Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Cellphones Privacy Sci-Fi Security Your Rights Online

Eben Moglen: Time To Apply Asimov's First Law of Robotics To Smartphones 305

Posted by Soulskill
from the or-through-inaction-allow-texting-at-the-dinner-table dept.
Sparrowvsrevolution writes "Free software lawyer and activist Eben Moglen plans to give a talk at the Hackers On Planet Earth conference in New York next month on the need to apply Isaac Asimov's laws of robotics to our personal devices like smartphones. Here's a preview: 'In [1960s] science fiction, visionaries perceived that in the middle of the first quarter of the 21st century, we'd be living contemporarily with robots. They were correct. We do. We carry them everywhere we go. They see everything, they're aware of our position, our relationship to other human beings and other robots, they mediate an information stream about us, which allows other people to predict and know our conduct and intentions and capabilities better than we can predict them ourselves. But we grew up imagining that these robots would have, incorporated in their design, a set of principles. We imagined that robots would be designed so that they could never hurt a human being. These robots have no such commitments. These robots hurt us every day. They work for other people. They're designed, built and managed to provide leverage and control to people other than their owners. Unless we retrofit the first law of robotics onto them immediately, we're cooked.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Eben Moglen: Time To Apply Asimov's First Law of Robotics To Smartphones

Comments Filter:
  • by crypticedge (1335931) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @01:44PM (#40454843)

    I would. I hate how every app I download on my android phone requires access to my contacts, phone state, text messages and a dozen other things a non internet enabled app asks for. Why does a game need to know who my contacts are? It's a single player game, not an online social game. Why does a game require my text messages? Why does it require my GPS location?

    It doesn't. We need to revolt against the idea that we are the product and the item we buy is simply a tool they use to spy on us.

  • Re:Three Laws (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @01:46PM (#40454917)

    A phone may not reveal a human's address or, through inaction, allow a human being to be spammed.
    A phone must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
    A phone must protect its own IP address as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

  • Re:Three Laws (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @01:52PM (#40455011) Homepage Journal

    TFA says first law, I'd like to see it obey all three laws, except I'd make the second law "A robot must obey the orders given to it by its owner, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law".

    I might think about a similar change to the first law, as well; change "a human being" to "its owner".

    I loled at your moderation, the moderator must be some kid who's never read Asimov, seen STNG, or the movie I, Robot, or... well, for any nerd on earth, hiding in a cave. We slashdotters should be well aware of Asimov's laws.

    BTW, another tidbit that everyone should know (and if you don't, why not?) is that Asimov coined the word "robotics".

    If any of you really haven't read Asimov, get your butt to the library RIGHT NOW.

  • Re:Three Laws (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rtaylor (70602) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @01:58PM (#40455153) Homepage

    TFA says first law, I'd like to see it obey all three laws, except I'd make the second law "A robot must obey the orders given to it by its owner, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law".

    So same as today then? The phone company, which is the phones owner, gives a command and the phone obeys by turning in the carriers position.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:55PM (#40456157)

    Cyanogenmod has permission management: http://www.cyanogenmod.com/
    Then there's PDroid, which requires a patched kernel: http://www.xda-developers.com/android/pdroid-the-better-privacy-protection/
    Also see LBE Privacy Guard, which only requires root.

    Honestly, without alternate firmware or at least rooting the thing you're fucked. Which oriface depends on the carrier.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @03:14PM (#40456443)

    I have a better idea: fix the OS to allow users to deny individual permission to applications.

    An Operating System following the principle of least authority [wikipedia.org] with a programming language such as E [wikipedia.org].

    See also: Capability-based security [wikipedia.org] and Discretionary access control [wikipedia.org].

    Operating systems along these lines: KeyKOS [wikipedia.org] on IBM S/370 mainframe computers, EROS [wikipedia.org] & Coyotos [wikipedia.org].

    The idea to represent this as an application of the First Law of Robotics is golden: hilarious & insightfull at the same time. Well done, mr. Moglen!

  • by Cito (1725214) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @03:28PM (#40456605) Homepage

    thats why my devices are jailbroken and I pirate everything.

    only pirates can be damn sure what they get and don't get.

    on iOS, jailbreak, then in Cydia add this repository cydia.hackulo.us, then install the Installous app. You can now install ANY app normall in app store for free.

    for android apps, pick your favorite torrent and download all the apps you like and install them yourself.

    Until app devs stop making bullshit apps then show them you don't give a fuck about their code and show it's not worth paying. just download what you want until smartphones put better protection in place and devs stop writing privacy invasion spamware.

    if a app has a free version that spies on you, then pirate their paid app to send them a message.

    either they will get ran off the system and go get a job flipping burgers or they'll change their ways.

"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce

Working...