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The International Lawyer

The International Lawyer, Volume 56, Number 1, 2023

Technology Law, Rights & Ethics - One Choice, One Future

George A Walker


  • The importance of technology cannot be overestimated in the development of industry, commerce, and government over time and in the evolution of social systems and individual existence.
  • Existing risks can be aggravated by technology, and technologyspecific exposure can give rise to massively increased risks of loss transmission, contagion, and associated heightened levels of uncertainty.
  • The speed of technological advance makes it difficult for legacy hard law and regulation to respond.
  • It is necessary to develop a new, more flexible, and adaptive form of response and reaction, with higher level standards that can apply on a continuing, consistent, and adaptive basis as innovation proceeds relentlessly.
Technology Law, Rights & Ethics - One Choice, One Future
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I. Introduction

The importance of technology cannot be overestimated in the development of industry, commerce, and government over time and in the evolution of social systems and individual existence. Technology has had a massive impact on the structure and operation of ancient and modern societies. This has brought massive benefits, as well as associated risks and challenges. Existing risks can be aggravated by technology, and technology-specific exposure can give rise to massively increased risks of loss transmission, contagion, and associated heightened levels of uncertainty. The speed of technological advance makes it difficult for legacy hard law and regulation to respond. This is inherently fixed and inflexible to a significant extent, with revision prone to cost and delay. It is necessary to develop a new, more flexible, and adaptive form of response and reaction, with higher level standards that can apply on a continuing, consistent, and adaptive basis as innovation proceeds relentlessly. For this purpose, a new examination of Law, Ethics, and Technology (LET) must be produced to allow law to respect, parallel, and support continuing technological innovation and associated social change and advance in a meaningful, progressive, and constructive manner. A new Legal and Ethical Framework for Technology (LEFT) can be constructed for this purpose. All of the new legal, regulatory, and ethical components of this new regime can then be drawn together into a single complete and coherent reformulation or Consolidated Official Restatement of Rules, Ethical Conduct, and Technology (CORRECT).

A. Technology

Technology and social technologies are of essential importance to secure social organisation or function and to deliver social objectives. This can be considered further in terms of Complex Adaptive Systems (CASs), with the inherent interconnectedness and emergent dependence created in modern markets and societies. Connected issues arise with regard to new forms of Complex Adaptive Technologies (CATs), Complex Adaptive Risks (CARs), and Complex Adaptive Data (CAD), with the need for new Complex Adaptive Legal and Legislative (CALL) responses. This requires correspondingly sophisticated multi-layered or Multi-Agency Solutions (MASs) and multi-layered or Multiple Adaptive Governance (MAG). This could be based on a Technology Adaptive Regulation, Goals, and Ethics Template (TARGET).

A large number of distinct types of modern technology can be identified. These can be summarised in terms of power, propulsion, production, processing, premises (building), and preservation (carbon management). A more detailed and specific new taxonomy or architecture of technology can then be constructed to pull all of this together into a complete whole based on these six physical technologies (Physical Use Technologies (PUTs), Physical Advanced (Action or Adaptive) Technologies (PATs), or Secure Physical Operational and Regulatory Technical Standards (SPORTS)), with two sets of digital technologies and a further series of additional global technologies. Digital technologies can be divided into Access, Process, and Telecommunications technologies (APTs) or Infrastructure technologies (INFRAs) and Application, Robotic, and Cybernetic technologies (ARCS) or Applied, Platform, and Existence technologies (APES). Much of this involves specific applications of data technology (DataTech or DATAs). This would include Telecommunications, Energy, Computing, cloud Hubs, and data Systems (TECHS) or Telecommunications, Energy, Computing, cloud Hubs, NanoTech and biotech, Internet, Cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Ledgers, and data Systems (TECHNICALS). This would also involve Computing, cloud Operations, data Management Programming, Ledgers, Energy, Telecommunications, and other Emergent systems (COMPLETE). Artificial intelligence models can separately be considered in terms of Restricted (narrow) AI Neural (or network) Systems (RAINS), General AI Neural Systems (GAINS), and SuperAI Neural Technology Systems (SAINTS), as well as AI and Machine Sentience (AIMS), and with separate Human Interface Programme Systems (HIPS or neuralinks).

A set of further global technologies can also be added to this, as part of a parallel Social, Market, Atmospheric (Climatic), Regulatory, Technology, and Security (SMARTS) model. These can specifically respond to continuing global challenges and threats in the form of Collective (social), Habitation (natural disasters), Atmospheric (Climatic), Regulatory, Technology, and Safety (CHARTS) contingent events. New solutions can be considered in terms of an adaptive Social, Trade, Atmospheric (Climatic), Regulatory, Technology, and Safety (STARTS) agenda. This may be considered to include a series of more specific Regulation, Investment, Governance, Human rights, Technology, and Stability (RIGHTS) or Finance, Investment, Governance, Human rights, Technology, and Stability (FIGHTS) entitlements. All of this would be based on a larger pure technology (TechTech), new technology (NewTech), or future technology (FutureTech) programme, as well as a global crisis response technology (CrisisTech or GlobalTech) initiative.

Each of the three elements of Law, Ethics, and Technology (LET) can be dealt with separately and together. While the law determines core rights, regulations set out more detailed standards, with ethics creating a more complete set of values that can apply on a continuous basis. It is possible to bring all of this together and construct a new legal, regulatory, and ethical framework to manage all aspects of innovation and Advanced New Technology (ANT) or Modern Advanced Technology (MAT). This can be set out in the integrated re-expression or Consolidated Official Restatement of Rules, Ethical Conduct, and Technology (CORRECT) referred to or Consolidated Adaptive Protocol and Integrated Technology and Law (CAPITAL) programme. All of this would still be based on the Rule of Law and Ethics (ROLE), which would apply Regulatory (or Recognised) Undertakings of Law and Ethics (RULEs).

Computer code has become of increasing importance over time, with many legal agreements and relations to be converted into code and especially with the rise of automation and self-executing smart contracts. Code cannot, however, replace law outright, with it being impossible to replace or limit access to certain essential rights, including fundamental human rights and core private, public, and international protections and entitlements. This may be summarised in terms of Essential Legal Interests and Target Entitlements (ELITE). These would more specifically include Fundamental Individual Rights and Entitlements (FIRE), private Property, Restitution, Obligations, Tort, Evidence, Courts, and Tribunal Settlement (PROTECTS), Public Administrative (or judicial) Review and Legal and Legislative Entitlement for Loss (PARALLEL), Public Order Law and International Conduct Enforcement (POLICE), and Public International Law and Legal Application (or Allocation) Rules (PILLAR). Countries can also be made subject to a revised set of State Obligations and Values (SOVs) or Common Obligations for Nation States Order and Laws (CONSOLS) under Public International Law (PIL). With all of this, a clear and coherent restatement of relevant legal rights can be produced in each country and across countries. Code and law would then work together to protect all relevant essential entitlements, with these not being removed inappropriately.

This must then be supported by an appropriate set of ethical principles that can apply on a continuous basis to overcome the limitations of hard law, including in terms of a possible lack of coverage, inflexibility, disagreement, and delays in revision and reform. This can operate with a series of underlying Enhanced Targeted Higher Integrity Conduct Standards (ETHICS) or Ethical Conduct Higher Official Standards (ECHOS). This includes both individual Managed Official Regulatory and Legal Standards (MORALS) and collective Special Official Collective and Individual Advanced Living Standards (SOCIALS). This could also be considered in terms of Fundamental Rights, Ethics, and Entitlements (FREE) and Fundamental Individual Rights and Entitlements (FIRE), as noted with collective Socially Agreed Fundamental Ethics (SAFE) or Social Advanced Values and Ethics (SAVE). This can be given effect to through a more specific set of Rights, Ethics and Standards Protection, Enforcement, and Capture Tools (RESPECT). This could also be based on a particular Objectives for Regulatory Assisted Conduct, Law, and Ethics (ORACLE) or Special Enhanced Regulation and Integrated Ethics Standards (SERIES) agenda.

These requirements could then be set out in a series of new Protocols implemented under a Protocol Assisted (or Adaptive) Stability and Security (PASS) framework. This would create a Public Regulatory Oversight Technology-based Official Control and Order Law (PROTOCOL) regime with a series of Control Adaptive Protocols (CAPs) or Special Technology Order Protocols (STOPs) and Future Obligations for Regulated Conduct and Ethics (FORCE). This would form part of the Consolidated Adaptive Protocol and Integrated Technology and Law (CAPITAL) programme and Consolidated Official Managed Programme for Law, Ethics, and Technology Enforcement (COMPLETE) agenda referred to. The objective would be to combine law, regulation, and ethical principles within a single statement or set of measures, which could include other, more general aspirational provisions and appropriate computer code conditions, where relevant. This would ensure the Conduct of Official National Technology with enhanced Regulation, Oversight, and Law (CONTROL). This could incorporate a series of dedicated Contingent Response for Immediate Safety and Integrated Security (CRISIS) or Continuing Response for Imminent Safety, Efficiency, and Stability (CRISES) programme measures. Various devices could be adopted for this purpose (CrisisTech), which may be extended to include responses to other forms of endogenous, as well as exogenous (ExoTech), risk threats, including biological, planetary, climatic, regulatory, and technological exposures and military engagement under the SMARTS, CHARTS and STARTS templates noted.

The Consolidated Official Restatement of Rules, Ethical Conduct, and Technology (CORRECT) could include a series of common provisions that would apply across all technology areas. This would provide a core set of connected or interdependent definitions. The restatement could consist of certain common key Conditions for Applied Regulation and Ethics (CARE) provisions. These could be structured to consist of three sets of initial Conditions for Advanced Standards and Ethics (CASE), Core Application Principles and Ethics (CAPE), and Common Objectives for Regulation and Ethics (CORE). A series of other, more specific standards or principles could be applied in relation to access, process, or infrastructure technology (APTs or INFRAs) and applied technology (ARCS or APEs), as noted. The ARCS or APEs could include a set of twelve Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Standards (RAIDS), with twelve Design Integrity Principles (DIPS) and twelve prohibitions consisting of Remote (Replicant, Restricted, or Regulated) Official Behaviour Ordinance standards (ROBOs). Other core requirements could be adopted in other areas such as Remote, Applications, and Platforms (RAPs) or Special Technology Robotics, Applications, and Platforms (STRAPS), as well as Robotic (or remote) Internet of Things Systems (RIOTS). This would also cover AI and Machine Sentience (AIMS) and Human Interface Programme Systems (HIPS). The objective would be to construct a complete, consistent, and coherent programme of higher standard measures that would apply in all cases and across all countries under CORRECT.

All of this could be given effect to under a new Global Investment, Finance, and Trade (GIFT) Treaty, which would supplement the existing 1944 Bretton Woods Treaty arrangements. A separate Global Integrated Finance and Technology (GiFT2) Treaty or Global Individual Freedom and Technology Standards (GIFTS) Treaty may also be established either separately or with the GIFT Treaty. This would create a General Legal Order for Behaviour and Advanced Living Standards (GLOBALS) and Global Order of Values and Economics Regulatory Network (GOVERN). The GIFT Treaty could incorporate further separate parts, including a Global Integrity in Law and Technology (GILT) Treaty and a parallel Global Reciprocal Economic Area Treaty (GREAT) framework, which could create a Global Electronic Market (GEM), Digital Advanced (or adaptive) Market (DAM), or Global Economic Trade (GET) international trading regime. The GIFT Treaty could also include an Advanced Digital Data Society (ADDS) or Digital Integrated Societies and Communities (DISCs) model with all of the other initiatives referred to above. This would protect Fundamental Individual Rights and Entitlements (FIRE), as well as Fundamental Rights, Ethics, and Entitlements (FREE), as noted. This would incorporate Global Objectives and Aspirations in Living Standards (GOALS) and Human Advanced Values and Ethics (HAVE). This would set out Core Objectives for the Development and Evolution (CODE) of humanity or Global Individual Values and Ethics (GIVE). This would protect the Formalised Understandings for Technology Use, Regulation, and Ethics (FUTURE), as well as Future Undertakings, Standards and Ethics (FUSE) or Future Understandings for Ethics and Law (FUEL). The overall objective would be to secure a Higher Understanding of Mankind and Nature (HUMAN) and to promote Happiness, Opportunity, Peace, and Equality (HOPE) within humanity.

II. Technology’s Importance and Significance

Technology has always been of massive importance in terms of social evolution and the structure and operation of daily life. This is generally concerned with the use of techniques, tools, or processes to carry out functions. Technology can be defined, for the purposes of this text, to refer to the use of any device, tool, or process to carry out a function in a more efficient or effective manner. Technology is a polymorphic, complex, and contestable concept with multiple meanings. Historically, this referred to the study of the science of the craft or use of technology rather than the technologies themselves. Techne refers to knowledge in the form of principles or method to produce an object or secure an end. This may then include the simplest of early hand-controlled processes and natural, stone, bronze, or iron tools, as well as complex modern physical and computing systems and engineering. Technology is a form of social technology. This can also be considered in terms of Complex Adaptive Systems (CASs) with new forms of complex adaptive risks and exposures. This then requires correspondingly more sophisticated multi-layered Multi-Agency Solutions (MASs).

