Naavi’s Principles on Cyborg Regulation

We last discussed some aspects of the legal implications of human brain linking to external brain device in our article “Naavi’s theory of neuro Rights”

In a significant development announced today, Elon Musk’s Neurolink has obtained FDA approval and implanted a chip in a human. This is considered as the first human trial to test implants.

The study will assess the functionality of the interface, which enables people with quadriplegia, or paralysis of all four limbs, to control devices with their thoughts

This article in Neuralink state that the study nick named PRIME (Precise  Robotically Implanted Brain-Computer Interface) study aims to evaluate the safety of Neuralink’s implant (N1) a nd surgical robot (R1) and assess the initial functionality of its Brain Computer Interface for enabling people with paralysis to control external devices with their thoughts. 

Under the study, company is recruiting patients with “Quadriplegia” condition (Limited function in all four limbs) for a six year period interaction involving monitoring of the patients.

Once surgically placed, the N1 Implant is cosmetically invisible. It records and transmits brain activity with the goal of enabling you to control a computer. The Implant records neural activity through 1024 electrodes distributed across 64 threads, each thinner than a human hair. It should help the patients to control external devices through transmission of their thoughts.

The objectives of the study are noble and it is a significant development in the human medical research.

In the context of Cyber Laws, it is however necessary to flag that while the thoughts can enable an external computing device to be activated, whether such ability can enable a person without the need for such implant to be able to hack into computers in the vicinity through thoughts.

The patient with an ability to interact with an external computing device through a chip implanted within his body is by definition a “Cyborg”. While there are “Necessary Cyborg implants” for patients with paralysis to which this FDA approval relates to, the possibility of the implant being used for other purposes in due course including manipulating the thoughts of the patients or thoughts of an otherwise healthy individual cannot be ruled out.

Hence we need to look at the risks and accordingly formulate the policies for use of such devices.

Some thoughts that comes to my mind now is that …

All Cyborgs need to

a) be transparent to disclose that they are Cyborgs with some extra human capabilities. In other words, the fact that a human has an implant inside should be disclosed through a note on the face of the person. It should not be “Cosmetically hidden”.

b) made to sign a legally binding declaration to the community that they shall not misuse the implant.

c) agree for an audit of the activity of the implant at periodical intervals from a neutral body.

d) be automatically disqualified of entering into contracts such as disposal of their properties since they donot have full control on their thoughts.

e) Such Cyborgs may be “Intelligent” but donot have a “Free Will”. Hence they cannot enter into valid contracts under Indian Contract Act or similar laws.

Let us call these “Naavi’s Principles of Cyborg regulation” which can be expanded further. Obviously these thoughts do clash with some principles of “Human Rights”. But Cyborgs must consider themselves as not strictly “Human”.


P.S: Kindly excuse me if I sound in-human since we are in the Neuralink case discussing about people with unfortunate disabilities and have actually lost some human capabilities which are being restored through this device. But just as a doctor discusses the probability of death before undertaking surgery with the patient and takes his consent for surgery, we need to recognize that while number of deserving persons benefit out of technology there will be odd persons who will misuse them. If we donot have regulations since the majority donot need them, the minority will become terrorists and bring disrepute to the technology itself. Hence regulation is essential.


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Naavi’s Theory of Neuro Rights

World over discussions are going on regulating Artificial Intelligence. There are some persons like Elon Musk who have endorsed the urgent need to regulate AI while some are still arguing that this is not the time to introduce restrictions on AI and curb innovations.

It is important for us to realise that it may be already too late for regulations and any further delay would only be hazardous to the human race.

Some of the recent developments in AI include developments of large language models (LLM) which have the power to “hallucinate”. Hallucination in this context is expression of creativity which enables the LLM to develop a poem or a literary work which is fiction.

However, it is this ability to hallucinate which can create “Rogue” responses and render LLMs unfit to be relied upon.

