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 Disassembly
A 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 Morphology
A 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 Sovereignty
A 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 Mutants
A 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.
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