Foresight of evolving security threats posed by emerging technologies


The FESTOS goal is to identify and assess evolving security threats posed by abuse or inadequate use of emerging technologies and new S&T knowledge, and to propose means to reduce their likelihood. Almost all such knowledge can be abused or cause damage through inadequate use. In a free society this should not hinder free generation and exchange of knowledge. As the pace of science-based development accelerates, there is a pressing need for continual scanning of the unfolding technology landscape for potential security threats. Looking ahead to 2030, the foresight study will identify and assess security threats that could stem from future technologies. Robotics, Cognition, New Materials, Nano and Biotechnologies are some of the fields to be scanned. FESTOS will stimulate an "out of the box" anticipatory thinking and construct threat scenarios by analysing the impact of the identified threats on the background of envisioned security climates (societal context of security issues).

The threat scenarios will be evaluated in terms of their levels of impact and uncertainty. In conjunction with each scenarios critical early-warning indicators will be identified, namely signals that hint at a growing likelihood of specific scenarios and thus provide basis for possible prevention means. Societal issues will be discussed, as well as the controversial issue of controlled dissemination of scientific knowledge in the context of necessary trade-offs between security and the freedom of research and knowledge. Finally policy recommendations will be derived, aiming at novel means of preparedness. Adequate mix of Foresight methods will be employed, e.g. horizon scanning, weak signals analysis, expert surveys, brainstormings, futures wheel , interactive scenario building, STEEPV analysis. Key European stakeholders are addressed in the project s dissemination plan. The impact of successful foresight in FESTOS could be the initiation of a continuous anticipatory process in

  • Status
  • Completed
  • Project Launch
  • 01 March 2009
  • Project completed
  • 31 December 2011
security emerging technologies security threats