Archive for December, 2019

Robots take the Police Department

In recent months, the Boston, Massachusetts Police Department has invested in and tested robotic “dogs” to replace real police dogs, and police officers on dangerous assignments. This received a lot of backlash from the ACLU, which is aiming to protect the rights of people. Without the human element of a police siege does it put the human rights of the suspect at risk? or does it make the siege less bias and accident-prone? Police robots are the first introduction of robots in the world of security; however, it is just on domestic soil. It does not appear that these robots are fully autonomous but they are independent enough to raise the worries of civilians in the area.

The domestic reaction to robot police officers should be considered in the grander considerations of robots for war. While a terminator figure is a distant dream at the current moment, these dogs bring us one step closer. If there are fears and worries domestically from these robots domestically, it is possible for civilians in other countries to see US military robots as peaceful? Simply the idea of robots for protection seems to worry large numbers of people


Rachel M

Iran Crackdown On Protests

Over the past two weeks, there have been at least 180 people killed due to protests toward the government’s actions toward increasing gas prices. Outrage is a result of the 50 percent increase in gasoline prices that have left many Iranians to become enraged resulting in mass protests. Within three days, protesters were demanding that there be an end to the government’s reign. This conflict is still ongoing as security forces within the country have responded by shooting unarmed protesters, many of which are between the ages of 19 and 26.

The security implications of this toward the United States continue to increase with uncertainty. The Trump administration’s restrictions on exports of Iran’s oil are impacting the government economically. Oil in Iran is partially accountable to Iran’s budget gap that resulted in the spike in gas prices. This I believe to be a contributing factor to the United States security as a whole. With Iran becoming more rampant toward chaos. While Iran becomes more and more reactionary, they could pose a threat toward the United States with future terrorist activity.

Theo S.

Hong Kong protests: China warns US over Human Rights and Democracy Act

China has warned the US it could take “firm counter-measures” if Washington continues to show support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. The warning came after US President Donald Trump signed the Human Rights and Democracy Act into law. The act mandates an annual review, to check if Hong Kong has enough autonomy to justify special status with the US.

“The US has been disregarding facts and distorting truth,” a Chinese foreign ministry statement said. “It openly backed violent criminals who rampantly smashed facilities, set fire, assaulted innocent civilians, trampled on the rule of law, and jeopardised social order.” The ministry threatened “counter measures” if the US continued “going down the wrong path”.

What are the implications of the bill?
The new law requires Washington to monitor Beijing’s actions in Hong Kong. The US could revoke the special trading status it has granted the territory if China undermines the city’s rights and freedoms. Among other things, Hong Kong’s special status means it is not affected by US sanctions or tariffs placed on the mainland. The bill also says the US should allow Hong Kong residents to obtain US visas if they have been arrested for being part of non-violent protests. Analysts say the move could complicate negotiations between China and America to end their trade war.

I believe the U.S. action of signing the Human Rights and Democracy Act into law could play a role in the current trade war negotiations as by doing so the U.S. is impacting China’s influence in the region and questioning China’s regional hegemony. It could be argued that in the future, Hong Kong, could play a large role in relations between Beijing and Washington.

Return top