Technology is generally considered in the areas of energy and power, transportation and propulsion, building and construction, manufacturing and production, land use, and increasing carbon management technologies. A large number of other fields and sub-fields within this can be identified. Many modern technologies are, nevertheless, digital and data-based or digital and data-related. “Digital” generally refers to the use of discreet binary electronic signaling rather than continuous analogue wave messaging, although this is another complex, combination, or contestable term with multiple meanings. “Data” can be understood to consist of structured, controlled, or ordered facts or information. “Information” represents any statement or point of fact, opinion, or law. “Digital data” represents discreet or discontinuous points of information. Advances in digital and data systems are evident in the computing and information and communications technology (ICT) areas.

The most recent current advances in technology can then be considered in terms of DigitalTech, or DataTech, as well as emerging new forms of pure technology (TechTech) or future technology (NewTech or FutureTech). These would include a number of exciting areas of advanced innovation and digital engineering and re-engineering. For the purposes of this paper, a twelve-part DigitalTech or FutureTech model or architecture can then be constructed based on six forms of access or network technology (AccessTech) and six forms of applied or substantive technology (AppliedTech). AccessTech consists of the most recent advances in alternative energy provision; modern computing technology; telecommunications and cyber security; data cloud storage; blockchain and graph technology; as well as network, internet, and world wide web (WWW) technology. AppliedTech consists of data management and big data analytics; automation and smart contracts; biotechnology (BioTech) and nanotechnology (NanoTech); applied robotics and cybernetics; machine reading and machine learning; and AI and machine sentience. Massive innovative strides continue to be made in each of these areas.

A more complete taxonomy or architecture of technology can also be constructed from this, consisting of physical and digital components with AcccessTech and AppliedTech. This may include some overlapping or hybrid elements. Any new technology taxonomy or architecture can also be extended to include other areas of global challenge or global technology (GlobalTech) at this time. These can be summarised in terms of the need to construct a new SMARTS model or STARTS agenda.

While many commentators support, or at least accept, the importance of technology, others question its potentially damaging impacts and the uneven distribution of the benefits generated. Many new forms of risk and exposure may arise, while technological benefit will often be tied to existing wealth patterns. Uneven wealth distribution is reflected in many aspects of modern industrial, commercial, economic, and government practices, as well as social and environmental debates. This has become increasingly more complex and difficult with overlapping areas of information and data, computer, ICT and technology theory, and philosophy. This can result in significant overlap and confusion in the discussion generated, which hinders effective and meaningful policy formulation. Many governments wish to create more meaningful and relevant new digital societies, although substantial problems remain in terms of definition, scope, coverage, attainment, and maintenance of these initiatives or programmes.

Associated issues arise with regard to the limitations of law and regulation, especially in terms of inflexibility, delay, and cost of law and regulatory reform. It is also difficult in innovative new areas to delineate clear boundaries in terms of enforceable rights and duties. Pending further clarification, convergence, and harmonisation, this may require the use of looser informal sets of standards and ethical frameworks, which could be set out in, for example, statements of principle or guidelines. This is an important area of current social need and attention. It is accordingly necessary to create a new relationship between LET and a new regulatory balance with an appropriate LEFT. A new control system that allows law and regulation to follow, reflect, and support technological innovation and associated social change and evolution has to be constructed. One solution may be to develop a new intermediate form of control under a Protocol Adaptive Stability and Security (PASS) system, which would allow a new direction and new future. This can implement a defined series of Objectives for Regulatory Assisted Conduct, Law, and Ethics (ORACLE) and enforced Conduct of Official National Technology with enhanced Regulation, Oversight, and Law (CONTROL). This may also incorporate a Digital Ethics, Law, and Technology Agenda (DELTA). All of this can be incorporated and applied under a wider new GIFT treaty regime or more specific GiFT2 treaty regime.

The purpose of this paper is to consider the more significant current developments of technological advancement against wider social changes, especially in terms of the development of new digital society programmes and agenda. The paper refers to the nature of CASs and MASs with other adaptive areas. It also refers to recent initiatives in the construction of new digital societies and notes the size and nature of the emergent datasphere or data biome. Additionally, it refers to existing sets of technology-related rights and protections and considers each of the principal new areas of AccessTech and AppliedTech in further detail. Further, it reviews the nature of the emerging new digital rights framework and separate ethical agenda arising in response to these changes. It then makes an attempt to construct a new consolidated and integrated global restatement of core rights and entitlements and governing ethical standards and principles within a new technology protocol-based framework. A series of final comments and conclusions are drawn.

III. Social Technology and Technology

All technology can be considered to constitute a form of social technology, which is concerned with any tool, technique, or procedure used to improve social organization or function or the securing of social objectives. Other social technologies include, for example, language, markets, and money, as well as Financial Technology (FinTech) and Regulatory Technology (RegTech). This paper refers to new forms of social technology as “SocialTech,” which includes any device used to improve social function or organisation. Despite the universal importance of technology, difficult issues remain in terms of explaining social and technological advancement, providing a clear theoretical or philosophical base of technological study, and establishing a clear relationship among LET.

A. Social Technology

The history of technology can be understood in terms of the evolution of society. Adam Smith distinguished separate stages of history to the age of the hunters, the shepherds, agriculture, and commerce, to which the age of finance can be added and possibly the age of Advanced New Technology (ANT) as well. Other commentators have considered this in terms of culture and energy. Other writers have considered the development of human culture in terms of information, which passes through genes, learning, logic, and symbols, and allowed the development of language and writing.

The Greeks considered technology in terms of techne, mechanical processes, or arts. Aristotle distinguished between the natural world (physis) and the non-natural world (poiesis) and identified five forms of knowledge, including techne. Medieval writers in the fifth to late fifteenth century, which preceded the Scientific Revolution that began in the 1600s, understood that mechanical arts could improve nature. Scientific study was elevated during the Scientific Revolution or Scientific Renaissance, beginning with Copernicus in 1543 until the end of the eighteenth century. Natural science was separated from natural philosophy during the 1800s, with technology becoming a separate phenomenon. The philosophy of technology was examined during the 1800s, particularly in Germany and Scotland. Modern writers separate older technology imitating nature from new technology that can improve nature and social advancements. More recent writers have generally focused on either the advantages or the disadvantages of technology.

Social technology can be explained in terms of using human, intellectual, or digital processes or resources to carry out social functions. This includes using facts and laws to secure social aims and social organisation to secure the most effective balance or harmony. The invention of fire and the wheel can be considered to constitute significant social technologies, as well as money, banking, and, most recently, FinTech and RegTech. These all constitute significant evolving social tools or technologies. It is, nevertheless, arguable that people must exercise care to ensure that technology is not used to support undemocratic forms of social engineering, to interfere with natural social processes, or to otherwise undermine social or human rights.

B. Theories of Technology

The relationship between technology and societies has specifically been considered in further detail under Science and Technology Studies (STS) or Science, Technology, and Society (also STS). These are concerned with the examination of science and technology on society, politics, and culture and the impact of society on scientific study and technology. This considers the sociology of technology and the social construction of society (SCOT) with a “turn to technology.” Specific fields include technoscience, which examines the relationship between science and technology and the scientific method, the speed of innovation, and alternative, rather than conventional, modernity, which challenges technological determinism. This also considers issues such as the tragedy of the commons, where common resources are damaged by mismanaged individual use.

Different theories can be developed to explain technology and the relationship between technology and society. Positive approaches, including technicism, and more critical, or sceptical, approaches can be identified. Other approaches include simple linear theories of technology innovation or technological determinism, which explains social advance in terms of technological progress. Other sets of social, critical, and group theories can be identified, as well as other different philosophical approaches.

Social theories include SCOT, with human action determining technology; human and non-human actor-network theory; structuration theory, with structure emerging from systems use; systems theory, including historical development and impact factors; and activity theory, which examines the system and its operations as a whole. Critical theories examine the origin and evolution of technology, including relevant political and moral choices. Group theories include social presence theory, or social connection and interaction; media richness theory, using information to remove ambiguity and uncertainty; media naturalness theory, replicating face-to-face communication; social identity model of deindividuation effects (SIDE), an explanation for loss of individual connection and communication systems; and time, interaction, and performance theory, with groups based on production, support, and wellbeing.

The purpose of all of this is to attempt to understand the reciprocal and interactive or interdependent relationship between social systems and technology and their mutual influence and dependence. This moves beyond the adoption of a simple deterministic approach to reflect the importance and value of the impact and mutually reinforcing processes and effects that arise. Technology can generally be considered to evolve with, and not separately from, people and society.

C. Philosophy of Technology

The philosophy of technology is generally concerned with the meaning, use, and application of technology and its relationship with society and social progress. There is no agreed upon meaning and scope of the philosophy of technology. The term “philosophy of technology” is of recent origin outside Germany. The examination of the philosophy of technology began with Ernst Kapp’s 1877 book, Foundations of a Philosophy of Technology, and the use of artifacts to overcome human limitations. Technology effectively acted as imitations of and improvements to human processes and organs. Different approaches have emerged more recently, as well as different patterns or models. A distinction can also be drawn between the humanities philosophy of technology, which considers technology as part of larger philosophical studies, and the engineering philosophy of technology, which considers technology in its own terms. The philosophy of technology may then be examined in terms of the nature of technology as a human creation and social consequence or the underlying engineering, design, and manufacturing processes concerned.

D. Technology and Ethics

The study of the ethics of technology is also of recent origin. A neutrality approach has generally been adopted historically, with loss or damage being considered dependent on use and abuse of technology rather than the technology itself. This has been challenged more recently, as different approaches being developed depend upon whether technology is considered in terms of being a political, social, cultural, professional, or cognitive activity. Ethical studies have also generally moved from determinism to choice and from examining technology as a whole to focusing on specific technologies. A number of other more specific issues, nevertheless, arise. While a general taxonomy of technology is constructed for the purposes of this paper, core sets of ethical principles are proposed in terms of data or digital ethics (DATs); access or infrastructure ethics; application or substantive ethics; AI and Machine Sentience (AIMS); interface program systems (HIPS); and digital robotics, applications, and programs (RAPS). Separate guidance can be provided in each of the core technology areas identified, which includes more specific support in sub-fields. Many of the same issues and concerns, which can be simplified and consolidated, nevertheless, arise while all of this still operates within a single system of legal actions and remedies.

E. Law, Ethics, and Technology (LET) and Legal and Ethical Framework for Technology (LEFT)

A new legal, regulatory, and ethical code can be applied in practice, with one of the principal purposes of this paper being to construct a new LEFT model to give effect to these LET measures. This could partly be achieved through legal revision, although this can be a slow and inflexible process. This generally requires legislative amendment, which can be costly and time consuming. Law reform through judicial decision-making and precedent can be even slower, less certain, and dependent on the accident of judicial instruction. Other regulatory processes may be less formal, although still cumbersome and operationally constrained. Ethical statements in the form of codes, statements, objectives, or standards are of use, although these may still be of limited value to the extent that they are only aspirational and not subject to any form of adoption, oversight, or sanction mechanism.

A new intermediate or composite protocol model may then be developed to assist with confirming expectations, clarifying substance, and supporting adoption and implementation in practice. Protocols could be summarised in terms of Public Regulatory Oversight Technology-based Official Control and Order Law (PROTOCOL) and implemented under a Protocol Assisted Safety and Security (PASS) framework. This could consist of a series of different types of protocols with different purposes and effects. These may include fully enforceable requirements, objectives, or principles statements; process or procedural measures; guidance only; or more technical computer code specification measures. These may be summarised in terms of POPs, CAPs, TIPS, PIPS, and COPs. These could then be implemented in practice through a PASS regime. All of this could be given effect at the international level to an overarching GIFT treaty or a more specific GiFT2 treaty. This would supplement, rather than replace, the earlier Bretton Woods international treaty system agreed at Mount Washington, New Hampshire, in July 1944.

IV. Complex Adaptive Systems and Technologies (CASTs)

People, communities, and societies can be considered in terms of complex systems. Systems theory was originally developed by the Austrian biologist Karl Ludwig van Bertalanffy. Social systems can specifically be examined in terms of Complex Adaptive Systems (CASs), which can be extended to apply to financial markets and to new technology and technology markets. Other forms of complex adaptive technologies, risk, data, and rules and regulations can also be discussed within a new Complex Adaptive Legal and Legislative (CALL) regime or Complex Adaptive Legal and Legislative, Ethics, and Regulatory (CALLER) framework.

