• Computer Programs Are People, Too | The Nation

    I suggest we fit artificial agents like smart programs into a specific area of law, one a little different from that which makes corporations people, but in a similar spirit of rational regulation. We should consider programs to be legal agents—capable of information and knowledge acquisition like humans—of their corporate or governmental principals. The #Google_defense — your #privacy was not violated because humans didn’t read your e-mail — would be especially untenable if Google’s and #NSA’s programs were regarded as their legal agents: by agency law and its central doctrine of respondeat superior (let the master answer), their agents’ activities and knowledge would become those of their legal principal, and could not be disowned; the artificial automation shield between the government (the principal) and the agent (the program) would be removed.