This paper explores whether the new Web3 technology can solve the contradictions of the world and bring more opportunities for the future prosperity of human civilization.
Today, according to speculation, nine countries are considered to possess nuclear weapons; many more have the capability to manufacture other categories of weapons of mass destruction (wmd – biological, chemical and radiological weapons). This existential threat—and our innate drive to innovate, coupled with the perverse incentive structures associated with the arms industry—means that we are competing for more threatening capabilities. Many more countries are seriously developing the capability to produce nuclear weapons within their territories, and concerns abound that non-state actors would somehow acquire such weapons.
With the development of weapons technology, the asymmetry of power has increased, and few people, even one person, have the ability to end the lives of millions of people and destroy large areas of public and private property. But just as technological development brings risks, it also presents opportunities. Here are three ways that consensus networks and decentralized network technologies can provide unbiased and reliable mechanisms for controlling the distribution, operation, and deployment of weapons in the 21st century.
Protecting sensitive arms supply chains
Blockchain is often touted as a way to significantly improve the efficiency of global supply chains, which consist of a large number of private and public actors that coordinate the movement of goods from origin to consumer country across multiple jurisdictions. The ecosystem is suitable for blockchain because it relies on intermediaries, the participation of independent entities subject to different regulatory requirements (i.e. national customs rules), and its global nature. Establishing transparent and rigorous global shipping and logistics protocols can make this process smoother, reduce costs and improve integrity.
In the weapons supply chain, the word “expend” hides an ominous fact: to consume weapons often means to deploy them, detonate them or fire them at a target with the intent to destroy or kill them. International law generally holds that the deployment of such munitions by sovereign states in the context of conflict is just and lawful, which explains the continuing figures for the continued production of light and heavy weapons (SIPRI) – although there are questions about whether legal weapons are being deployed illegally, such as the Saudi coalition In Yemen’s Civil War (UN News 2018).
A potentially more relevant situation is where legally produced and transported weapons are diverted in transit to some illicit actor, usually a terrorist or other non-state militarized group, such as an organized criminal network. Violation of a weapon’s “end-user certificate” is illegal (Bromley and Griffiths, 2010), but often a monetary or ideological incentive is provided to the intermediary (or even end-user) custodian of the weapon to explain their decision to violate the certificate.
It is now possible to create a networked system of secure shipping containers, linked to smart contracts, to track the location and safety of weapons and dual-use goods in a global logistics network. This regime will provide an additional technical mechanism to ensure compliance with end-use certificates, export control regimes and any other control programmes designed to ensure the safe transport of hazardous materials to the intended recipient country.
As an example, imagine a locked automatic rifle or centrifuge capable of enriching uranium with sensors mounted on the case and connected to the internet. A physical lock can only be opened “legally” (in an objective sense – when signaled by a smart contract) when delivered to a pre-approved end user, that is, once the case reaches its authorized destination and the smart contract receives The digital signature of the authorized recipient.
If the integrity of a case is compromised in transit, a notification can be sent to the network and within minutes the appropriate authorities, along with information about who is the legal guardian of the current artifact, its location history, and more. This system may include some death switch (forcible transfer of permissions), which means that a break in the data link will constitute a breach of integrity, just like a forced physical entry. The system could be used commercially or even provide a system for overseeing arms transfers in security or military logistics networks. As long as the keys are properly managed (i.e., malicious agents cannot extract the private keys and therefore sign transactions that appear to originate from connected sensors), the system can provide an additional layer of security for the weapons supply chain—indeed, any controlled material supply chain .
Extending this to a secure enclave, secure multi-party computational geometry (Atallah and Du 2001) can enable privacy-preserving systems to detect erroneous players without revealing data about the strategic location of compliant players.
Imagine a treaty that dictates where certain weapons can be deployed. Signatories — adversarial militaries — could submit encrypted location data on the positions of all their weapons; within a secure enclave, those positions could be certified to comply with the terms of the treaty without revealing strategic secrets to any human actor. Only in the event of a breach of the treaty will wrongdoing be revealed and the agreed penalties enforced.