A. Complex Adaptive Systems (CASs)

Systems theory refers to the study of systems as an integrated whole, made up of the relations between the parts of the system and representing more than the sum of the parts alone. Austrian biologist Karl Ludwig von Bertalanffy examined systems theory in the 1920s and 1930s and drew it together in Bertalanffy’s General System Theory in 1968. Russian philosopher Bogdanov examined systems relationships and organisation in Tektology ten years earlier. Systems are defined in terms of boundaries and adapt to secure specific goals or equifinality, with many different routes being possible to secure an end. A CAS is a dynamic system that displays uncertain and unpredictable causal mutations and chains. It is emergent with parts, and the system as a whole is adaptive. These can be based on MASs with additional adaptive and emergent properties. Examples include social systems, communities, cities and urban environments, organizations, governments, societies, and climatic environments.

B. Complex Adaptive Technologies (CATs)

Technology can be considered in simple, single, and linear terms or more complex and connected terms. Many forms of modern technology can be described and classified as operating in the form of a series of CATs. One iterative change can create further improvements and advances, which have further successive or consequential results. The effect of this is to generate complex and reinforcing chains of innovation and advance new forms of highly original connected and interdependent engineering and re-engineering. Innovation may impact specific applications and fields and sub-fields, as well as assist in unrelated areas, with the larger body of technological knowledge and advance being extended at all times.

C. Complex Adaptive Risks (CARs)

Technology has always been important historically in terms of social change and evolution. Modern technology has, nevertheless, had an increasingly significant impact on markets and society, especially through the scope, breadth, depth, speed, and continuity of technological innovation. This has occurred both in the areas of physical and digital technology.

This can result in a massive benefit and advantage, especially in terms of the government, industrial function, enhanced households, and individual daily operations. This may, nevertheless, necessarily aggravate existing forms of financial risk, generate new exposures, and increase the possibility of instability through the heightened levels of loss transmission and contagion created. More traditional forms of financial risk can be considered in terms of financial, operational, legal conduct and other external forms of exposure, including systems or systemic risk. Specific new forms of exposure may arise with information and digital information, data and digital data, knowledge, ideas, and archive risk, as well as new technology risk more specifically.

The relative advantages and disadvantages of technology can be considered in terms of a core advantage-disadvantage template that can be constructed. This develops a basic analytical framework considering relative benefit and exposure from a series of different perspectives, including technology, business, user and stakeholder interest, markets, regulation and control, infrastructure, central banking and government policy, and overall financial stability. The objective is not essentially to weigh advantages against disadvantages but to identify particular sources of possible exposure to be managed and to ensure that all of the overall benefits that may be available are realised with consequent minimum limited exposures and costs created.

D. Complex Adaptive Data (CAD)

Total data volume and complexity will necessarily increase over time. The world produced around one zettabyte of data in 2010 and forty zettabytes by 2019, with this being expected to rise to 175 zettabytes by 2025. “Data” is defined for the purposes of this text to refer to any form of structured or ordered points of facts or information collected or held in accordance with specific parameters or constraints. Data reflects complex underlying processes, which may be adaptive in their own terms. Data and big data analysis are then dependent on model selection, the examination of which may create its own emergent effects. Data collection may also be adaptive to the extent that parameters may be varied over time in a dynamic manner, including in terms of the nature, source, detail, and volume of the data accumulated. This will become more complex with the inclusion of AI control systems, which will introduce further uncertain and unpredictable effects.

E. Complex Adaptive Law and Legislation (CALL)

The establishment of an appropriate control framework would generally require ensuring that the law remains sufficiently flexible and responsive to contain all emerging risks and exposures. This would require a form of Complex Adaptative Law and Legislation (CALL) or Complex Adaptive Law and Legislation, Ethics, and Regulation (CALLER). This is, nevertheless, difficult due to the inherent delays that arise in developing the law through court judicial decisions or other separate statutory and legislative amendment. Law and legislation are necessarily often slower and more reactive compared to other forms of regulatory control. As an alternative to less efficient and flexible law and regulation, it may be possible to develop new forms of Complex Adaptive Regulation and Ethics (CARE). This would be able to change and adjust as technological conditions and associated interests and needs evolved. This would be based on more general statements of objective and principle with outline standards and targets or aspirations, rather than operating through fixed and inflexible rules and direction.

These new standards and provisions could be set out in a series of new structured protocols or Complex Adaptive Protocols (CAPS), which would apply to specific set of measures in particular circumstances. Different types of protocols could be issued. These may, for example, include enforceable measures, more general objectives of principles, and specific processes and procedures, wider guidance, or more detailed computer code specifications. These would operate as a form of intermediate condition between hard law and regulation and more general ethical standards and aspirations. This would still mix directly enforceable measures and key targets, which could be incorporated into other assessments, such as by government or professional agencies. This would create a new framework of high-level standards that would operate on a more flexible and responsive manner as innovation and conditions evolved and developed.

V. Digital Economies and Digital Societies

A large body of proposals has been produced to establish new digital economies or digital societies. These have been developed within the United Kingdom, European Union, United States, and elsewhere. The objective is to attempt to secure all of the relevant advantages and benefits that may arise but in a controlled and managed manner. These, nevertheless, tend to lack any clear or coherent structure or content at this time. They tend to be constructed on a selective and fragmented basis with no clear underlying policy or structural base. One of the purposes of this paper and connected papers is to create a new theoretical basis for the examination of finance and technology from a clear legal, regulatory, and ethical perspective.

A. Digital Economy and Digital Society

The “digital economy” refers to that part of a country’s economy based on digital computing and communications technologies. The United Kingdom House of Commons has defined the digital economy in terms of the digital access of goods and services and the use of digital technology to help businesses. The “digital society” refers to the adoption of digital technologies in the wider areas of social and community activity, personal and cultural identity, exchange, and governance. The digital economy and digital society overlap and create the wider framework or ecosystem within which we live.

The global population using online digital devices was 3.2 billion people in 2016, with 2 billion social media users and fifty-three percent mobile internet penetration. The Digital Economy was estimated to be worth almost $3 trillion in 2016 and consisted of five major sectors, including devices and interfaces (36.63 percent), e-commerce (33.66 percent), search engines (16.83 percent), social media (11.88 percent), and content (0.99 percent). $170 billion was spent on digital advertising. The Digital Economy has grown to $2.9 trillion within twenty years following the creation of the Internet, with this being dominated by nine countries that produce ninety percent of all earnings.

The World Economy Forum (WEF) Digital Transformation Initiative (DTI) in 2017 assessed with Accenture the effects of technological development in terms of business and wider societal benefits. It was estimated that digitalization could release $100 trillion in value over the next decade. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has produced annual reports on digital data flows between countries. UNCTAD has confirmed that the United States and China dominate data markets. The virtual and borderless nature of the internet can be considered to be creating a form of global digital economy.

The beginning of the twenty-first century represents a new era of opportunity for technological development and advance. The fundamental change within this new era has been the relevant importance of information and data in determining the structure and operation of the new world. Man and society have always had to communicate, record, and transmit ideas, although digital information has emerged as a new powerful social and financial asset that is now managed and transferred through massively more efficient electronic means than ever before. Many other aspects of business and social intercourse have also had to be revised to reflect this new reality. Earlier manufacturing and trade functions continue, although these now operate within a much more integrated, interconnected, and interdependent digital information infrastructure. We have effectively created three worlds with a financial global economy world, a digital or data online economy, and an underlying mercantile economy based on traditional goods and services.

B. Information, Data, and Knowledge Economy and Society

Reference is also made to the Information, Data, and Knowledge Economy and Society without clear division. The Information Society can be understood to refer to a system of social organization in which information becomes a key political, economic, and cultural determinant. Attention shifts from the production of goods and services to the collection, analysis, and management of information. This would include a parallel Data Society, depending upon how inclusive the terms “information” or “data” are defined. The Knowledge Society would refer to the use and application of information or data for social benefit. Information and data would become tools or resources to generate new social value or wealth.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has examined the separate economic and social dimensions of the Information Society. The OECD has explained the ICT sector as “a combination of manufacturing and service industries that capture, transmit and display data and information electronically.”

A World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was held in Geneva in 2003, with a Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action being adopted and a second phase being agreed upon to take place in Tunis in November 2005. The United Nations General Assembly endorsed the holding of the WSIS in December 2001 to examine the nature of the new Information Society and relevant opportunities and challenges. This was supported by the United Nations International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Geneva, as well as by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Austrian-American economist Fritz Machlup referred to the Information Society in examining patent application effects in the 1930s. Machlup later referred in 1962 to the Knowledge Industry. This is connected with the idea of the Knowledge Economy, which is concerned with the use and application of information and data studies and assessments to realize specific individual, industrial, scientific, social, or scientific policies or purposes. The Knowledge Economy was examined by Austrian-American management consultant Peter Drucker in The Age of Discontinuity. Drucker examines the changing nature of the economy, politics, and society as a result of four major discontinuities in the areas of knowledge technologies, world economic change, organizations, and the Knowledge Society.

Reference can also be made to a Risk Society, which is concerned with the new focus on risks and exposures that arise in modern communities and the need to manage them over time. Immediate online communication and closer social contact has led to the development of a “Sharing” or “Caring Society,” with people motivated to undertake increased levels of social and community contribution and support. This overlaps with the idea of a “Sharing Economy,” based on peer-to-peer exchange and e-commerce. We have also arguably moved most recently into a new “Popular Society,” or number of separate Popular Societies, as well as new universal “Protest Societies” driven by social media.

Any attempt to establish new digital economies in the new century may be most effectively considered in terms of combing basic digital technology within a wider Information, Data, and Knowledge Society framework with the most valuable elements of the Sharing and Caring Economy. This would realize all of the separate advantages and benefits generated by each model or regime. This could then create a form of New Economic and Technology Society (NETS) or Data Information Smart and Caring Society (DISCS). This would then require a comprehensive program of law reform to ensure that all aspects of these separate social initiatives are fully delivered. The rest of this paper outlines the work undertaken to date in certain key economies and then develops an outline consolidated digital and technology program to manage all of the aspects of technology-related reform and control.

C. United Kingdom Digital Strategy

The United Kingdom government published an outline UK Digital Strategy in March 2017. This formed part of the government’s plan for Britain, which was to construct a stronger, fairer country that works for everyone and not just the privileged few. This would create the conditions and framework for investment in up-to-date infrastructure and connectivity. This would be based on seven specific initiatives, including connectivity, digital skills and inclusion, digital sectors, wider economy, cyberspace, digital government, and data. Other initiatives included establishing a Digital Skills Partnership (DSP) to bring together public, private, and charity sector organizations to develop digital capability and National Data Strategy (NDS) to develop a world leading data economy based on trust, skill, and data access.

The United Kingdom was to launch a new Digital Strategy in autumn 2020, with the release delayed. A GOV.UK Roadmap for the 2020-2021 financial year was released in February 2021. Ten Tech Priorities were released in March 2021 to form the basis for the UK Digital Strategy.

The government announced that they would establish a new Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO) on January 12, 2021, to act as a new strategic center for digital, data, and technology. Further, senior appointments as Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) leaders were also announced. The CDDO operates as part of the Cabinet Office but is headquartered in Whitechapel, East London, with staff being moved from the Government Digital Service (GDS) to the CDDO.]

D. European Union Digital Single Market

The European Union Digital Single Market (DSM) forms part of the European Commission’s ten political priorities and was adopted on May 6, 2015. This consists of three policy pillars of improving access to digital goods and services, creating an environment in which digital networks and services can prosper, and promoting digital systems as a driver for growth in developing a European Digital Economy. The DSM would be built on the three pillars of better access by consumers and businesses to digital goods and services across Europe, an environment creating the conditions, and a level playing field for digital networks and innovative services with the maximum growth potential for the digital economy and society. The Commission published its Digital Single Market Strategy (DSMS) for Europe in May 2015. All modern innovative economic systems had increasingly become based on ICT, which would be supported by the European Union DSM.

The DSM would ensure the free movement of goods, persons, services, and capital and allow individuals and business to carry out online activities in a seamless manner with fair competition and a high degree of consumer and personal data protection. Removing physical barriers could contribute €415 billion to European GDP. Access would be based on effective cross-border e-commerce rules, affordable high quality cross-border parcel delivery, the prevention of unjustified geo-blocking (denial of website access), improved digital content, and reduced value-added tax (VAT) burdens and obstacles. Market conditions would be improved through making the telecommunications rules fit for purpose, developing a media framework for the twenty-first century, adopting a fit-for-purpose regulatory environment for platforms and intermediaries, and reinforcing trust and security in digital services. Growth would be promoted by building a data economy, including through the use of big data, cloud services, and the internet of things (IoT), boosting competitiveness through interoperability and standardization, and creating an inclusive e-society based in interlinked and multilingual e-services from e-government, e-justice, e-health, e-energy, and e-transport. This would be secured through investing in the DSM, promoting international relations, and developing an effective governance framework.

The European Commission brought forward two specific initiatives with the Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA) in December 2020. The objective is to create a safer digital space in which fundamental rights of digital services users can be protected and to establish a level playing field to promote innovation, growth, and competitiveness within the DSM and globally. “Digital services” refer to online services, including websites to internet infrastructure services, and online platforms, with the DSA focusing on online intermediaries and platforms and the DMA managing gatekeeper platforms.

