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Gabriella Blum, Invisible Threats (Emerging Threats Essay, Hoover Inst. Koret-Taube Task Force on Nat’l Security & Law, June 2012).

Abstract: Technology is progressing in record speed to produce insect-size robots (“spiders”) with lethal capabilities, potentially on a mass scale. Ultimately, “spiders” will enable individuals to harm other individuals from great distances and with little accountability, making people everywhere simultaneously vulnerable and threatening to others. This essay considers the possible effects of “spiders” on the incidence of violence, both political and interpersonal, and how this violence breaks down the traditional categories on which we rely for regulation (domestic/international, citizen/alien, war/crime). Finally, it imagines how our conceptions of sovereignty, international relations, and the domestic social contract between citizens and governments must adapt to this new threat.