WASHINGTON — It was announced today that the Center on National Security’s NatSec Tech Incubator will receive a research grant from the Tech & Public Policy program at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. The McCourt School, in conjunction with Project Liberty’s Institute (formerly the McCourt Institute), is awarding nearly $2 million to a short list of technologists, ethicists, legal scholars and social scientists exploring and articulating novel uses and misuses of technology.

Fresh off the successful release of its new report, Social Media: The Canary in the Coal Mine, the Center on National Security’s grant will provide the backing for a new project, Biomanipulation: The Looming Threat of the Social Media Frontier. Biomanipulation is the next frontier in privacy, national security, and even human choice. Biomanipulation is a new phenomenon that surveils, predicts, and can ultimately alter human behavior using biometric and other biological data our bodies produce, consciously and not. Combined with advanced artificial intelligence and augmented reality technology, such new biomanipulative technologies have the potential to fundamentally transform our interactions with the internet, social media, and society at large.

We hope to offer new frameworks and ideas to the conversation on the internet applications of biotechnology and bioinformatics, connecting traditional defense with other critical, but often overlooked, societal perspectives. Specifically, our biomanipulation project will focus on 1) generating policy models to address biomanipulation that integrate broader societal concerns into national security discussions on biotechnologies/bioinformatics; 2) education for national
security practitioners and policymakers on societal impacts of these critical emerging technologies; and 3) convening corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, and technologists to address biomanipulation in their work, adopting privacy-by- design practices and broader ethical frameworks as they build the future.

The Center on National Security is the nation’s premier academic center on national security law, conducting cutting edge research and training the next generation of lawyers through its J.D. and LL.M. national security law programs. Anchored by the strongest and most diverse national security faculty in the country, the Center is at the forefront of the national security conversation. It operates with a “NatSec 360” perspective, a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach to identifying and addressing some of the most pressing concerns in national security law and policy.

The Center recently expanded its work as a think/do tank, connecting research to real world problems. Their marquee initiative is the launch of its 360 Incubators: problem-solving labs dedicated to finding and implementing novel, cross-sector solutions to complex security problems at the intersection of law, policy, and society. To support the Incubators, the Center is constructing an innovation methodology that builds on design thinking, creative problem solving, complexity theory, organizational behavior, change management and related fields. Their goal is to help protect the security, well-being, and rights of people at home and in the world.

The initial four Incubators focus on new and emerging technology; international peace and security, natural security, and national security institutions.