The DSA will apply to intermediary services, hosting services, online platforms, and very large online platforms contacting over ten percent of the 450 million European Union consumers. A range of obligations are included. A number of advantages are predicted for citizens, digital services providers, business users, and society more generally. The DMA applies to large systemic online platforms or gatekeepers with a strong economic and intermediation position and an entrenched or durable position on the market. A number of obligations are imposed with further prohibitions. Fines may be imposed on up to ten percent of total worldwide annual turnover, with periodic penalties of five percent on average daily turnover. The objective is to promote fair access and competition and prevent abuse.

E. United States Digital Agenda

The United States Department of State launched an initial Digital Government Strategy (DGS) in May 2012. The objective is to construct a digital government that delivers better digital services to the American people. This includes an Open Data Policy and an Open Data Plan. This manages data as an asset and makes it available, discoverable, and useable to strengthen democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in government. This includes a number of open data principles based on publicity, accessibility, description, reusability, completeness, timeliness, and managed post-release. The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) was adopted in December 2015 to reform the purchase and management of computer technology. This was brought forward by the Obama Administration with its Digital Government initiative.

Initiatives have generally focused on improving government functions and the delivery of digital services. Commentators have recommended the development of wider policies to safeguard and promote digital innovation within the United States. This includes the adoption of a new doctrine of “digital realpolitik” to constrain digital adversaries in cooperation with other countries. The United States has to articulate and promote a coherent and strategic response. The Clinton and second Bush administrations attempted to lead by example and persuasion, with the Obama Administration promoting a global open internet. The Trump Administration adopted a new policy of realpolitik that was more protectionist and isolationist. A new doctrine of digital realpolitik had to be adopted promoting alliances to avoid dominance and manipulation and, specifically, a fracturing of infrastructure with a “splinternet.” A series of possible scenarios can be identified, with four preferred scenarios outlined. A number of principles can be identified to support a new cooperative policy agenda.

The Information Technology and Innovation Centre (ITIC) has produced a United States Grand Strategy for the Global Digital Economy to allow the United States to remain a global leader in this area. The Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has published a separate paper on Digital Governance, with the United States assuming a leadership role.

China has adopted a number of policies to develop a comprehensive digital strategy. China targeted specific areas for development, including AI, nanotechnology, quantum computing, big data, cloud computing, and smart cities. China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which includes a Digital Silk Road (DSR), was announced in 2015. A number of countries had received DSR-related investment, with others cooperating on the DSR within the BRI. The DSR was being extended to create a Health Silk Road (HSR) to support health infrastructure, particularly following the Coronavirus pandemic. China has separately proposed the adoption of new technical standards, which would effectively create a separate internet with other new standards-related measures.

All of these initiatives form part of larger emerging Digital Economy or Digital Society programmes.

VI. Digital and Technology Rights and Ethics

A number of essential rights have been conferred on people over time under the law. These include fundamental human rights and other social rights, as well as more specific interests and entitlements in the technology area. These can be considered to have evolved in a number of separate fields over time. Unfortunately, this has often created a fragmented and dislocated or disjointed framework of entitlements without a clear structure or common components. These have been produced by different bodies for different purposes. Certain entitlements are based on legal rights, while others are only aspirations or recommendations. It is also unclear how these will apply with regard to distinct types of technologies and how these will apply on a national and cross-border basis over time. No attempt has been made to attempt to draw all of these together into a single coherent whole. These entitlements create a useful body of entitlement, although all of this has to be revised and clarified further and incorporated into a single consolidated restatement of rights, regulations, and principles. This must also reflect and respect all relevant underlying legal rights and protections in place at this time.

The following specific set of rights, interests, and entitlements can be identified and is explained in the following section of this paper.

A. Fundamental Rights

Individuals enjoy a number of existing fundamental rights and entitlements. These include the measures set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948, at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, France. This was followed by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) adopted by the Council of Europe in Rome on September 3, 1953. The UDHR contains thirty essential entitlements, while the ECHR contains thirteen universal protections. The ECHR was subsequently incorporated into the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (CFREU) in 2012. The CFREU contains fifty-four provisions. The European Union Charter came into effect with the Lisbon Treaty in 2009 and has the same legal status as other European Union treaties, with European Union institutions being required to adhere to the terms of the Charter. Separate fundamental rights are specified in the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) of December 16, 1966, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) of December 16, 1966. The ICCPR forms part of the International Bill of Human Rights with the UDHR and ICESCR.

Other core sets of protection have been created at the international level. Around nine key international human rights conventions and covenants, with nine supporting optional protocols, have been brought into effect. The United Nations has adopted a separate Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on September 2, 1990, and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on March 30, 2007. Significant rights were also set out under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW 1980). This also includes the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) of December 21, 1965, Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) of December 10, 1984, International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (ICMW) of December 18, 1990, International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (CPED) of December 20, 2006, and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) of December 13, 2006. All of these have to be considered to understand the full international rights protection regime in place. A separate set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been agreed to by the United Nations, which set out seventeen interconnected common objectives to promote common global development principles and targets, replacing the earlier Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which ended in 2015.

B. Information Rights

The United Nations sponsored a World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva in 2003 and Tunis in 2005, with a follow-up summit in Geneva in 2005 (WSIS+10). The objective was to examine the opportunities and challenges that arose with regard to the development of ICT, especially with the “digital divide” that arises between developed and emerging economies in the technological area. A Declaration of Principles was agreed to at the Geneva Summit, with a Plan of Action to provide half of the world’s population with online access facilities by 2015. A separate paper, Shaping Information Societies for Human Needs, was produced by Civil Society Delegates. It proposed a formation of the Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) following the 2003 Summit, the establishment of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) at the 2005 Tunis Summit, and the conversion of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) into a global authority to manage the Domain Name System (DNS).

C. Internet Rights

The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) proposed an Internet Rights Charter at its workshop in February 2001, and produced an initial Internet Rights Charter in 2001-2002, which was republished in March 2006. This was based on seven key themes of internet access for all (UDHR art. 26): the development of human personality and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; freedoms of expression and association (UDHR art. 18); access to knowledge (UDHR art. 27); shared learning and creation (UDHR art. 27); privacy, surveillance, and encryption (UDHR art. 12); internet governance; and awareness, protection, and realization of rights.

The Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet (Charter) was published in 2014, which consisted of twenty-one key provisions, with a separate set of ten key Internet Rights and Principles. The Charter was produced by the Dynamic Coalition on Internet Rights and Principles based on the WSIS Declaration of Principles of Geneva and the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society. This follows the UDHR, ICCPR, ICESCR, CRC, and CRPD.

The Charter stresses the importance of the Internet as a place for people to communicate, meet, and congregate, as it is a basic utility for people, communities, and organizations across all areas of human and society. “Affordable and knowledgeable access to the Internet has become a fundamental need to fully realize all human rights and fundamental freedoms, democracy, development and social justice.” These are impacted by the governance of internet infrastructure, application, and usage, with “the full and universal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms” requiring internet access. The global nature of the Internet is referred to as “a precious asset to increase and sustain a better mutual knowledge, understanding and acceptance,” with human rights being “universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated.” The Internet has to be properly ordered on a public and private basis for people understanding the relevance of universal human rights and freedoms of individuals, and every part of society has “to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and, by local and global measures, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance.” Ten key rights and principles are identified in terms of universality and equality; social justice; accessibility; expression and association; privacy and data protection; life, liberty, and security; diversity; network equality; open standards and regulation; and property governance in a transparent and multilateral manner based on openness, inclusive participation, and accountability.

The Charter clarifies twenty-one rights and freedoms and includes specified duties and responsibilities and other general provisions. A number of these provisions are expanded, with the Charter consisting of around sixty specific sets of recommendations. These can be considered to be structured in terms of nine general rights and freedoms and ten other more specific sets of applications, additional provisions on duties and responsibilities, and general clauses. The IPRC Charter provides an impressive, articulate, and comprehensive statement of internet-related rights.

D. Digital Rights

Other sets of private digital rights initiatives have been developed over time. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) was established as a non-profit organisation to defend civil liberties in a digital world in 1990 and has worked through the impact of litigation, policy analysis, activism, and technology development, with various reports being published each year. The Open Rights Group (ORG) and annual ORGCON conferences were established in the United Kingdom following a 2005 Open Tech discussion regarding preserving digital rights and freedoms, particularly against surveillance and encroachment.

The Global Network Initiative (GNI) was set up in October 2008, on the sixtieth anniversary of the UDHR, as a non-governmental organisation made up of internet and telecommunications companies, human rights and press freedom groups, investors, and academic institutions to prevent internet censorship and protect privacy rights. GNI published a set of Principles, which cover freedom of expression, privacy, responsible company decision-making, multi-stakeholder collaboration and governance, accountability, and transparency with separate implementation guidelines, an accountability, policy, and learning framework, and a Governance Charter.

Other groups include the Internet Society (ISOC), European Digital Rights (EDRi), and the Freedom Online Coalition. Work is also carried out by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), Internet Architecture Board (IAB), and World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Other private cybersecurity-specific work is carried out by national and corporate incidence response teams, including CERTs or CSIRTs, with the Forum for Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST) and the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA).

E. Data Rights

A series of significant underlying rights and protections were created under the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the United Kingdom Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018), which came into effect on May 25, 2018. The GDPR, enacted in April 2016, replaced the Data Protection Directive (DPD) implemented in the United Kingdom under the Data Protection Act of 1998. The right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence was earlier protected under Article 8 of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), and the seven principles agreed upon by the OECD recommendations on privacy and transborder flows included notice, purpose, consent, security, disclosure, access, and accountability provisions. Controls on automatic processing were provided for under the 1981 Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Individuals.

The GDPR applies to personal data, which is information relating to a living individual that can be identified directly from the information or through matching with other information that is, or is likely to be, in the possession of the organisation or entity concerned. Obligations are imposed on data collectors and data processors. Public entities and firms that regularly and systematically process personal data must employ a Data Protection Officer (DPO). Data is generally to be protected “by design” and “by default” in systems processing (Article 25). The GDPR contains eight revised data protection principles based on fair and lawful processing and legitimate purposes, instructing that data be adequate, relevant and non-excessive, accurate and up-to-date, not kept for longer than necessary, processed in accordance with individual rights, and secure and properly transferred. Data subjects have eight principal rights under the GDPR: being informed, allowed access, data correction, data erasure, object to processing, suspend processing, data transferring rights, and additional protections in relation to automatic processing. Firms in breach of the GDPR can be fined up to €20 million or four percent of annual global turnover. European member states must establish an independent Supervisory Authority (SA), with activities being coordinated through a European Data Protection Board (EDPB).

The GDPR has extended the personal rights initially conferred under the 1995 European Data Protection Directive (1995 DPD) in a number of important respects. Firms must consider data subjects’ interests in managing personal data. The GDPR does not apply to national security, police or judicial use, statistical and scientific analysis, and personal use. Security and judicial matters are dealt with under Part 3 and Part 4 of the DPA 2018 in the UK, with equivalent GDPR measures being applied to other areas outside the GDPR under Part 2 of the DPA 2018. The Information Commissioner (IC) is established under Part 5, and enforcement is dealt with in Part 6. It is an offence to knowingly or recklessly obtain or disclose personal data without the consent of the data controller, procure such disclosure or retain data without consent, and sell or offer to sell personal data, which implements the requirements set out in the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Directive (IPRED) (2004/48/EC). The GDPR does not attempt to confirm the nature of data or personal data in law or the rights of companies and data subjects outside the terms of the regulation. Separate concerns have arisen with regard to the nature of consent and the cost and burden of compliance. European Union cybersecurity has had to be dealt with separately under the Network Information Systems Directive (NIS Directive), which came into effect in August 2016 and was to be implemented by May 9, 2018.

F. Climate

A number of different sets of recommendations and principles have been developed to support sustainable climate management. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted in 1992 with the objective of limiting human interference with the climate system. In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol to the Framework Convention was entered into and required countries to enter into specific emission commitments. The Copenhagen Accord was agreed to in 2009 to limit future temperature increases to below 2°C. Additionally, the Paris Climate Agreement was adopted in 2015 and created a procedure to set and assess goals and assist developing countries to enter the climate control framework. A 2020 United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNCCC) was to be held in the United Kingdom in November 2020 but was postponed until 2021.

Related sets of principles for biospheric and environmental law have been adopted, with climate change being a sub-field within this larger field. A series of twenty-seven Bali Principles of Climate Justice (Bali Principles) was, for example, produced by activist organisations for social and environmental justice in August 2002. These refer to the “scientific reality” of climate change being caused, inter alia, through the consumption of fossil fuels, deforestation, and ecological damage, and they discuss the need to protect fundamental rights, including those under the UDHR and United Nations Convention on Genocide. The Bali Principles include a number of important ideas and principles in the twenty-seven recommendations made.

