Merkle in Spectrum: preventing nanotech abuse

from the white-hats-must-move-fast dept.
Senior Associate Ralph Merkle has an opinion piece in IEEE Spectrum on preventing nanotech abuse. Excerpt: "Deliberate abuse, the misuse of a technology by some small group or nation to cause great harm, is best prevented by measures based on a clear understanding of that technology. Nanotechnology could, in the future, be used to rapidly identify and block attacks. Distributed surveillance systems could quickly identify arms buildups and offensive weapons deployments, while lighter, stronger, and smarter materials controlled by powerful molecular computers would let us make radically improved versions of existing weapons able to respond to such threats. Replicating manufacturing systems could rapidly churn out the needed defenses in huge quantities. Such systems are best developed by continuing a vigorous R&D program, which provides a clear understanding of the potential threats and countermeasures available."

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