The Cyborg Bill of Rights v1.0
Our civil liberties, protections, and rights need to be revised periodically if they are to accompany us as we cross new frontiers. A new frontier looms ahead. More accurately, the new frontier looms within. And it is within our bodies and upon this battlefield that the next electronic rights war will be fought.
In anticipation of the battle for the body, we can envision a conflict among competing interests in property located within a person's body and likely connected to externally controlled resources for storage, logging, and monitoring--for instance, a medical device--and we can imagine that someone's body may contain more than one such synthetic organ, life sustaining system, or other supportive technology--all of which having different owners with different interests and claims on a person's innards.
It is the time to revisit the state of our rights, test our metaphors and precedents, and decide how to protects ourselves now that the battle has become more intimate and personal than ever before. Our process begins with a draft of proposed rights that are discussed thoroughly, adopted by convention, and then published to serve as model language for adoption and incorporation by NGOs, governments, and rights organizations.
The Cyborg Bill of Rights v1.0:
Freedom from DisassemblyA person shall enjoy the sanctity of bodily integrity and be free from unnecessary search, seizure, suspension or interruption of function, detachment, dismantling, or disassembly without due process.
Freedom of MorphologyA person shall be free (speech clause) to express themselves through temporary or permanent adaptions, alterations, modifications, or augmentations to the shape or form of their bodies. Similarly, a person shall be free from coerced or otherwise involuntary morphological changes.
Right to Organic Naturalization
A person shall be free from exploitive or injurious 3rd party ownerships of vital and supporting bodily systems. A person is entitled to the reasonable accrual of ownership interest in 3rd party properties affixed, attached, embedded, implanted, injected, infused, or otherwise permanently integrated with a person's body for a long-term purpose.
Right to Bodily SovereigntyA person is entitled to dominion over intelligences and agents, and their activities, whether they are acting as permanent residents, visitors, registered aliens, trespassers, insurgents, or invaders within the person's body and its domain.
Equality for MutantsA legally recognized mutant shall enjoy all the rights, benefits, and responsibilities extended to natural persons
Header image: Ryan O'Shea
Rich MacKinnon is past president of EFF-Austin, former board member of the ACLU of Texas, and founder of Borgfest Human Augmentation Expo and Cyborg Pride Festival.
Until recently, under Canadian law, prison administrators could confine their charges to an indefinite period in solitary confinement. Thanks to a pair of high profile court rulings, this could change in a big way, provided the Federal government can get its shit together. Last month, the Supreme Court in the Canadian province of British Columbia […]
What to do with all that civil asset forfeiture? Why not erect a fake hotel sign outside the county jail and make a fake ad starring you? That’s what Sherriff Rick Staly thought would be fun.
In her delightful blog AI Weirdness, Janelle Shane entered 18,458 unique bills introduced in Massachusetts into a neural network, which then created some rather hilarious bills, including:
Going back to school isn’t necessarily an option for everyone. Between the time commitments and steep tuition rates, there are obstacles aplenty as far as furthering education is concerned. However, that’s not to say it’s impossible to learn new skills. Excel with Business lets users access thousands of hours of online learning in Microsoft, business, technology, […]
More often than not, you won’t see an accident coming, which means it pays to be proactive and ensure you have the right tools on-hand before you need them. Whether you find yourself in the middle of a power outage or having car trouble at night, you can make sure you’re still capable of navigating […]
Trains may not be the most popular means of conveyance nowadays, but chances are you grew up playing with toy trains or building a model set to wrap around the Christmas tree. In either case, it’s safe to say that locomotives have long carried a unique sense of awe and scale, especially when they’re hundreds […]