Thursday, September 07, 2006

GikII 2.01

After the first day and a nice dinner, GikII entered into its second and last day, and the sense that GikII was becoming a future reference point for the edges of Cyberlaw and a likely annual event was in the ambient.
The morning started with Judith Rauhofer’s “Defence against the Dark Arts: How the British Response to the Terrorist Threat is Parodied in J K Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince”. Not being a Harry Potter specialist (I’ve seen the movies but never read a book!), but having followed the comments about the books on the press, I found more than very interesting her analysis and I was nicely surprised by her study, which walks on the boundaries of socio-legal studies and literature and law. She put forward the idea that one of the reasons for the success of Harry Potter within the adult readers is the similarities between his fantastic world and recent historical and political developments. Then, she moved into explaining with very precise detail the analogies to be found in Rowling’s book 6 and the UK’s situation involving the threat of terrorism and the government activities in surveillance, detention without trial and national identity cards, to finish with the question made within the book (in different words) about whether the measure taken to protect society’s values don’t actually threat to destroy the same values they were designed to protect.
The second participant/speaker/geek was Andrew Adams, who considered the likehood of society becoming more prone to be surveillance-states as in dystopian science fiction works “From 1984 to V for Vendetta via Minority Report”. Societies are becoming more and more risk intolerant to certain kind of risk, which can lead to the expansion of actuarial approaches to justice. Can we, will we tolerate a “Big Brother” state? As in the previous talk, aren’t we/they putting forward a system that would/is/will destroy(ing) the same society that purports to defend? How we avoid it? More regulation? Self regulation? Technological resistance?
To end that session Andres Guadamuz spoke about “Killer Robots, Evil Scientists and Other Tales of Woe: How Technophobia in Culture Affects the Law”. There Andres suggested that the wrong way in which law and policy deal with technology can be informed by the fact that we live in a technofobic society and that technophobia has been created and/or reinforced by science fiction. What probably is more interesting is that those who write or make films encouraging technofobic views associate state control/bad with technology, and non-technology or more mechanical-based technology with freedom/good. The issue/contradiction is that those software or IT producers that could lead to the worst case scenario of IT controlled control-state are those who claim that lack of regulation makes us freer when it can be argued that the opposite is true and the way to avoid a control-state is by controlling the technology first, via regulation.


Lilian Edwards said...

But you haven't mentioned the tentacle sex Fernando!! :-P

feneuk said...

I just finished that part now, few days later in the calm of my hotel in St Louis, MO ;-)