From drone warfare in the
Middle East to digital spying by the National Security Agency, the US
government has harnessed the power of cutting-edge technology to awesome
effect. But what happens when ordinary people have the same tools at their
fingertips? Advances in cybertechnology, biotechnology, and robotics mean that
more people than ever before have access to potentially dangerous
technologies—from drones to computer networks and biological agents—that could
be used to attack states and private citizens alike.
In The Future of
Violence, law and security experts Benjamin Wittes and Gabriella Blum
detail the myriad possibilities, challenges, and enormous risks present in the
modern world and argue that if our national governments can no longer
adequately protect us from harm, they will lose their legitimacy. Consequently,
governments, companies, and citizens must rethink their security efforts to
protect lives and liberty. In this brave new world where many little brothers
are as menacing as any Big Brother, safeguarding our liberty and privacy may
require strong domestic and international surveillance and regulatory controls.
Maintaining security in this world where anyone can attack anyone requires a
global perspective, with more multinational forces and greater action to
protect (and protect against) weaker states who do not yet have the capability
to police their own people. Drawing on political thinkers from Thomas Hobbes to
the Founders and beyond, Wittes and Blum show that, despite recent
protestations to the contrary, security and liberty are mutually supportive,
and we must embrace one to ensure the other.
The Future of Violence is at once an introduction to our emerging
world—one in which students can print guns with 3-D printers and scientists’
manipulations of viruses can be recreated and unleashed by ordinary people—and
an authoritative blueprint for how government must adapt in order to survive
and protect us. Download and start listening now!