First published July 1 2016
The Carried Network Demarc
Software-based artficial life will increase the robustness, and enable vastly increased size, of computing systems. To enhance human potential and protect individual liberty in future society-scale systems, the boundary between private and public digital spacesknown in telephone networks as a demarcation point or demarc should be set so that a significant amount of physical computing machinery can be counted as fundamentally personal, for assigning rights and responsibilities. To that end, this note offers a principle called the carried network demarc: The machines that you routinely carry under your own power, and their contents and interactions, should be considered part of your body as a matter of law and social norm. Such machines today may be as prosaic as a watch, pacemaker, or cellphone, but in the future you may regularly carry machines inhabited by multitudes of beneficial alife creaturesakin to the bacterial microbiomes that surround and perfuse our biological bodiesthat would likewise be considered you and yours in both their physical and computational aspects. The author solicits input from others with expertise bearing on this topic.