San Diego International Law Journal


Thibault Moulin

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



In the near future, the use of neurotechnologies—like brain-computer interfaces and brain stimulation—could become widespread. It will not only be used to help persons with disabilities or illness, but also by members of the armed forces and in everyday life (e.g., for entertainment and gaming). However, recent studies suggested that it is possible to hack into neural devices to obtain information, inflict pain, induce mood change, or influence movements. This Article anticipates three scenarios which may be challenging in the future—i.e., brain hacking for the purpose of reading thoughts, remotely controlling someone, and inflicting pain or death—and assesses their compliance with international human rights law (i.e., the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights) and international humanitarian law (Geneva Conventions III and IV, and the First Additional Protocol).