However there are innovators who consider that it is time to appoint a humanoid robot as the CEO of a Company, render “Judgements” to introduce more objectivity and reduce corruption in judiciary etc.

In this context some argue that “AI algorithm” which is also the brain behind a humanoid robot like Sophia or Mika should be considered as a “Juridical Person”. In fact “Sophia” is reported to have been already granted citizenship of a country (Saudi Arabia) which essentially means that it is already a juridical person. What remains is the formalization of this concept in international circles.

I am not sure if Sophia holds a Saudi Arabian passport today, but in June 2022, Sophia did visit India and attended a Tech fest in the College of Engineering in Thiruvananthapuram. We donot know if she travelled as a personality or a technical luggage with a human fellow traveller.

If Sophia had been considered a juridical person, she ought to have applied for a “VISA” and we would have known how the Indian Government determined her legal status. If she had been considered as just a technology instrument then the Customs should have taken some documentation to waive off custom duty or value her for custom duty and refund it if she returned in the same status.

I would invite organizers of Tech-Fest, the customs authorities in Thiruvanathapuram and the VISA office in MFA to clarify how they handled this situation since it will be considered as a precedence in the law of AI.

At this juncture I am reminded of an article in Deccan Herald today about a few researchers at IIITB who have published a paper on a robotic model that they say understands and interacts with humans based on emotions. This ability for AI to go sentient is the threshold where AGI transforms into ASI and when the argument for consideration of AI as a juridical entity becomes stronger.

While there can be an academic debate on the issue of whether AI or a humanoid robot with AI should be considered as a juridical entity, this also gives raise to a though if it is also a time to consider human brain as a computer under ITA 2000 and Neuro data considered as equivalent to binary data.

The issue of granting Juridical status to an AI can be considered as similar to a “Minor” attaining “Adulthood” . Just as a “Minor” is represented by a “Guardian”, an AI before going sentient is considered as the responsibility of the developer (under Section 11 of ITA 2000). However on attaining the sentient capability the AI may claim for independent adult status which after an assurance certificate and testing process can be approved by an authority. I propose the introduction of such a process as part of the AI regulation.

Some extended philosophical thoughts

While we try to provide legal recognition to AI as a juridical person, in order to maintain the state of equality between the science of binary bits that drive a humanoid robot and the neuron activity in a human brain, a debate is due on whether “Neuro Data” can be considered as “Binary” and law of ITA 2000 be applied to the “Human Brain”.

In this concept, brain would be considered as an asset of a “Human Soul” . This would be just like the hands and legs are part of the assets of the human soul and would be similar to the computer peripherals attached to a computer brain.

The recognition of a human entity would in such case would be in reference to the “Consciousness” which is different from the body as well as the brain. The human identity would then be linked to the soul rather than the body.

This is an area where the Indian “Philosophy” which distinguishes the body, the mind and the consciousness can find some common ground for discussion with a computer hardware, software and the AI.

If “Neuro Data” is recognized as “Electronic Data” under ITA 2000, “Human Brain” becomes a “Computer” under ITA 2000 and judiciary should recognize “Brain Computer Interfaces” as tools to access computer and recognize the need for “Neuro Rights” as part of “current Privacy rights.

I am not sure if this thought is to be considered as a degeneration of the value of human intellect.

But if it is so, it is also an argument against granting juridical status to AI since we cannot legally equate a computer algorithm to the higher consciousness of a human being.

Alternatively, the recognition of AI under law should be as an entity with a different perspective than a human entity with necessary restrictions which has to be incorporated in the AI regulations. Perhaps the “Attribution” and responsibility for actions of an AI should continue to be with a master who should be a human being.

At this point of time, this thought may look crazy, but behind this lies Naavi’s theory of Neuro Rights and equivalence of neuro data and binary data under law. Watch out for more on this topic.


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Reading Brainwaves

In a recent study in California Berkley, scientists successfully captured brainwaves from some of the patients who were undergoing surgery for epilepsy while listening to music and using AI interpreted the brain waves to re-create the song they were listening to.

