It’s alien first contact. The extraterrestrials land in New Jersey, say hello to the local populace, and then proceed to wander around Newark. Sure, they would probably have the National Guard, FBI and NASA in tow. But who’s going to stop them? If they have the technology to reach Earth then they probably could defeat a great many of our Earth bound security systems. Does that mean we let them do whatever they want? Certainly not. When someone visits New Jersey we expect them to follow the laws of New Jersey.
There would be many factors associated with extraterrestrial visitors outside of our control. If an extraterrestrial civilization wants to be aggressive then we may be at a disadvantage. It seems more likely though, that barring outright hostile actions, a visiting group of extraterrestrials would want to maintain a level of diplomacy and good will. To do so they will need to follow our laws. We need to let the visitors know this immediately.
Let’s call it ground rules. In past postings I have proposed a list of requests we might want to state at the beginning of our new relationship. The list focuses on human control of our solar system, Earth orbit and Earth atmosphere (the complete list is at the end of this post). There also needs to be consideration for what happens on the ground.
First Contact with an extraterrestrial civilization needs to begin with a friendly hello, if indeed the visitors come in peace. There will be the expected period of questions and answers as we learn more about them. Then diplomacy will begin. That diplomacy needs to include a set of rules about the new relationship. That set of demands should state that despite whatever technological advantage they might have, we expect alien visitors to follow some specific rules and also obey the laws of the land.
This might sound trivial. Would we have the New Jersey State Police bust the aliens for speeding? Perhaps they would be issued a ticket for parking a spacecraft in a no parking zone? In reality there are many considerations that are much more serious. Can extraterrestrials access the internet and bypass passwords and firewalls? Can they retrieve any data they want? Can they manipulate bank statements or examine top secret government files? There are a range of security systems that we tend to take for granted, primarily because they are designed to prevent humans from doing things we don’t want to allow. If extraterrestrials have advanced technology it seems possible that these various security systems, especially on the internet, would be easy for them to bypass.
If they have the technology to do whatever they would like, then why bother asking them to adhere to our laws? The request sets the foundation for the new relationship. Sure, they may be able to easily violate our requests. To do so would negatively impact the relationship. If they are indeed a peaceful group this would probably matter to them. Diplomacy is the action that will form the framework for this new relationship. We need to be upfront and direct with our needs and expectations. This includes asking the visitors to obey our laws and respect our security systems. It means asking them not to manipulate activities on Earth. It means non-interference. It means transparency in all actions and conduct.
Here’s the list of some other ground rules to consider:
-No use of stealth or cloaking technology for any space or aircraft in Earth atmosphere or our solar system.
-No craft visiting Earth without permission.
-No contact with other humans without approval of the United Nations or assigned governing body.
-A promise of non-interference in Earth governments and other social systems.
Declaration of Human Rights
1. Humans have the right to self-determination.
2. Humans have a right to not be manipulated by other civilizations.
3. Humans have a right not to have the pillars of human society manipulated by other civilizations, including economy, technology, and civic arrangements.
4. The planet Earth is the sacred home of human beings.
5. Life on Earth should not be interfered with or manipulated by outside beings.
6. Humans have a right to determine how First Contact proceeds.
7. Humans can determine how much information and what type of information they decide to receive about the outside universe.
8. The resources of the planet Earth are the property of citizens of Earth.
9. The solar system of Earth is the property and home of citizens of Earth.
10. Earthlings can decide which beings can enter the solar system and under what conditions.
11. Earthlings can decide which beings can enter Earth atmosphere and under what conditions.
12. Humans will enter into the larger known universe as productive and responsible citizens.
13. Humans will decide exactly how that entry into the larger known universe proceeds.
14. Humans will expect honesty from all parties interacting with the citizens of planet Earth.
15. Humans will demand honesty and forthright disclosure of any past interactions between alien civilizations and people of the planet Earth.