The fat lady warms up
"Could the legal profession, in extending its research tentacles into the sci-fi world of "ambient law", be accused of making a bid to become part of the ruling elite in an emerging technocracy?"
Am I the only one to find the above question hilarious? Like baby sharks most prelaw types congregate in PoliSci as a nursery in which to hone their predatory skills before graduating from Law. The real man killers graduate to politics. "... a bid to become part of the ruling elite..." You're kidding, right?
It's been my experience that the vast majority of people just want to wrap themselves in the comforting warmth of mediocrity. Whether by way of religion, political affiliation, or, the neighbourhood pub, they just want to get on with it, fit in, be validated, breed and live out their genetic programming. Having Big Brother watch over them is welcomed, as long as Big Brother includes a family member. Before we can speak to the threats posed by technology we need to answer the question/s as to why voting turn out in western democracies is so embarrassing low. Voter turn out is an accurate measure of overall concern about the erosion of personal freedoms.
Outsiders will always find a way to slip between the cracks. The more a program is written to meet standards the more likely some twisted, inventive script kiddie will find a way to script h/is/er way out of it, or, just mess with it. Technology shepherding the masses makes the pickings easier for predators.
Democracy today has a two tiered voting system. The first tier conventionally has one vote per adult member of the country; the second tier is the loosely regulated vote with each, almighty buck. Our faith and government is dollar based. The invisible hand, as noted by Adam Smith, moves over the, amusingly termed, laisser-faire markets and dictates, like the hand of God, what will be. Herky jerky we govern by espousing ideals from the ballot box and dictating policy for the cash box.
If we keep technology development in the private sector where people can vote with their dollars while the public sector is constrained by ideals and firewalled from undue influence by corporations then we might have a system of checks and balances in place to allow the masses to live comfortably, and, maybe, the majority will never need to give up a few precious hours of their lives to vote.
One threat come from corporations being allowed to lobby and finance politicians. Another threat comes from non voters.