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Privacy: Technology

We Robot 2014 - Call for Presentation Proposals (Including on National Security Topics)

For reasons that won’t surprise anyone, Lawfare deals a lot with automation and robotic technologies, ranging from cyber to big data to military robotics.  So readers might be interested to learn of next year’s We Robot 2014, the third annual conference devoted to the intersection of law, society, and technologies of robotics and automation.  The theme is “Risks and Opportunities,” meaning the risks and opportunities offered by robots as they come more closely into contact with human beings, in the home, school, workplace, but als

Targeted Killing

Interim Report by UN Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson on Drones in Counterterrorism Operations

You can find the interim report---the final won't be submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Council until 2014, apparently---here.

There's a good bit to pore over in the paper authored by Emmerson, with whom Lawfare chatted during his May fact-finding trip to the United States.

Cyber & Technology

Playing with Robots at Brookings: An Interview with Andrew Borene

A few months ago, I attended a robotics conference in Edina, Minnesota, invited by a gentleman named Andrew Borene, who helped organize it. There were a lot of impressive robots at the conference. But in many ways, the one that impressed me the most was one made by the company for which Andrew works, ReconRobotics. Tiny, light, and yes, throwable---literally---by tactical forces, it sends back to soldiers or law enforcement high-quality video and, in later models, audio from potentially hostile environments.

Cyber & Technology

Robotic Dog Tosses Cinderblocks

Speaking of Wired Danger Room, check this out: A robotic dog that tosses cinderblocks around with its head. Spencer Ackerman explains:

Flesh-and-blood dogs merely fetch. The robotic pooch that Darpa funded can throw.

Boston Dynamics’ BigDog started life as a headless four-legged robot capable of hauling soldiers’ gear along rough and uneven terrain. The BigDog’s upgrades and follow-on robots are expanding the boundaries of robotic motion, initially with cash from Darpa’s Tactical Technology Office.


Human Rights Watch Campaign on Killer Robots---and Tom Malinowski's Response

A few weeks ago, Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch had a thoughtful and serious---if sometimes playful---exchange with Matt, Ken, and me over fully autonomous weapons systems. But there seems to be another, less serious, side of Human Rights Watch's advocacy on the subject, a grass-roots campaign that is quite extreme in its rhetoric and tone. The other day, a Brookings colleague forwarded me an email she had received from human rights way.

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