creation and just as importantly, the methods of interpretation available for the amendment. After that I will provide additional analysis and conclude with final thoughts on the future of a more secure digital age, the U.S. cyber security strategy, and how the Fifth Amendment and artificial intelligence can and should play a role. This will lead us to the next question to be addressed in part two.

Part 2:

What is the nature of technology and governance with respect to their impacts on constitutional rights, natural human rights, and economic advancement?

The sequence of posts that cover this question will illuminate the nature of technology and governance developments with respect to their impact on constitutional rights, natural human rights, and economic advancement. The posts will begin by seeking to understand the nature of technology, what technology is and how it is developed by using the framework provided by Brian Arthur, one of the top thinkers in the development of systems and technology analysis. I will then use this framework as a lens to analyze the topic of governance and determine whether governance in of itself can be classified as a technology. With the common understanding that the rule of law is a necessary component of true governance, I will explore the United States system of democracy through a treatise on how the U.S. Constitution was developed. This will be done by discussing the original arguments and tenets of “The Federalist Papers” and the arguments by James Otis against “Writs of Assistance”. I will further explore the core threats the authors of The Federalist Papers illuminated and then turn the discussion to explore what modern threats the U.S. Constitution face, whom is advocating for those initiatives, and their strategy for achieving their goals. This section will conclude with discussion on the importance of trust and confidence as it relates to economic progress and how important the freedom of the press in the battle of developing ideas is to human advancement. This will lead us to part three which explores these concepts in the context of the information age.

Part 3:

If this is the information age is our information sufficiently secure from theft and illicit use?

Part three will address the question of whether our information is sufficiently secure from theft and illicit use. This section will begin with a discussion around the developments of high speed wireless internet, smart phones, tablet computers, and cloud based computing systems that are accessed by humans through these devices. It is also important to discuss the advent of social media and the development of a ‘digital self’. The discussion will turn to the modern digital threats to individuals, companies, and governments these new technologies open up. This will lead into discussion on terrorism, cyber warfare, and the development of the United States Patriot Act post the events of September 11, 2001. Then I will discuss six core case studies where sensitive information systems were compromised and/or completely disrupted. I’ll begin the conclusion of part three by exploring the nature of digital security systems and how cost and complexity play a meaningful role in the development of security policies for organizations of every type. We will explore how access credentials, username and password, for digital systems, can be enhanced by a standardized approach called intelligent multi-factor authentication based on artificial intelligence concepts. Part three will conclude with discussion around the future of civic engagement, the future of change, and their impacts on economic advancement and convergence.

This blog will close with a final conclusion based on a summation of the three sections. Posts that are related to this topic but do not fit into the argumentation framework can be found in the “Thoughts” section of this research blog.

3 Responses to About

  1. Tyson says:

    Chris – great blog. This is a chance for people to have strong dialogue on key topics facing us today and well into the future, not just in the USA but across the world. Looking forward to some great back and forth on this blog!

    Like

  2. Eric says:

    Congrats Chris. This is a paramount issue that needs to be dissected, discussed and debated. We all know what is at stake here. Looking forward to the dialogue.

    Like

  3. corky says:

    I love you!

    Corky

    Like

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