UNESCO has adopted a more general Declaration on the Responsibilities of the Present Generations Towards Future Generations in November 1997. This provides that present generations have the responsibility of ensuring that the needs and interests of present and future generations are fully safeguarded and that all generations enjoy full freedom of choice as to their political, economic, and social systems and are able to preserve their cultural and religious diversity. Present generations are to ensure the maintenance and perpetuation of humankind, with due respect to the dignity of the human person, and to bequeath an Earth not irreversibly damaged by human activity, with the environment and richness of the Earth’s ecosystems being protected. Additional provisions apply with regard to the human genome and biodiversity, cultural diversity and cultural heritage, the common heritage of humankind, peace, development and education, and non-discrimination. All relevant agencies and organisations, individuals, and public and private bodies are to promote respect for the ideals set out in the UNESCO Declaration to raise public awareness, as part of its ethical mission. Protecting the common heritage of mankind can be considered to constitute a more general principle of international law and is reflected in other conventions and treaties.

G. Energy Rights

Energy law has been considered an independent academic discipline since 1996. Writers have criticised attempts to divide this into, for example, the separate areas of oil and gas (lex petrolia) and mining (lex mineralia). The issue of energy rights has been considered with the emerging field of energy justice. The development of a “Theory of Energy Law” was considered at a conference in Helsinki in 2015, with a series of papers following on the evolution and development of energy law. A series of general principles of energy law have since been produced. These are essentially based on sovereignty, access, justice, sustainability, climate protection, security, and resilience. These reflect general environmental and climate change principles at a more specific resource- and technology-based level.

H. Machine Rights

Machine rights can be considered in terms of machine regulation and machine ethics, the latter of which is concerned with the moral impact of the use or conduct of machines. This raises issues of AI agents (AIAs), ethical intelligent agents (EIAs), and artificial moral agents (AMAs). Different types of ethical capacity among ethical machines can be distinguished, including impact, implicit, explicit, and full ethical agents.

The European Union has proposed a new Machinery Products Regulation, which will replace its earlier measure in this area. AI and robotics systems will have to be subject to appropriate health and safety standards to the extent that they constitute a form of machinery. Machinery is defined in terms of moveable machines for the purposes of this paper. A comprehensive health and safety regime is applied regarding machinery within the European Union under the Machinery Directive and will be replaced by the proposed Machinery Products Regulation. Machinery is generally defined within the European Union in terms of an assembly with movable parts. The proposed Machinery Products Regulation creates a system for the free movement of machinery within the European Union with a list of high risk machinery products, an indicative list of safety components, and a detailed list of essential health and safety requirements related to the design and construction of machinery products. Machinery is to be subject to a conformity assessment and certification procedure, with an affixed CE marking scheme, and with manufacturers required to produce a supporting technical document for machinery products. The essential health and safety conditions are based on certain general principles and more detailed requirements. The proposed Draft Machinery Regulation was adopted as part of the European Union 2020 Commission Work Programme: A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, Single Market Act, and New Legislative Framework (NLF). The Ad Hoc Experts Group (AHEG) April 2020 working document on AI Ethics considers alternative AI definitions, including in the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST) 2019 study on AI Ethics and EU White Paper on AI. The principles and policy recommendations produced were to be based on international human rights, the Internet Universality framework endorsed by the UNESCO General Conference in 2015, and the High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation through applying the human Rights, Openness, Accessibility, and Multi-stakeholder participation (ROAM) principle. The foundational values would then be based on human rights and fundamental freedoms, inclusivity, non-discrimination (“leaving no one behind”), sustainable development, and environmental protection. Fifteen outline principles were identified by the roundtable discussion on Recommendation 3C by the Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation. COMEST also identified eight specific principles. With the AHEG’s objective to move from high level statements to actionability, many available AI ethics principles were accepted as vague and difficult to implement. Following the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) strategic approach and roadmap, ethics was to be considered with decision-making, design, action, and evaluation to “inform capacity building.” The development of an ethical impact assessment (EIA) would also assist predicting consequences, mitigating risk, avoiding harmful consequences, facilitating participation, and dealing with societal challenges. The AHEG produced an outline skeleton document. A summary of possible principles is provided in Annex 3, listing the following principles: human rights, inclusiveness, flourishing, autonomy, explainability, transparency, awareness and literacy, responsibility, accountability, democracy, good governance, sustainability, safety and security, gender, age, privacy, solidarity, value of justice, holistic approach, trust, freedom, dignity, remediation, and professionalism. Other policy actions are outlined, including adoption by the private sector. A list of relevant source documents is produced in Annex 5. Moreover, a list of other documents concerned with AI ethical, legal, and social implications is provided in Annex 6.

Separate issues arise regarding the development of “super artificial intelligence” or super intelligent robots. “Superintelligence” generally refers to the development of AI that surpasses humans across a full range of activities. This corresponds with general AI, rather than narrow AI. Specific residual concerns must be considered with regard to levels of machine sentience, artificial consciousness, liability or control, and human interfaces.

VII. New and Future Technology Architecture

Society has been massively impacted by developments in technology driven by the power, breadth, depth, speed, and continuity of innovation. Technology can, nevertheless, be used to refer to several elements or components without any clear structure, division, or discussion. It is necessary to develop a new technology taxonomy or architecture to understand all of the core elements and how they interrelate. A new taxonomy can be summarised in terms of power, propulsion, products (machinery), processing (computers), and prescription (controls), although a more complex and complete classification can also be produced. For the purposes of this paper, a basic division can be adopted, which distinguishes physical and digital technologies, including both access and applied components. This can then be extended again to include a fourth set of global (SMARTS or STARTS) technologies component. A four-part division can be developed as part of this new taxonomy, consisting of twenty-four specific technologies, including all areas, sub-areas, and sub-fields.

The core physical technologies may be summarised in terms of energy and power, transportation and propulsion, building and construction, manufacturing and production, land use, and carbon capture. While this may be considered in terms of physical technology, the most significant recent innovations have been in digital technology. Energy, biotechnology, and nanotechnology with robotics can constitute hybrid or combination technologies using physical and digital elements or digital controls and applications. The SMARTS (or STARTS) elements consist of Social, Market (or Trade), Atmospheric (Climate), Regulatory, Technological, and Security.

Digital technologies can generally be considered to be made up of access, process, or infrastructure technologies (AccessTech) and then applied, process, or substantive technologies (AppliedTech). Applied or process technologies are defined for this paper to consist of alternative energy systems, computing and quantum computing, digital connections and telecommunications, including cyber security, cloud computing and cloud networks, decentralisation with blockchain and graph technology, and the Internet and WWW. Applied or process technologies consist of data management and analysis, coding and automation, including other forms of advanced programming, biotechnology, nanotechnology, applied robotics and cybernetics with machine reading, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and machine sentience.

While each of these advances brings its own substantial benefit and value, the overall benefits may be massively more significant. It is also necessary to consider them together to identify relevant common issues and challenges, as well as recurrent themes and responses. Constructing a series of common standards and codes of conduct is possible to determine relevant rights and duties in each of these key areas. This can then be joined together to create a more “complete and integrated consolidated restatement of provisions,” which could include appropriate common controls or protocols in each of the key areas concerned.

A. Access and Infrastructure Technology

A series of essential new challenges and associated rights initially arise in ensuring common and equal access to technology and in designing and constructing effective technology access, processing, and infrastructure systems (AccessTech or INFRAs). These may be summarised in terms of TECHS or TECHNICALS.

1. Alternative Energy and Fusion Technology

Energy systems have historically been based on the burning of fossil fuels principally in the form of wood, coal, oil, and gas. The burning of fossil fuels results in an increase in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, which leads to global warming and climate damage. Specific energy advances are expected in the areas of fusion, including cold fusion and thorium reactors to avoid the waste difficulties with current nuclear fission plants. A range of other alternative energy solutions have been developed more recently, including solar photovoltaic and solar thermal, wind turbine and airborne or altitude systems, hydroelectric, wave and tidal, including floating turbines, geothermal and biomass, including biomass boilers, and biofuels energy production methods. In recent decades, many advances have increased energy production output levels and efficiency of these new options. Following the COP 26 event in Scotland in October and November 2021, pressure to create a new system exists.

2. Computing and Quantum Computing

Quantum computing forms part of the larger new area of quantum technology. Quantum computing has been referred to as providing the basis for a “second quantum revolution” after the “first quantum revolution,” which explains physical laws at the microscopic level. Quantum technology was outlined in 1997 and in later technical journals. Quantum technology applies quantum theory in the areas of physics and engineering to develop new forms of technical application. Quantum technology is based on quantum mechanics, which also underlies quantum physics, quantum chemistry, and quantum information science, including quantum information theory. Quantum field studies are transforming the manner in which science and the world are examined. Danish physicist Niels Bohr (1885-1962) stated that “those who are not shocked when they first come across quantum theory cannot possibly have understood it.”

The development of quantum computing was proposed in 1980 by American Physicist Paul Benioff as a quantum equivalent to English computer scientist Alan Turing’s “a (automatic) machine” originally produced in 1936. The idea was developed by American physicist Richard Feynman and by Russian mathematician Juri Manin. American mathematician Peter Shor produced a quantum algorithm for factoring integers in 2006. A number of limitations, nevertheless, remain in the development of quantum computers. Developers attempt to reach quantum supremacy, with quantum machines being able to produce a solution not capable by traditional computers.

Quantum computing uses quantum circuits, which parallel circuits and logic gates in traditional computing using irreversible and reversible logic gates. A quantum computation then consists of a network of logic gates and measurements. Computation requires a definite phase relationship between different states in quantum coherence. Coherence is lost when the system is not perfectly isolated, including during measurement, which creates decoherence. The three principal types of quantum computers are quantum annealers, quantum analog computers, and universal quantum computers. A universal quantum computer would require around 100,000 qubits, which could be used for searching, sampling, processing, cryptography and machine learning, and AI purposes. Difficulties, nevertheless, continue with securing stable operational conditions to remove interference and with error correction to remove necessary information on noise.

3. Digital Connections and Telecommunications

Data communication or telecommunication involves the transfer or transmission of information or data messages. Communication may be in the form of text, signs, signals, sounds, and images transferred by wire or cable, optical devices, or radio or electromagnetic waves. Data communication also includes radio communication, telegram, telegraphy, and telephony. Telecommunication involves the conversion of a message into a signal, which is transferred from the transmitter through a transmission medium to the receiver. A telecommunications network consists of the aggregation of transmitters, receivers, and transmission media divided into separate channels. A number of significant advances are under development in these areas, which includes the move from G5 to G6 and then further in many parts of the world. Significant advances have also been possible in relation to photonics, which, in particular, forms the basis for the Internet and fibre optic cabling. Photonics is also increasingly used in computing to create new forms of photonic, rather than electronic, circuitry. Photonics can be combined with neuromorphic neural networks to develop advanced new photonic neuromorphic computing systems, which could form the basis for future AI technology.

4. Cloud Computing and Cloud Networks

Cloud computing was originally referred to by United States computer manufacturer Compaq. Computing clouds are distinct from computing grids. Cloud computing is a form of distributed computing, which also includes client server, 3-tier, N-tier, and peer-to-peer systems. Computers are then moved from static closed systems to Personal Area Networks (PANs), Local Area Networks (LANs), geographic Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs), and Wide Area Networks (WANs) using larger telecommunications networks, which include the Internet. These networks are generally connected through Ethernet technology, which was standardised by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in New York in 1985. This has been followed by other increasingly decentralised and distributed systems. A number of increasingly sophisticated computing networks have been created in recent years. These include cloud computing, using large numbers of high capacity central servers, Cloudlets (sub-centralised models), Fog computing (partially localized systems), and Edge computing, with data collected and processed at source networks.

5. Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), Blockchain, and Graph Technology

Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) operates through multiple distinct nodes that are connected to other units through an extended network and operates on an independent and equal, or non-hierarchical, basis, following the launch of Bitcoin by the anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. A wide range of new decentralised application platforms and programs will be developed that allows users to access and process data and services on a direct and localised basis. Decentralised applications in the form of DAPPS are principally associated with DLT and blockchain. These are specifically constructed on the basis of programs such as Ethereum, NxT, and IOTA, as well as possibly EOS or Tron. These benefit from direct party access and local control. A degree of decentralisation is, nevertheless, also available through cloudlets, fogging, and edge computing, which allows local data collection and processing even if services are centralised. A combination of increasingly complex, interconnected, and emergent data management systems will accordingly be constructed over time.

6. The Internet and World Wide Web

The Internet constitutes a global connection of computers using Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. The Internet is principally made up of fibre optic cables, including around 300 submarine cables that connect the major cities in the world. The Internet supports the world wide web, email, data transfer, and file sharing using File Transfer Protocol (FTP), instant messaging, Internet fora, and social networking. Internet users are connected through three separate tiers of network systems. Messages are broken up into smaller groups or packets, which are specifically used to break signals up to allow transmission in the event of damage to the network. These pass through Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), IP layers, and the hardware layer within the transmission and receipt computer. Packet messages are transmitted through a routing hierarchy using the IP address attached by the IP protocol layer. IP addresses can also be identified through the Internet Domain Name Service (DNS). Application protocols include the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which is used to identify pages on the world wide web with email using the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). Standards are developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), which was set up in 1986.