While this demonstrated the power of AI, it also indicated how the advancement of technology has opened up the human brainwaves as a readable neuro data.

Unfortunately no law addresses the need to regulate the science of interfering with human thoughts and the ethics of whether this needs regulation is a matter of debate.

Refer news report


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The Need For Neuro Rights … Rafael Yuste

Professor Rafael Yuste of Columbia University is the pioneer in promoting the concept of Neuro Rights. His address to the Indian audience in the Indian Data Protection Summit 2022 (IDPS 2022) is already available here .

Here is an article published in a journal.


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Will Oculus promote Meta Verse or create a fear?

(Continued from the previous article)

In the previous article,  we discussed the Oculus and how it is reportedly been designed to cause damage to the human brain. The device is fortunately not yet out in the market and Mr Palmer Luckey no longer works in Meta. But he has how own company and could very well develop this VR set on his own.

While Mr Palmer boasts that he is “Fascinated” by the possibility of bringing the Meta Verse person closer to the real person, if it is to cause damage to the physical person, then the idea is sinister.

To many this is very scary …so scary that they would like to keep themselves away from any VR. Who knows that there is no hidden explosive charge inside which can be triggered by an event in a Meta Verse event?

While people like us may like to push for the laws to control such devices, the public may be also worried that since VRs may be used by many children, the device can be used to cyber hypnotize the users to reveal financial details of their parents or other secrets with which another criminal attack can be launched on the person.

We cannot wish away that this is only a speculation. If people ccoudl create games like the Blue Whale to make children commit suicide, they will definitely use the VR to exploit the immersive experience to Cyber hypnotize the subject and steal information leading to further crimes.

I am also anticipating that terrorists would use it to brainwash members from the public and motivate them for lone wolf attacks.

If we watch the above video and read some of the comments, it is clear that there are many who seem to enjoy this kind of a device. They may be commenting in jest but the possibility that some of them could become agents of a kingpin is plausible.

In view of the above, I trust that Government of India will immediately place all VR sets under a system of “Licensing” based on a critical evaluation of the hardware at code level. The Meta Verse sites that could interact with the users of this kind of advanced VR sets should also be monitored on a continuous basis to ensure that there are no deep web sites that cause an “Immersive” experience to create criminals prowling in the society.

Time to act now…. Address a communication to the Indian Government to take note of this danger.



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Oculus Proves the Immediate Need for Neuro Rights Protection

(PS: The device picture shown above is a conceptual replica. It was not actually built and Mr Palmer was perhaps terminated by Meta for other reasons and not for developing this lethal idea. But the danger of the concept seems plausible and could be built by others)

It is surprising how some criminal minds work. When I urged the need for Neuro Rights legislation in India during his speech at the IDPS 2022, the  existence  of  a concept like Oculus VR set with a possible Microwave blast  was not highlighted.  I only highlighted the developments of Neuro Technology such as Brain Implants and Brain Computer Interfaces that can be misused by the operators to unauthorizedly alter the human mind by manipulating the neuro data.

Mr Palmer Luckey who is identified as an “Entrepreneur” by the Wikipedia is associated with a potential invention of a VR set which can have an embedded Microwave bomb that gets triggered when the wearer is playing a video game and get killed. The Microwave blast would be directed at the brain of the head set wearer killing him in physical life.

Law makers need to seriously think if this technology development is not stopped right now, will it not be a facilitation of  plain “Murder” or “Abatement to suicide”?

If so, it is time to endorse the need for Neuro rights legislation in India now.

The basic requirement of law is

a) Recognize the form of “Neuro Data” as a kind of data coming under “Protected data” 

b) Recognize “Neuro privacy” as a kind of “Protected right”

c) Recognize “harm” due to neurological manipulations

c) Recognized a higher level of “Consent” called “Witnessed Consent” to protect Neuro right

The rest of the law related to penalties and punishments can be considered under other provisions of the data protection act as well as ITA 2000 and IPC as a “Contravention of law”.  The Oculus must me considered as a weapon of death and its inventor and distributor should be punishable under law including punishment of death for third degree murder or attempt thereof.

