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Commonplace commercial technologies can be combined and used in unique ways to reshape an urban environment and disrupt how we live and work, in the United States and abroad. The technologies are not new but are becoming ubiquitous and are being used in new ways. The technologies highlight a democratizing trend that gives more people the freedom and power to use any number of new, commercially available technologies to innovate and to challenge existing government rules and community practices. This democratizing trend, however, comes at a cost to privacy, security, and secrecy and is changing the way people interact socially and politically. It is changing the way we conduct business, diplomacy, intelligence operations, and war, the future of which is likely to be increasingly urban in nature.

This research was conducted within the Intelligence Policy Center of the RAND National Defense Research Institute.

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