Management of Autonomous Weapon Systems
Technological developments in drones, land and sea delivery vehicles have inevitably led to the weaponization of these delivery vehicles. These machines typically rely on consistent data links with human operators, but increasingly use onboard software for navigation and decision-making. Arguments over how such an onboard algorithm might be granted the ability to decide whether to engage a target — kill someone or destroy something — have ranged from calls for an outright ban to claims that existing laws governing warfare would be sufficient to cover emerging and unforeseen Combat Technology (Economist 2019).
Acknowledging that enforced compliance with actors motivated to wage war is impossible, I still wonder: Could consensus networks and other decentralized technologies provide some way to ensure autonomous weapons systems are governed by mutually agreed upon rules?
The concepts here rely on specifications defined by participating militaries, perhaps contributed by the public, that define acceptable conditions of engagement for autonomous weapon systems. The consensus network will enable the developer community to maintain and update the currently approved compilation programs that can serve as the core programs for self-driving cars. This solution also requires reliable hardware: Once the vehicles are started, they need to confirm to the network that they are running the current, unmodified version of the software. This would give the controllers of the system (an entirely different conversation — perhaps experts and developers from cooperating militaries) a way to know that all the autonomous weapons they deploy are running on the appropriate software. Self-driving cars are programmed in such a way that they cannot operate with old, unsafe, unapproved software.
The system has implications for the network of all autonomous vehicles (cars, ships, etc.), but has particular implications for those capable of deploying weapons. Unethical adversaries would need strong incentives to comply with such a system, as it is acknowledged; perhaps making the deployment of autonomous weapons that do not engage the system a war crime, or leading to the imposition of economic sanctions. will be a start and other incentive schemes should be explored, as the system will depend on the proportion of participation in autonomous weapons.
Responsibility for deploying weapons of mass destruction
Within the destructive capability range, some weapons excel in their ability to inflict damage. Nuclear, biological and chemical weapons – collectively known as “weapons of mass destruction” (wmd) – are governed by international law, while other traditional weapons are not. Many efforts are devoted to ensuring that states that do not possess nuclear weapons do not develop the capability to produce them (UN Security Council Resolution 1540), and the control and management of such weapons is one of the most important responsibilities of states possessing these weapons.
Innovations brought about by developments in information technology may provide better ways to manage WMD stockpiling, maintenance, and most importantly, deployment. Here, we focus on perhaps the simplest application of distributed ledger technology in managing the deployment of these weapons: the use of multi-signature smart contracts to trigger launches.
This will require a privacy-preserving blockchain as part of a nuclear-capable government digital infrastructure, coupled with a trusted computing environment installed on weapons and launch systems. Such systems – nodes maintained by different branches or departments of government, possibly even allied governments or non-aligned third parties – could provide an immutable and highly reliable software system in which highly sensitive launches Commands can be programmed to rely on input from several top decision makers. This could be extended to relying on signatures from people outside the sovereign government, and perhaps the consent of allied forces. If the target coordinates are included in the smart contract call, further conditions can be programmed based on the target area. It is conceivable that it would be objectively impossible (depending on the reliability of trusted hardware) to launch an in-chain nuclear missile into an ally’s territory, if such a system is properly installed and configured. Of course, it’s worth saying that this is just a stopgap measure to complete denuclearization – maybe that’s a topic for another article.
Extending the concept of smart contracts for critical government and military digital infrastructure, certain executive powers can be enabled, for example, only if the electoral agency declares war – funds can be released and launch conditions can be changed (e.g. to make less decision makers respond to threats), etc.
The big question here is: How does the new decentralized paradigm provide innovative opportunities for how we manage our most harmful and powerful capabilities? Could this technology provide an additional layer of security against unreasonable errors or upgrades? How to use it to stay ahead of the increasingly automated trend of kill decisions? We created computers to help us – how do they help us avoid the worst human errors? Clearly, the technology is too new to be used in such a high-stakes environment Deploy in context, but brainstorming today will be a logical solution tomorrow.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/war-in-the-age-of-web3/
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