Considering the urgent need for legislative protection, apart from using other provisions under the “Gaming Control Notification” that the Government is considering, the law on Personal Data Protection, a draft of which is expected to be released anytime must include provisions of Neuro Rights Protection.

Some of the suggested provisions are as follows.

1.“Neuro Data” may be defined as- “Neuro data means the electromagnetic signals that are collected from or fed into the human brain by a Brain Computer Interface in binary form.”

2.“Neuro Privacy” may be defined as- “Neuro Privacy” means the choice of an individual to determine to what extent the individual may share his neuro space with others”

3.“Neurological harm”  may be defined as – Neurological manipulation which alters the ability of an individual to take autonomous decisions” should be added to the definition of harm to extend the “psychological manipulations”

4.“Witnessed Consent” may be defined as-  consent provided by a data principal which is witnessed by independent third parties who donot have conflicting interest in the processing of the personal data under circumstances that the data principal may not be reasonably expected to provide a free consent, and includes sharing of neuro data or sharing of personal data when the data principal is not in a medical condition to provide informed consent.”

I would urge readers to read the series of articles on the suggestions for the new data protection law available at here.

Readers  can  also  view  the  keynote  address  of  naavi  at   IDPS 2022 which is available below.

I request viewers to send their views on whether the time has come to bring Neuro Rights into the Indian law in the current “Draft Digital Personal Data Protection Bill” that the Government is now contemplating.

Please join your voice here so that when FDPPI submits its request to the Government to add these provisions into the draft, your voice will also be heard.



India Today article

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This website can now be accessed easily on Mobile App

The contents of this website are now easily accessible on Google play store for Android phones. The link is below.


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IDPS 2022 of FDPPI discusses Neuro Rights Regulation

The Indian Data Protection Summit 2022 (IDPS 2022) of FDPPI (Foundation of Data protection Professionals in India) which was held between 11th and 13th November 2022 as a virtual conference launched a discussion on the need for Neuro Rights in India.

On Day 1 of the conference, Dr Rafeal Yuste, the Professor of Neuro Science in the University of Columbia addressed the conference and his speech is available below.

On Day 3, Naavi, Chairman of FDPPI made a brief introdcutory presentation the video of which is available below. (Will be posted shortly).

With this, the first steps in launching a discussion on Neurorights legislation in India has commenced  under FDPPI, which is a Not for profit organization located in Bangalore.

Any other organization interested in joining this movement may kindly contact Naavi, Founder of and Chairman of FDPPI.


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Soundwaves may be the new tool of Brain activity manipulation

We have been discussing the need for Protection of Privacy Rights to be augmented to protection of Neuro Rights (The series of articles published in this site are also collated at

So far the discussions have been related to the “Brain Computer interface” through electro magnetic radiation that would bring chemical changes in the brain cells leading to specified neuron activity.

The human brain is said to function with “Brain Waves” which are electro magnetic waves which function in a certain frequency range (or wave length range which is in inverse proportion to frequency) as below.

Externally there are radio waves, Cellular mobile waves and other frequency waves that we come across in the atmosphere. These waves are at a higher wavelength.

5G spectrum which we often hear are in the frequency range of 1GH to 6 GH. (One megahertz (MHz) equals 1,000,000 Hz. One gigahertz is equal to 1,000 megahertz (MHz) or 1,000,000,000 Hz or 10hertz. In wavelength terms, 1GH is approximately 0.299 metres).

We have heard that radiation from mobiles, mobile towers as well as microwave ovens do affect human brains.  Though human body system is tuned to receive certain signals and ignore certain signals the fact that “electro magnetic” is the nature of human brain activity and also the activity of other devices including computers.

