The Supreme Courtroom resolution to overturn Roe v. Wade has clearly far-reaching coverage implications, not least in relation to each present and future expertise.
POLITICO’s Ben Leonard has a report out at this time on implications of the choice for digital abortion care, the place suppliers typically prescribe abortion drugs through telehealth visits. That kind of care was already banned in 19 states earlier than at this time’s resolution, and now these in search of abortion in pink states must take care of governments that privateness and abortion activists worry may search out information with which to prosecute each abortion-seekers and suppliers.
“The best folks to implement it in opposition to can be sufferers doing these searches on their telephones or laptops,” Mary Ziegler, a professor on the Florida State College Faculty of Regulation and an professional on the authorized battle over abortion, advised Ben. “States for the time being … are saying they’re not going to punish sufferers, however they’ll discover it will be simpler to punish sufferers and subsequently may in the end determine to alter their minds on that topic.”
Ben and Ruth Reader advised us final month how telehealth suppliers have been getting ready. And in a report final week, POLITICO’s Sam Sabin described how abortion rights teams have been already ramping up their digital privateness protections and cybersecurity defenses forward of Roe’s overturning.
As Sam wrote in DFD, digital surveillance situations like police inserting facial recognition cameras exterior abortion clinics and harvesting information from well being apps are very actual worries. (She additionally answered questions from readers final month on information privateness and digital surveillance round abortion.)
Informational companies like Repro Authorized Helpline have applied secured messaging by means of companies like Tor, Sign, and ProtonMail, as specialists warn that present regulation enforcement practices for combing by means of seized gadgets may yield mountains of incriminating information in states the place abortion is now unlawful.
Eva Galperin, director of cybersecurity on the Digital Frontier Basis, advised Sam that “The most certainly scenario proper now’s that an individual will get reported by a relative or ER nurse, after which if they’re in a state like Texas, the state merely reveals up and searches their telephone.”
That implies that some abortion rights activists try to go even additional in shielding sufferers’ information privateness — together with turning to the blockchain. Which may not appear to be a promising strategy, contemplating the numerous high-profile latest examples of authorities tracing so-called untraceable transactions, however some activists imagine the tech may serve one other operate: organizing grassroots fundraising campaigns, through an “abortion DAO” (or decentralized autonomous group).
When the draft opinion of the choice overturning Roe was leaked final month, the New York Occasions interviewed crypto-enthusiastic abortion activists who speculated that members of such a DAO may quickly pool funds that they might then set up to distribute to abortion-seekers with restricted entry to care, citing examples corresponding to ConstitutionDAO and UkraineDAO that served comparable capabilities.
Molly Dickson and Madison Web page, two artists in Texas who launched a line of NFTs aimed toward elevating funds for abortion within the wake of the draft opinion, have been simple in regards to the expertise’s attention-getting efficacy in an interview with Reuters, stating how the hype across the expertise is perhaps used as a leverage level for activism.
“A lot cash is pouring into crypto,” they mentioned. “We get much more consideration.”
Mark Zuckerberg was very busy this week. In a sequence of Fb posts, the Meta honcho introduced a batch of recent insurance policies with implications for his firm’s model of the metaverse: Making subscriptions from different companies “interoperable” with Fb, introducing NFTs to Fb, and in a separate announcement turning the Fb Pay service into Meta Pay, a “digital pockets for the metaverse.”
Lots of the firm’s latest developments name again to high-profile stumbles from its previous — the digital pockets to the corporate’s ill-fated cryptocurrency experiment; its countless tinkering with numerous VR headsets an try to proper its long-ago cell debacle.
Meta has made broad gestures towards a cooperative, collaborative strategy to constructing the metaverse, however its measurement offers it an immense quantity of energy to set its personal guidelines, no matter what regulators may need (or different firms, for that matter). Whereas developments like this week’s founding of a Metaverse Requirements Discussion board level in that collaborative course, the corporate’s flurry of exercise makes it clear who’s within the driver’s seat.
The firing of the Google worker who claimed its AI was “sentient” impressed a new spherical of public hand-wringing, with most severe AI researchers discounting his declare.
In his considerate, accessible e book “Actuality+: Digital Worlds and the Issues of Philosophy,” printed earlier this yr, the Australian thinker David J. Chalmers tackles that very query in a chapter titled “Do simulated lives matter?” Chalmers begins by citing the 2021 movie “Free Man” the place AI-powered characters in a simulation go on strike, asking “Is it morally permissible to ‘play God’ by creating digital worlds containing acutely aware sims? What ethical tasks do we’ve towards the sims in these worlds?”
With out recounting Chalmers’ whole argument, he finally ends up extending Immanuel Kant’s Precept of Humanity to simulated beings, writing that “we must always by no means deal with sims merely as means to an finish however as ends in themselves.” Meals for thought in case your mind drifts in a sadistic course whereas losing time enjoying “The Sims”.
Keep in contact with the entire staff: Ben Schreckinger ([email protected]); Derek Robertson ([email protected]); Konstantin Kakaes ([email protected]); and Heidi Vogt ([email protected]). Observe us on Twitter @DigitalFuture.
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