Computers, the internet, and the world wide web can each be considered to have evolved in at least five major stages or phases. Computers developed from earlier mechanical to vacuum tube and electronic circuits, transistors, integrated circuits, multiple store programming, and supercomputing. Five iterations of the world wide web can also be distinguished with access only (1990s), reactive and self-publishing (2000s), execution only (2010s), future machine net, and immersive.

The Internet originated with the construction of the ARPAnet project in 1969 to develop a military research network on the basis of a decentralised computer network. In 1972, the ARPAnet consisted of forty networked computers using the same protocol, the Network Control Protocol (NCP). The network then expanded considerably, as a large number of other research agencies and universities joined. The ethernet protocol for local networks was then introduced in 1974 following work at Harvard University. The term "Internet” was also used for the first time in 1974 by Vint Serf and Bob Kahn in a paper entitled “Transmission Control Protocol,” which was conducted on behalf of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA). The Internet was opened to general commercial access in 1995.

B. Applied and Process Technology

A parallel series of rights and duties have to be confirmed in the areas of applied, function, or substantive technology (AppliedTech). This is necessary to ensure that these processes are only used in an appropriate manner and respect essential human rights, dignities, and protections. These may, for example, be summarised in terms of Robotics, Embryonics, Security, Programming, Nanotech and biotech, and Systems Environment (RESPONSE) or possibly Data, Internet, Genomics, Iteration, Telecommunications, AI, Decentralised Ledgers, and Security (DIGITALS).

1. Data Management and Data Analytics

“Big data” refers to the systematic examination of information held in large data sets that cannot be processed through general data processing software due to their size or complexity. Big data refers to data sets, the mass of which is beyond the ability of typical database software tools to capture, store, manage, and analyse and which can only be processed using specialist software or hardware. “Data” is defined for the purposes of this text as structured, organised, or controlled information, with “information” referring to any statement of fact, opinion, or law. This may include structured, unstructured, or semi-structured information, which is determined by the extent to which it is pre-ordered in some form. The reference to big data, in general, requires the data sets to be in excess of one terabyte (one trillion bytes), peta (one thousand trillion bytes), exa (one million trillion) bytes, or zetta (one billion trillion bytes), or possibly even yotta (one trillion trillion bytes), with a “byte” representing eight individual units of digital information. It was predicted that the global datasphere would increase from thirty-three zettabytes in 2018 to 175 zettabytes by 2025. The IoT would produce ninety zettabytes of data by 2025, with China possibly becoming the largest specific datasphere by 2025, having grown at thirty percent per year between 2018 and 2025.

2. Coding and Automation

Computer code can be used to create fully automated and self-executing contracts, or smart contracts. A smart contract was originally designed as a computerised transaction protocol that executes the terms of a contract. A “smart contract” can be defined as “an automatable and enforceable agreement.” The objective is to carry out specific contractual functions on an automated basis, such as with making and collecting payments, transferring property, protecting property, executing security rights, or other enforcement remedies. Early forms included digital bearer certificates or digital cash protocols. Smart contracts use protocols with user interfaces to formalise and secure relationships over computer networks. Smart contracts effectively transfer contractual principles encoded in common law to computer code. This can support the development of new digital market economies. Smart contracts can be considered to have begun with vending machines, with more complex other property management arrangements possible. Smart contracts can be considered from the perspective of either the contract and contractual rights or the property concerned, which creates separate smart property. Blockchain smart contracts use distributed ledger-based blockchain technology.

Different types of smart contract taxonomies or typologies are distinguished. These include static and dynamic, smart contract code and contract, strong and weak contracts, internal and external, and integrated and non-integrated, depending upon whether the contract is solely written in code. An integrated model may only use computer code, while a non-integrated model would use natural language. Contracts may also be distinguished depending on whether they allow for code conclusion or the program entering into new contracts or only performance.

3. Biotechnology and Cryptography Nanotechnology

Biotechnology is concerned with the study and use of living organisms and systems for productive or other social purposes or functions. Biotechnology is applied biological science and bioengineering and is of particular use and value in the security and cryptography areas. Hungarian agricultural engineer Karoly Ereky (1878-1952) referred to biotechnology in 1919 as “all lines of work by which products are produced from raw materials with the aid of living things.” Bioengineering focuses on human health and medicinal applications. Biotechnology dates from ancient times and was originally concerned with the domestication of farm animals and arable management. Modern biotechnology uses cellular and biomolecular technology to develop new products and processes, as well as a number of tools, including DNA sequencing, recombinant DNA, DNA synthesis, and genome editing, to control biological processes. These are then used in healthcare and medicinal applications, agriculture and crop production, other manufacturing processes, and environmental management. Biotechnology can be considered to heal, feed, build, fuel and save the world. The parallel field of philosophy of biology considers the philosophy of science, debates within biology, and biology relevant applications. A number of separate issues arise with regard to biotechnology ethics or bioethics.

4. Biotechnology and Cryptography Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology (NanoTech) or molecular nanotechnology refers to the development of technology at the atomic and molecular, including supramolecular, levels for manufacturing and production purposes. While biotechnology uses living organisms, nanotechnology develops inorganic and manmade materials. Nanotech, or nanoscale technologies, attempts to manage and manipulate matter between one and 100 nanometers, or one billionth of a meter (0.000000001 m). Nanotechnology is essentially concerned with the creation, separation, combination, consolidation, deformation, or destruction of materials at the atomic or molecular level. The manipulation of atoms was referred to by American theoretical physicist Richard Feynman (1918-1988) in 1959, with nanotechnology first being referred to by Japanese scientist Norio Taniguchi in 1974. Nanotech was further developed by American engineer K Eric Drexler. Scanning tunneling microscopes (STMs), which produce surface images at the atomic level, were created in 1981, with ten nm multigate metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) being produced in 1987. Nanotechnology operates through either original molecular assembly (bottom-up) or molecular deconstruction (top-down), with new fields arising in the areas of nanoelectronics, nanomechanics, nanoionics, and nanophotonics.

5. Applied Robotics and Cybernetics

Robotics is generally concerned with the use of programmable or autonomous machines or mechanisms that can carry out physical functions, generally using sensors and actuators. This may include an automaton, or automata, mechanical devices intended to imitate humans or human functions. Robotics falls within cybernetics, which is concerned with control systems. Robots can be used for agricultural, industrial, construction, domestic, and military purposes, as well as human collaboration (cobots) and in nanotechnology (nanobots). Roboethics is concerned with the design, manufacture, use, transfer, and destruction of robots, with robot rights involving possible issues of identity and liability.

6. Machine Reading, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence

Machine reading is concerned with the development of systems to allow machines to receive, comprehend, and process language instructions, including Natural Language Processing (NLP). NLP involves the construction of syntax and taxonomies that machines can accept and process. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom has, for example, been working on the development of programmes that allow machines to follow rules and then respond automatically to any change in the rules imposed. Machine learning is concerned with recursion and the ability of programmes to evolve over time. In the United Kingdom, machine learning has been referred by the Bank of England and FCA in the United Kingdom as involving “the development of models for prediction and pattern recognition from data with limited human intervention.” Machine learning has a wide possible range of applications in the area of financial services and elsewhere because it can analyse large data sets, detect patterns, and solve problems at speed, especially when combined with increased computational power. The FCA has been developing a separate programme with the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) on Digital Regulatory Reporting (DRR) to assist “financial regulatory reporting more efficient[ly] and effective[ly]”. “Machine intelligence” can be understood to refer to the stage beyond machine reading and machine learning where programmes develop a general cognitive ability and approach artificial general intelligence (AGI). The Bank of England and FCA established an Artificial Intelligence Public-Private Forum (AIPPF) in October 2020 to promote dialogue between the public and private sectors to understand better the use and impact of AI in financial services and support the Bank’s objective of promoting the safe adoption of the technology. The AIPPF produced a final report in February 2022.

AI studies are considered to have begun with the examination of formal reasoning by ancient Greek, Chinese, and Indian scholars, later followed by the creation of calculating machines such as the Analytical Engine, designed by British mathematician Charles Babbage in 1837. Modern AI study began in 1956 with a workshop at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. A number of advances were made during the 1960s and later in the 1980s, although there were two periods of underinvestment, referred to as the “AI Winter,” around 1974-1980 and 1987-1993. AI study recovered again during the late 1990s with increased hardware and software capability, increased inter-disciplinary interest, and a focus on more specific, useable solutions. The Financial Stability Board (FSB) summarises more recent drivers of interest in the use of AI in the FinTech area in terms of supply-side factors such as improved technology and infrastructure in data supply and demand-side factors such as profitability, competition, and regulatory demand, especially in terms of prudential regulations and data reporting, anti-money laundering, best execution, and other obligations.

AI generally operates through the use of algorithms, which are either simple or more complex overlapping structured computer program instructions. A number of specific objectives can be identified, including symbolic, sub-symbolic, connectionism, statistical learning, and integrated approaches. A number of challenges can be identified, including with regard to knowledge representation, prediction, automated enhancement, perception, NLP, and collective, group, or social intelligence. Particular tools are used, such as search optimisation, formal logic, probability, classification, and neural networks. Additional issues arise in terms of machine intelligence, ethics, sentience, applied robotics, and transhumanism. As financial institutions have increasingly adopted machine learning techniques, authorities have begun to examine the regulatory issues that may arise.

The European Union has proposed new regulations on AI, as well as a supporting updated Framework Plan and separate revised measure on Machinery Products Regulation.

VIII. Global and SMARTs Technology

A number of separate continuing global challenges can be identified, all of which include a significant technology element. All of the protections referred to above must work with other existing essential global challenges and measures to create a larger total effective integrated global control regime. This could form a fourth six-part element within the new technology taxonomy, architecture, or framework under construction. This would be based on the simple SMARTS (or STARTS) framework, as noted. This can be considered in terms of positive rights and entitlements conferral, exogenous threat management, and structured response, with an equivalent six-part model applying in each case. All of this can then be incorporated into a consolidated restatement CORRECT.

A. Fundamental Human Rights Law and Technology

A compact set of core social or community entitlements can be extracted from existing human rights and related laws. A condensed version of twelve core individual and twelve social principles can then be developed within a new consolidated set of SMARTS or STARTS standards. The individual or social standards could consist of rights to: (1) life; (2) liberty; (3) legal identity and protection; (4) privacy; (5) avoidance of physical and economic slavery; (6) non-discrimination; (7) freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; (8) freedom of expression; (9) freedom to marry and have a family life; (10) peaceful assembly; (11) voting and democratic inclusion; and (12) nationality and passport. The parallel or supporting social rights could consist of: (1) protection from hunger and proper provision of food and water; (2) shelter and clothing; (3) heat and energy; (4) prevention of poverty and provision of a minimum standard of living; (5) medicines and health provision; (6) equality; (7) education; (8) employment and training; (9) holding private property; (10) freedom of movement; (11) welfare and care provision; and (12) guaranteed legal rights and protection. All private and public organisations are expected to adhere to these standards, particularly with regard to working conditions, infrastructure, sustainable communities, and supporting effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions.

B. World Trade Law and Technology

A core series of minimum market and trade rights can be extracted from existing international trade law. The WTO had been set up under the Final Act, concluding the eighth General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade (GATT) Uruguay Round in April 1994 and Ministerial Marrakesh Agreement. Prior to the formation of the WTO, international trade in goods was formerly handled under the GATT, which was adopted under the Bretton Woods Treaty arrangements agreed in 1944, with a series of other agreements, annexes, decisions, and undertakings being entered into to establish the WTO in 1985 and provide for trade and services and intellectual property rights. Further progress has, nevertheless, been limited, particularly under the Doha Development Round (DDR), which was commenced in Doha, Qatar, in November 2001, with meetings being held between 2001 and 2015 and concluding in Nairobi, Kenya, in December 2015.

Two specific core sets of market and trade principles could be extracted from the GATT and WTO systems, as well as the European Union Single Market model, to form the basis for the new “Global SMART Market” or “Digital Advanced (or Adaptive) Market” (DAM), which could be given effect to under a Global Reciprocal Economic Area Treaty (GREAT) framework. Again, these can be considered separately or together. The market principles could, for example, consist of: (1) open and inclusive trade; (2) open market access; (3) free and fair markets; (4) open pricing; (5) open competition; (6) prohibition on cross-border dumping; (7) state aid balance; (8) state control balance; (9) trade cooperation; (10) development support; (11) development sequencing; and (12) international monetary and financial stability.

