Technology has always been a two-edged sword. What happens is that over time as technology advances, those "swords" get sharper, bigger, and more powerful - meaning that new technology has not only the capacity for greater good, but greater evil as well.
Lawmakers and the creators of technology have a solemn obligation to the world to tread carefully and thoroughly analyze how new technologies can be misused against society - not just how wonderful and exciting the new technology is or how much money can be made from it. As of now we don't do this, and if we don't start soon a very dark and scary world will result.
Case in point, a company name Global Rainmakers is soon to start outfitting an entire city in Mexico with Iris Scanners to identify all persons passing by them. The "excuse" is that it will create the worlds safest city. In reality, it will create the worlds most controlled, restricted, and paranoid city. GRI talks up their vision of a world where in 20 years everyone everywhere will have their "iris prints" registered and have their every movement tracked - as if this is a good thing. Sounds VERY evil to me, and why, because the potential for misuse of such a powerful and "all seeing" system is tremendous. I for one do not want to live in such a world, I'll take my chances with the criminals in this one - where I still have a modicum of freedom left.
Unless we know the extent of Saharkhiz's conversation, it's hard to justify/not justify Iran's response. I think it's a fair assumption to make, that every civilized country on Earth that has some sort of department of security, has requested this capability. As Peter Clark (above) has so succinctly stated in so many words; Iran is somewhat notorious for human rights abuses, so it's easy to jump on the "guilty by being on the evil empire list" bandwagon (I tend to board this wagon a lot). But as my colleagues mostly will agree, and any good business school should teach... as technological innovation brings us across new moral, cultural, and physical boundaries - we have to be very wise. The technology isn't the problem, course we know that. Here, we are asking if the technology providers are. SO I offer a similar euphemism to one already mentioned... If Smyth & Watson makes a .44 magnum and sells it to Harry... knowing full well he's gonna eventually use it to make his day... Given that Harry, by his own record and admission "likes to have made days" is known, or made known to them ... then isn't there, at least, some responsibility for Smyth & Watson to have some means by which to contractually punish or prevent misuse... or can then not because of some international laws that preclude them from not selling for such a reason? I'm not sure, but it seems that in matters of technology evolution... the companies that control the technology need to show, at least, some foresight into the possibilities of their products misuse... and offer ideas as to how to manage it, since they literally created it.
@Luis -- I agree that this is something to watch. At present I do not feel the suit has much chance of success.
After all, a house brick can be used to hit someone with, but that does not make the makers of house bricks bad people.
On the other hand, should a maker of house bricks supply them to someone who has a track record of hitting people with them?
Technology is meeting ethics and moral responsibility in ever more complex ways, so it is something that engineers (and journalists) should be prepared to think about. Everything we invent, engineer, report has an ethical aspect.
Technology meets ethics.
This news will be a one to follow since it clearly brings out the never-ending question… is technology good or bad.
One might say that it will depend on how is used. But the article does mention international corporations that regulate the exports showing that these regulations clearly draw the line on what is allowed and what’s not in regards to selling.
A man’s life is in danger due to (in part) the use of technology. This is serious business sometimes isn’t it?
Blog Doing Math in FPGAs Tom Burke 23 comments For a recent project, I explored doing "real" (that is, non-integer) math on a Spartan 3 FPGA. FPGAs, by their nature, do integer math. That is, there's no floating-point ...