The “Brain-Computer interfaces” involving electrodes fixed on top of human skull or chips inside the human skull have gone past animal experimental state and are in advanced state of adoption in our common life. Binaural beats used in music technology is an example on hand.

Current demand for Neuro Rights protection is based on the possibility of manipulation of human brain with implants and other external stimuli which are perceivable by human sensory organs.

Now a new requirement seems to be emerging with scientific developments which indicate the possibility of manipulation of human brain activity without implants and outside the human sensory organs. In other words certain waves which are not heard by our ears or seen by our eyes can be used to manipulate brain activity.

The Privacy concepts such as “Right of Free Choice”, “Expression through a written consent” etc loses meaning when some body can make a human think as per his wish. This is not in the realm of hypnotism or other known forms of psychology through external stimulation. This is a completely new method of intervention of human brain that escapes regulation in any of our known laws.

A serious thought is therefore required to discuss whether our proposed new data protection law should incorporate “Neuro Right Protection” . This will be a point of discussion that  may come up during the IDPS 2022.

In our suggestions we added “Neuro Privacy” as a category to be addressed by  this new law along with other three forms of privacy namely the Physical privacy (non interference in physical terms), Mental Privacy (Right to be mentally left alone) and Information privacy (Right to manage the use of personal information).

We defined neuro privacy as

(c) “Neuro Privacy” means the choice of an individual to determine to what extent the individual may share his neuro space with others

Perhaps for the purpose of the Act this would suffice. But when it comes to “Reasonable Security to Protect the Neuro Privacy” or “Neuro Privacy by default”, the rules need to address how the neuro intervention devices are regulated.

In one of the recent researches it is contended that “Micro waves” are being sent from drones in an US experimental site and the target population are experiencing mental harassment due to the experiment since they seem to be hearing things.  Patents are being claimed for “Microwave Voice to skull technology”.

This patent describes it as an

“invention relates to a hearing system for human beings in which high frequency electromagnetic energy is projected through the air to the head of a human being and the electromagnetic energy is modulated to create signals that can be discerned by the human being regardless of the hearing ability of the person.”

The patent applicant claims

” I have discovered that a pulsed signal on a radio frequency carrier of about 1,000 megahertz (1000 MHz) is effective in creating intelligible signals inside the head of a person if this electromagnetic (EM) energy is projected through the air to the head of the person”

Just as inputs to computer can be given in the form of key strokes or voice commands, in future, Brain-Computer interfaces may operate with sound waves instead of through  a remote computing device.

It is this sort of developments that need “Neuro Rights” to be defined now though we may need time on making rules to regulate the protection of Neuro Rights.

Psychiatrists seem to be ignoring the possibility of human brain activity manipulation through sound waves and dismissing the claims of some people in the alleged experimental area as a kind of neurosis.

Watch out for IDPS 2022 where we may take this discussion further… Provided there are speakers who can share their thoughts.



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Difference between Psychology and Neurology

We often wonder whether Psychology and  Neurology are same. The differentiation is also relevant as we travel from Privacy Rights to Neuro Rights.

The Current Privacy laws have touched the protection of Psychological manipulation of an individual for recognizing infringement of Privacy rights. The Indian data protection law (PDPB2019/DPA2021), lists “psychological manipulation which impairs the autonomy of the individual” as 0ne of the harms that lead to infringement of Privacy Rights.

As distinguished from this “Psychological manipulation” there could be “Neurological Manipulation” which will be part of the protection of neuro rights. For this purpose it is essential to distinguish Psychology from Neurology.

Neurology is a branch of medicine and devotes its attention to assessment and treatment of diseases of the nervous system. When a computer system is connected to the nervous system in such a manner as to read the nerve signals that transmit between the human central nervous system and the human body parts such as the muscles and organs, and perhaps manipulate the signals, we are dealing with a possible infringement of neuro rights of a person.