A separate set of trade principles could then, for example, consist of: (1) open conditional access (on adherence to the SMART framework); (2) non-discrimination and Most Favoured Nation (MFN); (3) non-discrimination and national treatment; (4) zero tariff, quota, and MME targeting; (5) progressive liberalisation; (6) minimum harmonisation of standards (MHS); (7) home country control (HCC) or country of origin (COO) control; (8) restricted general good on national interest derogation; (9) special and differential (S&D) treatment for developing and emerging economies; (10) controlled contingency measures; (11) enhanced surveillance and conditional access enforcement mechanisms; and (12) structured dispute settlement within the WTO framework and continuing revision and review.

C. Climate Law and Technology

A dedicated package of measures could be agreed upon to establish a Control Linkage and Integrated Management of Atmospheric Tools or targets and the Environment (CLIMATE). This would include a twelve-point set of core principles and objectives, which could be agreed upon to assist with managing climate exposure on a collective basis. These could, for example, include: (1) open and inclusive participation based on the principles of sovereign autonomy, sovereign territorial and resource exclusivity, and sovereign responsibility; (2) industrial development and energy resource access and fairness; (3) nationally determined contribution (NDC) identification and progressive NDC reduction; (4) minimum 2°C target and net zero emissions; (5) stocktake and ratcheting mechanism; (6) mitigation and carbon markets to limit and manage carbon production; (7) development of consistent sustainable development and adaptation policies; (8) adoption of aggressive damage limitation polices; (9) provision of substantial financial assistance packages; (10) development of carbon conversion and carbon absorption and safe storage technologies with increased technical cooperation; (11) promotion of education and public awareness with trust and confidence; and (12) capacity building with the construction of appropriate institutional structure and proper and timely ratification and entry.

This could be incorporated into a Climate Protocol supported by relevant guidance and bridge documentation. A separate Energy Protocol could also be agreed upon to support this work, which would attempt to ensure minimum energy supplies, as well as allocate costs responsibly and fairly, with further guidance provided as necessary. Emerging economies could be assisted through using a separate Sustainable Assistance, Finance, and Engagement (SAFE) programme and implementing SAFE or SAVE Protocol. This could restate and consolidate other United Nations SDGs and development objectives referred to above. While the SMARTS agenda could focus on climate impact, STARTS could incorporate a series of new development principles based on SAFE and SAVE.

D. Financial Regulation Law and Technology

Separate core provisions can be adopted in the financial area to ensure that firms behave in accordance with minimum standards and obligations and that the stability of financial markets and infrastructure systems is properly protected at all times. Such a condensed or consolidated set of principles could consist of the following: (1) integrity; (2) skill, care, and diligence; (3) management, control, and systems; (4) financial resources and prudence; (5) proper market conduct; (6) respect clients’ interests; (7) respect client communications; (8) protect client assets; (9) protect client trust; (10) avoid conflicts of interest; (11) continuity planning and resolution; and (12) full regulatory compliance and cooperation. This can be summarised in terms of commitment, care, control, capital, conduct, consideration, choice, caution, confidence, consent, coordination, and cooperation.

E. Technology Codes and Ethics

Two parallel sets of access, process, and infrastructure rights and principles and applied, functional, or substantive rights and principles can be developed to govern the use and application of technology going forward. These sets of rights and principles would represent a more general formulation of existing relevant conditions while they are revised, targeted, and made legally and regulatory relevant. This can be considered either in more general terms or with a more detailed and specific set of provisions adopted in particular use areas.

F. Cyber Technology and Laws of War

The laws of war must be revised and updated to reflect modern market, geopolitical, and technology conditions. A number of general principles can again be extracted in this area to govern the use of war and warfare. These may, for example, include: (1) proper justification or military necessity; (2) legitimate military objective; (3) proper distinction between combatants and civilians; (4) proportionality; (5) disclosure; (6) surveillance; (7) humanitarian assistance injured; (8) nuclear non-proliferation; (9) remote weaponry controls; (10) lethal autonomous weapons or weaponry (LAWS) bans, including Lethal Autonomous Biological weapons (LABS) or Autonomous NanoTech Deployment weapons (NANOs or LANDS); (11) war crime prosecution; and (12) adherence and review. The objective would be to create a clear and concise set of applicable minimum principles and standards for application in all cases. These could be set out in an appropriate protocol under the SMARTS framework, with a parallel set of crisis management measures (or safety) included within the STARTS agenda.

All of these provisions may then be incorporated into a single consolidated restatement of relevant CORRECT global measures.

IX. Technology Law and Ethics Comment

New technology brings massive potential benefit and value but also significant new or aggravated risk and exposure. This involves numerous forms of new technology and technology application with many different conditions and terms of operation and function. Still, it is possible to begin constructing a new common control framework that can be used in all of these areas. In so doing, the specific benefits of laws, regulations, and ethical principles can be combined to produce the most effective result or composite position. While this result can create a comprehensive and coherent framework of measures, the framework can also be made compact and succinct to avoid unnecessary overlap, duplication, and replication. This will substantially assist access and understanding to all interested parties, including non-specialist users. A series of short-form acronyms can also be used to assist comprehension and application, as outlined below.

A. Law, Code, and Ethics (LET and LEFT)

A large number of draft codes of conduct and ethics have been produced in the technology area. Many of these are of a high quality, although often repetitive, inconsistent, or incomplete. Many have also been drafted without reference to specific underlying international law or European and national rights protections. It is essential to maintain an effective relationship between LET within an effective LEFT. It is also necessary to ensure that law and ethics, law and technology, and law code work effectively together in a seamless manner.

The objective of more general principles is to establish an appropriate set of Enhanced, Targeted, Higher, Integrated Conduct Standards (ETHICS). These could be based on such ideas as Fairness, Accountability, Sustainability, and Transparency (FAST), as well as Equality and Respect (FASTER). FAST and FASTER effectively create a series of Fundamental Rights, Ethics, and Entitlements (FREE) or Fundamental Individual Rights and Entitlements (FIRE). These can also be considered in terms of essential Rights, Ethics and Standards of Conduct, Understanding, and Entitlement (RESCUE). These can then be applied to a set of more specific Rights, Ethics, and Standards Protection, Enforcement, and Capture Tools (RESPECT).

This makes it possible to begin constructing a more coherent and complete program of measures. This can be applied in the AI and Robotics (AIR) and AI and Machine Sentience (AIMS) areas, as well as in other technology applications. The effect creates a single integrated code of control measures in relation to modern technology and technological applications. This code can also be used to assist responses to continuing global issues, including in relation to social and community rights, climate protection, regulation and governance, technology and warfare, as well as wider exogenous and existential threats and events. The purpose is to consider these as a single integrated set of challenges and responsibilities, as well as opportunities and capabilities. Understanding them together also facilitates commitment and management and improves overall treatment and effect.

B. Consolidated Restatement (CORRECT and CAPITAL)

It is possible to construct an integrated set of key standards that apply in all technology areas. A new, complete, and comprehensive legal, regulatory, and ethical framework can be developed to ensure that all relevant rights and interests are properly protected at all times. This can be referred to as creating a Consolidated Official Restatement of Rules, Ethical Conduct, and Technology (CORRECT), which can be supported by a Consolidated Adaptive Protocol and Integrated Technology and Law (CAPITAL) program. All of this would operate effectively together as a single integrated legal, regulatory, ethical, and even aspirational code system. This can be achieved by constructing a single integrated set of essential governing legal rights or entitlements that support regulatory standards and key sets of implementing ethical principles. Additionally, more general guidance or aspirational and more specific computer code provisions can also be incorporated.

A new, complete, and coherent, yet compact, technology taxonomy can then be adopted based on a series of core physical measures, digital access or infrastructure measures, applied or process measures, and global (SMART or START) measures. These can be summarized in terms of Physical Use Technologies (PUTs) or Physical Action Technologies (PATs), with Access, Process, and Telecommunications (or Infrastructure) (APTS or INFRAs) and Application, Robotic, and Cybernetic Standards (ARCS or APES) provisions. Each of these is considered further below.

C. Special Technology Advanced Regulation and Advanced Technology Order Management (STAR and ATOM)

A dedicated regulatory regime can be established to oversee the introduction and development of all forms of Advanced New Technology (ANT) and would not be restricted to AI and Robotics (AIR). This could be referred to as a “Special Technology Advanced Regulation” (STAR) or “Special Technology Advanced Regulation System” (STARS). This can be operated through a series of Advanced Technology Order Management (ATOM) mechanisms or Advanced Technology Official Management, Inspection, and Control (ATOMIC) tools conditions.

A basic grading or scaling model could be created within the regulatory framework to provide for a risk-based system. Five risk levels can be summarized in terms of Restriction, Regulation, Reservation, Reporting, and Release. Certain types of technology would be prohibited outright, including certain Remote (Replicant, Restricted, or Regulated) Open Behaviour Ordinance standards (ROBOs). A second level of technologies that produced higher levels of risk or social concern could operate through an application and licensing or authorization system based on measures equivalent to those applicable in United Kingdom’s financial area. A core common set of regulatory mechanisms would apply in such cases. This regulatory system can also be extended at the third level to cover certain reserve technology areas where some clear public interest intersects with the discharge of applicable functions. Other intermediate fourth-level technologies would be subject to a simplified reporting or notification regime, which would still allow regulatory authorities to monitor developments within the markets and adjust the scaling, as necessary. Other classes of low-level technology or risk would be exempt from control.

The use of Regulatory Sandboxes in the FinTech area can also be extended to apply to wider Technology Sandboxes by setting up dedicated regulatory regimes to assist technology companies and platforms in bringing new products and services to market without any financial stability or consumer protection damage. Separate online digital Compendia of Technology Standards can be developed to set out all relevant technology measures by using hypertext markup language (HTML) links routed to other standard setting websites. Parallel online technology directories can be produced, which would include equivalent HTML links to all national or domestic measures. These two sets of provisions together would effectively create a form of a complete global technology rulebook in the FinTech, RegTech, and TechTech areas. Separate technology plena could be established to bring together relevant national and international agencies to coordinate policy formulation and operational implementation. New forms of adaptive, collaborative, iterative, resilient, and emergent approaches to supervision and regulation based on new Regulatory Technology (RegTech) tools can also be reapplied in the technology area.

The effect of all of this would be to establish a dedicated control regime to fully support all new forms of technology and promote competition and innovation without any threat to markets or social order. This regime would operate within a larger parallel regime for financial markets, with many of the most important new technologies being applied within or funded by financial markets. This would also establish a full proto-global control model able to operate effectively within the necessary constraints of the existing national state-based Public International Law order system in place.

D. Core Values and Data Protection (CORE and DATAS)

A number of key common provisions can be developed as part of this larger consolidated restatement. These can be considered in terms of compliance or pre-compliance, with certain absolute or original Conditions, Objectives, Rules, and Ethics (CORE) provisions. These compliance or pre-compliance provisions would provide a key set of absolute minimum principles and protections, which simultaneously develop numerous existing provisions and consolidate them within a single integrated policy framework. These can, for example, be made up of separate but interconnected provisions such as CARE, GOALS (General Ordered Advanced Living Standards), HELP (High Ethical and Legal Principles), and ETHICS (Enhanced Targeted Higher Integrated Conduct Standards).

These can also be considered in terms of Fundamental Rights, Ethics, and Entitlements (FREE). These would specifically include individual Ethical Conduct Higher Official Standards (ECHOS) and collective Special Official Collective and Individual Advanced Living Standards (SOCIALS). This may also be considered in terms of social or collective SAFE (Socially Agreed Fundamental Ethics) or SAVE (Social Advanced Values and Ethics) and individual or personal FIRE. Accepted fundamental rights consist of a combination of both social or collective (SOCIALS, SAFE, or SAVE) and individual or personal (ECHOS or FIRE) rights. All of this would incorporate Human Advanced Values and Ethics (HAVE).

This could also be considered in terms of more specific Technology Ethics and Conduct High Standards (TECHS). This can be given effect through a more specific set of Rights, Ethics, and Standards Protection, Enforcement, and Capture Tools (RESPECT), which could be based on particular Objectives for Regulatory Assisted Conduct, Law, and Ethics (ORACLE) or Special Enhanced Regulation and Integrated Ethics Standards (SERIES). This can be referred to as operating through a new Digital Ethics, Law, and Technology Agenda (DELTA). This would ensure Global Universal Ethical Standards for Technology (GUEST) or Global Universal Ethics, Standards, and Support (GUESS).

Other more specific protections can be considered in terms of certain essential continuing data protection rights (DATAs) and essential technology rights. Data protections would generally correspond with the key entitlements made available under new sets of data protection laws and regulations currently being adopted across the world. Examples of current data protection laws and regulations include the Data Protection Act of 2018 in the United Kingdom and the retained European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provisions. These can be consolidated and restated as a core set of DATA protections. The goal is to create a CORE framework of conditions, objectives, rules of principles, and high level measures that would apply in all technological and non-technological ethical situations.

