In short, The Alibi is simply an electronic device implanted in your body which
will monitor your activites 24/7 - sound and 360 degree video. This section of my
site explores the technological, ethical, societal, and legal aspects of such a capability.
How many times have we heard an argument that boiled down to whom we believe, rather
than the use of data to show what happened? "He said, She said ..." is the oldest form
of disagreement and denial of one's actions (or words) is the most frequently used defense.
The Alibi would go a long ways towards resolving the facts of an event, although it may not
clarify the motivations or intent of the participants.
I expect that most folks would be unwilling to wear The Alibi themselves. In my limited
conversations with friends on the topic, not a single one would be willing to wear the device.
However, all would support the requirement that elected officials or employees granted power
over other citizens (such as police officers) must use the device.
With today's electronic storage device and sound compression technologies, it is possible to
build an in-body device that will record everything a person says or hears for an entire
lifespan of 100 years. No out-of-body equipment would be required.
We can likewise capture everything a person sees 24/7, but the solution must include
out-of-body technology. Future in-body solutions are projected.
Even if we had The Alibi, it means we'd be recording privileged information given to
us by business associates and friends. So what are the legal issues that must be solved
in order for an individual to record everything - regardless of source - that is heard?
Under what circumstances could the owner be forced to present the recording.
This is probably the single largest hurdle for deployment of The Alibi.
With the information in hand, under what circumstances would it be ethical to release
the information, particularly where privileged information from friends and associates
Would The Alibi be a furtherance of an Orwellian Big Brother society? Would citizens
feel more threatened or would instead they feel the liberation the comes with knowing
false testimony against them would be virtually impossible?
Hacking the System
How can The Alibi be secured? Even if the recording is safe, what are the ways in which
the system would fail to clarify the truth of an event? And if the The Alibi were a
legal requirement, how can the recording be made secure from the person being recorded?
I welcome comments, suggestions, critique, analysis, reactions - any type of response
you care to give.
I give full credit to Robert J. Sawyer for the concept, as explored in his
book "Hominids". I just happen to think it's a device which can be
selectively (and voluntarily) used to improve our lives by exposing criminal
and questionable behavior in the same way that newspapers help preserve our