Invisible Threats

Gabriella Blum

Harvard Law School


Emerging Threats in National Security and Law, edited by Peter Berkowitz, 2012
Harvard Public Law Working Paper No. 12-29

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.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 21

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Date posted: June 30, 2012 ; Last revised: October 20, 2012

Suggested Citation

Blum, Gabriella, Invisible Threats (2012). Emerging Threats in National Security and Law, edited by Peter Berkowitz, 2012; Harvard Public Law Working Paper No. 12-29. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2096809

Contact Information

Gabriella Blum (Contact Author)
Harvard Law School ( email )
1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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