On the other hand, Psychology is a scientific study of the mind, behaviour and emotions of a person. When a computer system or information is used to alter the behaviour of a person or his emotions, or decisions, we can say that his privacy is being infringed.

The behaviour of a person is a reflection of the activity of neurons in his body. Hence psychological infringement can be caused by neurological infringement. Hence the two concepts of “Psychological intervention” and “Neurological intervention” are related.

If we take the example of a “Optical illusion”, the illusion leads the human to perceive an object different from what it truly is. But what something “Truly” is may itself be an illusion of a large number of persons.

When doctors use “Anaesthesia” they are only cheating the neural system to believe that there is no pain or sensation. Hence that person/part of the person which is anaesthetised is unable to feel the heat, cold or pain though the object he touches may really hot as per the accepted standards. This is a neurological intervention.

On the other hand, if a person is “hypnotized” and through hypnotic suggestions is made to believe that the object is not hot or he does not feel the pain, he may actually donot recognize the heat or pain. In this case, the psychological manipulation is so strong that it induces the neurological changes which otherwise may directly be achieved by an anaesthesia.

This example shows that neurological changes can be brought in by psychological suggestions provided the suggestions are strong enough. This phenomenon has been proved in the “Hypnotic state” where the sub conscious mind of a person is being spoken to by the hypnotist.

In the normal conscious state, the human mind works under its legacy memory and the pre-programmed active nervous system and hence it will feel the heat or pain despite oral suggestions from others. Perhaps some of the “Cult Leaders” have the capability of hypnotic control on persons who appear to be fully awake and in such persons the belief system is strong enough to take them to a hypnotic trance if the cult leader speaks to them.

Thus we can conclude that psychological manipulations can be converted into neurological manipulations and vice versa.

When we try to regulate “Privacy Rights” therefore we need to understand that at the peripheral level, the regulations affect “Privacy” in the “Psychological Domain”. When we try to dive deeper, we come to the neurological domain and need to look at neuro rights.

To explain this two levels that separate the Privacy rights and Neuro Rights, we can take the example of  Data which exists in multiple states.

For example let us take identified personal data and anonymised personal data. One law may address identified personal data and another may address anonymised personal data. There is a layer of separation between identified personal data and anonymised personal data which is the anonymisation technology. If this technology is weak, we can say that there is no difference between anonymised data and identified data and privacy can be infringed if either of the data is available in wrong hands. In that case we need one law to take care of privacy infringement of both identified and anonymised data.

But if  technology is “reasonably” strong, it is possible to keep the two regulations separate.

Similar argument can be made on “Un encrypted and Encrypted Data”. If the encryption is strong, there can be one law for unencrypted law and another for Encrypted data”. Otherwise we need a common law.

When there is a reasonably strong security that separates one set of objects and the other and law is made differently with the confidence that conversion one set of object to the other is technically infeasible, then forced conversion should be considered as a “Malicious activity or a Crime”.

Indian data protection law has done this by a specific provision in PDPB 2019/DPA 2021 which criminalizes re-identification of de-identified information without authority. (also applies to de-anonymisation of anonymised data).

Similarly, when we consider a legal provision for Neuro rights different from Privacy Rights,  we need to place a strong barrier in between what is considered as the psychological domain and the Neurological domain.

This will be one of the biggest challenges in conceptualizing the Neuro Rights law and defining its applicability.

In the Data Protection laws, we define applicability from  “Presence of a processing company in a given jurisdiction” and “Data being collected from within the jurisdiction”  as well as “data related to doing business from a different country or profiling the persons in one country from another country”.

If we use this analogy, we can define psychological intervention in such a manner that it extends to direct or indirect neurological interventions or vice versa.

This is an area for debate by the law makers.

To summarize, here we have discussed the presence of two concepts namely “Psychology” and “Neurology” from the Personal data and Neuro data perspectives and how they may be inter related.

(Debate will continue…)



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