Do-It-Yourself Ethics in Dual Use Export Control

I presented “Do-It-Yourself Ethics of Dual Use Technologies” during a seminar on dual use export controls at the ISTC in Astana, Kazakhstan, 12-13 October 2017. Rapid progress in science and technology which could be misused for weapons of mass destruction may escape the current international regulatory regime as laid down in arms control and dual use export control treaties. To fill potential gaps in legislation, codes of conduct and other forms of self-regulation have been proposed, addressing biosecurity and other dual use issues. Recent controversies including the discussion on Gain of Function research reveal the difficulties in balancing security and freedom. After a brief introduction of DIY Ethics of science and technology and the state of the art in codes of conduct for dual use technologies, the cases of H5N1 avian influenza research and of drones were discussed with the participants, highlighting dilemmas in implementing export control regulation in Dual Use Research of Concern. The presentation was well-received and raised some discussion about the relationship of ethics, formal laws and international politics. This seminar marked the start of a new project supported by the European Union, aiming to build capacity for export controls of dual use goods in Central Asia.

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