E. Physical Action or Use Technologies (PATs and PUTs)

Physical technologies would generally consist of energy and power, transportation and propulsion, manufacturing and construction, engineering, land use and carbon capture, and management technologies. These can be summarised in terms of Physical Action Technologies (PATS) or Physical Use Technologies (PUTS). A series of general protections or measures can be identified that would apply in each of these areas.

F. Access, Process, and Telecommunications (APTS and INFRAs)

A series of key Access, Process, and Telecommunications (APTS) or Infrastructure (INFRAS) standards can be identified. These generally correspond with, but condense and restate, existing internet or infrastructure rights. A set of parallel, substantive Application, Robotic, and Cybernetic Standards (ARCS) or Applied, Platform, and Existence (APES) technologies can also be identified. These technologies may include certain key provisions, as well as more specific measures related to robotics and AI, remote systems, artificial and machine sentience, and human machine interface, which are considered in the following subsection.

G. Application, Robotic, and Cybernetic Systems (ARCS and APES)

A series of more specific ARCS or APES can be developed in relation to robotics and AI, remote systems, artificial sentience, and interlinkage or interface. These can be considered in terms of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Design Standards (RAIDS), Remote (Replicant, Restricted, or Regulated) Official Behaviour Ordinance standards (ROBOs), AI and Machine Sentience (AIMS), and Human Interface Platform System (HIPS) measures. This may also include Remote Applications and Platform Systems (RAPS) standards, Special Technology Robotics, Applications, and Platforms (STRAPS), and Robotic (or Remote) Internet of Things Systems (RIOTS). The objective would be to create a series of more specific protections applicable in particular technological areas that would still form part of a single integrated control framework.

The RAIDS could be based on a series of twelve Design Integrity Principles (DIPS). The RAIDS or DIPS would consist of: (1) ethics or human values by design, including advanced human values and ethics; (2) risk identification, measurement, and management by design; (3) safety and security by design; (4) data integrity by design; (5) proportionate response by design; (6) inclusion by design, with the “leave no-one behind principle”; (7) precaution by design, with the precaution principle; (8) reversibility by design, with the non-irreversibility principle; (9) continuous control and limited autonomy by design, with the “user control principle” and appropriate control (kill) switches, or automatic correction and decoupling code (ACDC); (10) continuous disclosure, transparency, explainability, verifiability, and accountability by design; (11) continuous responsibility and liability by design; and (12) reprogrammability, reusability, and sustainability by design. The DIPS could be applied in other technology application areas as well.

The RAIDS and DIPS would be supported by a series of core restrictions and prohibitions subject to specific concessions and allowances. These may be considered in terms of a series of essential ROBOS. These standards would impose a series of absolute prohibitions on new technology design and manufacturing, which is necessary in light of the potentially irreversible, and possibly fatal, consequences of certain types of work. The ROBOS could consist of: (1) no physical, mental, or other injury or damage to humans; (2) no neural subversion or manipulation systems, which could undermine free choice or free will; (3) no invasive personal surveillance systems, which would undermine personal data control or human dignity; (4) no digital discrimination or social scoring or control systems, which would undermine the right to equality and non-discrimination; (5) no biometric identification interference, manipulation, and unauthorised biometric copy systems, which undermines the right of a person to control their own identity; (6) no uncontrolled recursion; (7) no uncontrolled or malicious self-replication or self-duplication systems; (8) no uncontrolled or malicious self-preservation and self-sustaining systems or uncontrolled or malicious covert or stealth operations or existence; (9) no controlled self-awareness and controlled consciousness by design; (10) no uncontrolled or malicious biometric or nanometric weapons systems; (11) no uncontrolled Lethal Autonomous Weapons (LAWS) construction more generally, including Lethal Autonomous Biological weapons (LABS) and Lethal Autonomous Nano Device weapons (NANOs or LANDS); and (12) no other uncontrolled or malicious systems development, use, or application with irreversible conflict or damage to humans or humanity.

References to “uncontrolled lethal autonomous weapons” would generally be understood to mean the use of unrestricted or unauthorised programmes, while “malicious” would be defined in terms of damage to humans or humanity. The objective would be to allow the development of general recursive and protective robotic and AI systems, subject to appropriate safeguards, including human control and cancellation (ACDC). Recursion would be permitted, subject to overall residual human, reserved control, or termination capability. While biological weapons are subject to strict control under the United Nations Biological Weapons Treaty, no equivalent provisions apply with regard to the use of nanotechnology, other AI, and cybernetic technology for weapons purposes.

Different types of AI can be identified, which are given separate references for the purposes of this paper. This includes Narrow AI Level (NAIL), Basic AI Level (BAIL), or Technical AI Level (TAIL). The ontogeny or evolution of AI will then be followed by General AI or General Reason AI Level (GRAIL) and Super AI Level (SAIL), with Super AI Neural Technology (SAINT) or Super AI Network Technology (SAInT). Different types of operational AI may also be distinguished. This may include, for example, Functional AI Level (FAIL), Recursive AI Level (RAIL), Protective AI Level (PAIL), and Malicious (or Malignant) AI Level (MAIL).

A parallel set of provisions would be developed for Remote (website) Applications (APPS) and Platform Systems (RAPS). These provisions could also be considered in terms of specific Robotic (or Remote) Internet of Things Systems (RIOTS). These terms would generally implement the general protections referred to above, including CORE, DATAS, APTS and ARCS, as well as design principles (DIPS) and protections or prohibitions (ROBOS), subject to appropriate disclosure, assessment, and monitoring protections, with cancellation (ACDC) and necessary remedy systems. These protections could be reviewed to ensure compliance with other relevant measures, such as with the revised European Union draft Machinery Regulation.

H. AI and Machine Sentience (AIMS) and Human Interface Programme Systems (HIPS)

A parallel set of provisions can be developed in relation to artificial or machine consciousness systems. These provisions may be considered in terms of AIMS. This paper draws a basic distinction between machine processing states and biological consciousness. Grades, or levels, of processing state, or sentience, can be distinguished. A series of AIMS protections can be adopted, similar to the RAPS provisions, including additional official reporting and consent or oversight, where appropriate. A further set of measures could be adopted in relation to the use and application of HIPS. These would include, for example, Elon Musk’s Neuralink operations. These measures would be similar to RAPS and AIMS but incorporate full disclosure and consent measures to protect individuals participating in such schemes.


A separate series of protocols can be adopted to deal with other significant residual global challenges at the international level. These protocols can be summarised in terms of Social (collective or individual rights), Markets (and Trade), Atmospheric (or climatic protection), Regulation (including financial infrastructure and ethics), Technology failure or injury and Security (and Safety, including through all forms of warfare). The protocols create a SMARTS framework or STARTS agenda, including trade in place of markets and safety in place of security. All of the core sets of provisions that apply in these areas can be reconsidered and restated in a consistent, coherent, and consolidated form. The objective would be to create a clear and concise restatement of rights and protections capable of easy access and implementation and adoption.


Environmental or Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues can be understood in terms of developing an appropriate programme for the Control Linkage and Integrated Management of Atmospheric Tools or targets and the Environment (CLIMATE). This would be based on an agreed Climate Augmented Transition (CAT), with an appropriate series of Climate Adaptive Technologies (CATS). This would form part of a larger Climate Action Programme (CAP) or Consolidated Adaptive Protocol and Integrated Technology and Law (CAPITAL). This would limit Wasteful Injury, Loss, and Damage (WILD) by using appropriate Carbon Low, Efficient, and Atmospherically Neutral (CLEAN) initiatives with Biologically sensitive Universal Integrated Law and Development (BUILD) techniques to secure common Development Reform and Efficient Atmospheric Management (DREAM).

This would include a full CLIMATE programme based on a specific series of Climate Objectives, Guidelines and Policies, Principles, Tools, Responses and Solutions, and Climate Finance and Risk Management agenda.

The Security and Safety components within these SMARTS and STARTS programmes would include a series of specific measures to limit the damaging impacts of warfare and new weaponry.

A series of recommendations can be developed in this area. This may be extended to include a revised set of more specific biological protections (BIOS) and NanoTech provisions (NANOS), as well as robotics and AI guidelines (RAIDS and ROBOS).

K. Protocols

The above programme of measures would be implemented through a series of Protocols under a wider PROTOCOL framework. This would be based on CONTROL and would operate under a specific PASS regime. This would operate with a further CAPITAL agenda and COMPLETE programme. Different protocols could be used, as necessary, including enforceable objective or principle, process or procedure, guidance, and computer code measures. Protocols adopted in particular areas could incorporate different mixes of these provisions, as necessary, to create hybrid packs or provisions. All of this would then be incorporated into the larger CORRECT programme.

A series of more specific Protocols could also be adopted to implement the other measures referred to. This would create a form of parallel adoption or implementation framework. This could, for example, include PASS, PAD, STEP, STOP, SYSC, ACDC, REGS, ACTIONS, DISPUTES, OFFENCES, and SANCTIONS. This would again be built into the larger oversight (CONTROL), enforcement (COMPLETE), and consolidated restatement (CORRECT) programme.

L. Private and Public International Law Treaty Basis

All of this could be applied and operate under a wider Public International Law treaty system. This could consist of a more general GIFT Treaty or more specific GiFT2 Treaty. This could work with a parallel GREAT, which would establish a new global Digital Advanced (or Adaptive) Market (DAM) international trading system using all possible new forms of digital technology for trade finance purposes on the model of the European Union Single Market programme. Separate treaties could also be considered on Financial Investment Regulatory and Sustainable Technology and Security (FIRSTS) and Global Investment, Law, and Technology (GILT). This agenda may also incorporate a more specific Financial Assistance and Cooperation Treaty (FACT) or Partnership Assistance and Cooperation Treaty (PACT) to support emerging and developing economies. This may also include appropriate SAVE and SAFE measures. The effect of all of this would be to create a larger structured control framework under Public International Law, which would create a legally enforceable set of obligations to protect governments, corporations and societies, and individuals. This would specifically include the Consolidated Restatement (CORRECT) programme and all of the other treaty and protocol measures and solutions proposed.

X. Technology Law, Rights, and Ethics Close

The impact of modern technology on markets and society has resulted in massive change and adjustment. This process will continue and become even more significant as the speed of development of innovation continues to accelerate. This brings enormous scientific, commercial, and financial advantage and consequential benefits in terms of social advance but with associated risks, challenges, and uncertainties necessarily arising. It is essential to secure an appropriate balance between these conflicting trends, pressures and needs, and aspirations.

This is an important and exciting area of study and endeavour. Technology will continue to evolve and advance, with substantial innovations and new forms of energy, computing, telecommunications technology, engineering, and re-engineering expected to emerge in the coming years. This will bring substantial value and opportunity. This also brings new responsibility and potential liability. It is specifically necessary to consider to what extent existing legal rights and protections are impacted and which new forms of legal remedy are required. New enhanced regulatory measures must be adopted with a STAR or STARS with ATOM and ATOMIC mechanisms. Much of this also exists at the edge of formal law and regulation. This will then require the development of new sets of wider ethical standards that reflect current and changing social needs and expectations. New sets of formal machine agency and liability rules must be adopted and supplemented by new ethical principles governing technology use and application. This remains a core area of significant social change and advance.

An appropriate control framework must be constructed, although formal regulation suffers from inherent limitations in responding to the speed and degree of fundamental change underway. Law and regulation must be able to continue to follow and support, rather than restrict or constrain, innovation and growth. LET has to be brought together in a new conjunctive, synergetic, symbiotic, coactive, or collusive relationship. It is necessary to construct a new LEFT with dedicated Law, Ethics, and Technology Training or Targeted Enforcement Regime (LETTER).

One solution may be to develop a series of new ethical protocols in the technology area. These may include enforcement, aspirational, process, guidance, or more detailed code provisions. The overall objective would be to create a new intermediate form of control measure or provision to respect and maintain essential rights in rapidly changing complex technological areas. This could be given effect to under a PASS regime and CONTROL.

All of this could be incorporated into a CORRECT. This would then form the basis for a new global Lex Digitalis Commercialis, Lex Financialis Technologica, or Lex Technologica Ferunda.

This would assist managing all key areas of physical, access or infrastructure, and application or substantive technology. This could incorporate additional protocols designed to deal with other continuing outstanding global challenges, specifically covering SMARTS (and STARTS) objectives. This could specifically respond to other continuing endogenous, as well as exogenous, threats and construct effective crisis management protocols to ensure targeted, relevant, and effective countermeasures. All of this could be given effect to under a wider GIFT or GiFT2 Treaty.

The overall objective would be to protect essential and fundamental rights and interests at the individual, social, market, government, country, and global levels. Necessary measures would be adopted to respect and preserve each of these. This could assist in securing a minimum quality of life for everyone and protecting the dignity of life and existence, at the same time preserving the continuity of the human species and the planet. Ambitious goals require equally progressive and committed actions and responses. New conflicts create new challenges, with the need to secure a new balance. This is necessary to realise the new opportunities available to secure a new direction and a new evolution. We have a common shared global challenge and a common shared integrated future.