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Built in 1970, it was converted to an intelligence-collection vessel in 1989.
It's the latest provocation as Russia's military appears to test Trump.
Sound familiar? Yes, you read it on El Reg last July The Ministry of Defence has today re-announced for the third time that it has awarded a £30m contract to build a great big feck-off laser cannon for zapping the Queen's enemies. Originally awarded in July 2016 to the Dragonfire consortium, the Laser Directed Energy Weapons (LDEW) contract immediately stalled after a challenge to the contract award by an unknown number of losing companies. The MoD eventually settled the contract dispute last September, stating at the time that the deal had gone through. While exciting, in the way that setting about an old shed with a sledgehammer and a couple of gallons of petrol is exciting, the LDEW project is certainly not new. The Dragonfire consortium – made up of BAE Systems, Leonardo (formerly known as Finmeccanica, parent company of infamous British helicopter firm AgustaWestland), Cambridge-based Marshall Defence and Aerospace, and Hampshire-based defence research company Qinetiq – is charged with building the demonstrator weapon, and a working prototype is hoped for by 2019. It will have to meet five criteria to satisfy defence chiefs, including tracking targets in all weathers, maintaining sustained operation over a period of time, and various safety-related criteria, mostly aimed at ensuring the laser's operators or innocent bystanders don't get accidentally fried. Harriet Baldwin, minister for defence procurement, said in a canned statement: "The UK has long enjoyed a reputation as a world leader in innovation and it is truly ground-breaking projects like the Laser Directed Energy Weapon which will keep this country ahead of the curve." The obvious long-term practical application for the laser would be aboard a warship, and perhaps one of the first aged Type 23 frigates to be retired in the next five or six years could have her hull life extended to serve as a trials platform. As the press get excited over the new laser cannon, however, it is important to remember that the Type 45 air defence destroyers are not completely reliable when operating in warm seas, HMS Queen Elizabeth's sea trials date is quietly slipping back, F-35 deliveries still continue at a pathetic drip-feed rate, and the RN still has no replacement anti-ship missiles lined up for when its current weapons are retired in 2018 – though sources tell El Reg that the UK is exploring options for this with France. Various news outlets including the BBC, the Sun and the Daily Star (traditionally a very fertile ground for planted Andy McNabb-type tales of carefully anonymised derring-do from the front line) decided to run this hoary old news about the laser cannon today as if it was actually new. It's one thing to get excited over a new giant zapper but it's begun to wear a bit thin after the third repetition without any actual progress having been made. ® Sponsored: Next gen cybersecurity.
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The USS Freedom (LCS-1), designed by Lockheed Martin... or perhaps by a jilted British designer who is pressing IP theft claims against the Navy.US Navy reader comments 98 Share this story This has not been a good year for the US Navy's newest ships.

Four ships from the Navy's two classes of Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)—the high-tech, modular warships that were supposed to be the future of naval warfare in areas close to shore—have suffered major engineering problems, including breaking down at sea.

Three of the LCS ships that suffered engineering failures were from the Freedom class, ships built by Lockheed Martin for the LCS program: USS Freedom, USS Fort Worth, and USS Milwaukee. The program has also seen other setbacks, including the USS Montgomery (an Independence-class LCS built by Austal USA) suffering a cracked hull after bumping the wall of a Panama Canal lock. But the LCS' engineering woes may not be the end of the trouble its shipbuilding programs are facing.

As defense writer David Axe reports, David Giles, a British aerospace engineer-turned-marine architect, has filed a lawsuit accusing the Navy of stealing elements of the Freedom's design from work he did to commercialize a wave-piercing, "semi-planing" hull—work Giles patented in the early 1990s. Giles' design, called the Prelude, was derived from work his firm first pitched to the British Royal Navy.

The patents were filed for a design for high-speed container ships, called Fastships.

Giles formed a company by the same name to build them.

The design patents expired in 2010, but Giles' company—which is now bankrupt—filed suit against the Navy in 2012 after years of seeking compensation. Lockheed Martin had formed a "strategic partnership" with Giles' Fastships in 2002 as the Navy began looking at LCS designs, Giles told Axe.

And he claimed that design information from his Fastships designs—for container ships capable of speeds between 40 and 50 knots (46 to 57 miles per hour)—had been shared in confidence with the US Navy prior to that. The Navy initially passed on Giles' Prelude hull design because it wanted something smaller and faster.

The Navy then changed its mind in 2003, shifting the design requirements into the size and speed category covered by Giles' patents. Lockheed kicked Fastships off the project but went ahead and incorporated much of Fastships' design elements into the Freedom class hull, Giles has asserted. Lockheed was not named in the suit. This isn't the only suit the Navy faces over accusations of stealing intellectual property.

Bitmanagement Software filed a federal lawsuit earlier this year accusing the Navy of pirating the company's software, installing more than 558,000 unlicensed copies of its BS Contract Geo geospatial visualization software when the service only had licenses for 38 computers.
In that incident, the Navy has responded that it received authorization from the company to run the additional copies across its network. Too hot to handle Meanwhile, the Navy's newest destroyer is having its own engineering woes.

After being commissioned in Baltimore in October, the USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) began a journey to San Diego, its assigned home port, for final equipment fitting. But the ship suffered an engineering failure on November 21 while passing through the Panama Canal, just a few weeks after the Montgomery's mishap.

The stealth destroyer, which has cost the Navy more than $7 billion, needed to be towed through the Miraflores Locks to the facility formerly known as US Naval Station Rodman to undergo repairs.
It remains there today. The Zumwalt has an all-electric drive system with power provided by gas turbines.

The issue with the ship was apparently in the heat exchanger that cools the gas turbines.

A Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) spokesperson told Ars in an e-mail today that information on the cause of the failure was not yet available. However, several of the British Royal Navy's newest destroyers, the Type 45, suffered breakdowns operating in the Persian Gulf this summer because the intercoolers for their gas turbine engines failed in the Gulf's warm waters.

All of the Type 45s are receiving engineering overhauls to correct the issue.

The system had late design changes and was never fully tested before deployment.
It's possible that the Zumwalt's heat exchanger also failed because of the high temperature of the water in the Panama Canal.
Now ZyXEL and D-Link routers from Post Office and TalkTalk under siege Analysis The Mirai botnet has struck again, with hundreds of thousands of TalkTalk and Post Office broadband customers affected.

The two ISPs join a growing casualty list from a wave of assaults that have also affected customers at Deutsche Telekom, KCOM and Irish telco Eir over the last two weeks or so. Problems at the Post Office and TalkTalk both began on Sunday and collectively affected hundreds of thousands of surfers.
Similar attacks against thousands of KCOM broadband users around Hull that started about the same time targeted users of telco-supplied routers.

Thousands of punters at the smaller ISP were left without a reliable internet connection as a result of the assault, which targeted routers from Taiwanese manufacturer ZyXEL. KCOM told El Reg that Mirai was behind the assault on its broadband customers, adding that: "ZyXEL has developed a software update for the affected routers that will address the vulnerability." The timing and nature of this patch remains unclear. ZyXEL told El Reg that the problem stemmed from malicious exploitation of the maintenance interface (port 7547) on its kit, which it was in the process of locking down. With malicious practice in place, unauthorised users could access or alter the device's LAN configuration from the WAN-side using TR-064 protocol. ZyXEL is aware of the issue and assures customers that we are handling the issue with top priority. We have conducted a thorough investigation and found that the root cause of this issue lies with one of our chipset providers, Econet, with chipsets RT63365 and MT7505 with SDK version # and # v002 respectively. Last week a widespread attack on the maintenance interfaces of broadband routers affected the telephony, television, and internet service of about 900,000 Deutsche Telekom customers in Germany.
Vulnerable kit from ZyXEL also cropped up in the Deutsche Telekom case. Other victims include customers of Irish ISP Eir where (once again) ZyXEL-supplied kit was the target. The Post Office confirmed that around "100,000 of our customers" have been affected and that the attack had hit "customers with a ZyXEL router". ZyXEL routers are not a factor in the TalkTalk case, where routers made by D-Link are under the hammer.

TalkTalk confirmed that the Mirai botnet was behind the attack against its customers, adding in the same statement that a fix was being rolled out. Along with other ISPs in the UK and abroad, we are taking steps to review the potential impacts of the Mirai worm.

A small number of customer routers have been affected, and we have deployed additional network-level controls to further protect our customers. We do believe this has been caused by the Mirai worm – we can confirm that a fix is now in place, and all affected customers can reconnect to the internet. Only a small number of our customers have the router (a D-Link router) that was at risk of this vulnerability, and only a small number of those experienced connection issues. The Post Office is similarly promising its customers that a fix is in the works. Post Office can confirm that on 27 November a third party disrupted the services of its broadband customers, which impacted certain types of routers.

Although this did result in service problems we would like to reassure customers that no personal data or devices have been compromised. We have identified the source of the problem and implemented a resolution which is currently being rolled out to all customers. It's unclear who is responsible for the growing string of attacks on ISP customers across Europe or their motives.

The mechanism of the attack is, however, all too clear. Hackers are using the infamous Mirai malware or one of its derivatives to wreak havoc.

The IoT malware scans for telnet before attempting to hack into vulnerable devices, using a brute-force attack featuring 61 different user/password combinations, the various default settings of kit from various manufacturers. Up to 5m devices are up for grabs thanks to wide open management ports, according to some estimates. Jean-Philippe Taggart, senior security researcher at Malwarebytes, said: "The leaked Mirai code, poorly secured remote administration on IoT devices, coupled with the recent availability of a Metasploit module to automate such attacks make for an ideal botnet recruitment campaign. "So far, it seems the infection does not survive a reboot, but the malicious actors tend to disable access to the remote administration as part of the infection.

This prevents the ISP from applying an update that would solve these issues.

The botnet gains a longer life as users seldom reboot their routers unless they're experiencing a problem." Other experts imply further attacks along the same lines are inevitable because the state of router security is poor and unlikely to improve any time soon. Daniel Miessler, director of advisory services at IOActive, commented: "Recent attacks to Deutsche Telekom, TalkTalk and the UK Post Office will be felt by hundreds of thousands of broadband customers in Europe, but while the lights stay on and no one is in any real physical or financial danger, sadly nothing will change.
IoT will remain fundamentally insecure. "The current state of IoT security is in bad shape, and will get a whole lot worse before it gets any better.

The Mirai botnet, which is powered by 100,000 IoT devices that are insecure by default, is just the most obvious and topical example." ® Sponsored: Customer Identity and Access Management
Routers scooted, says KCOM Thousands of broadband customers in the Hull area have been left without reliable internet access following a cyber attack. Local telco KCOM blamed difficulties for its customers which began over the weekend and remains ongoing on an attack it said was targeted at models of routers it supplies to some of its customers. Since Saturday 26 November a significant number of our customers have been experiencing issues accessing the internet. We have now identified that the root cause of the problem was a cyber attack that targets a vulnerability in certain broadband routers, causing them to crash and disconnect from the network.

The only affected router we have supplied to customers is the ZyXel AMG1302-T10B.

The vast majority of our customers are now able to connect to and use their broadband service as usual. Our core network was not affected at any time, and we have put in place measures to block future attacks from impacting our customers. ZyXel has developed a software update for the affected routers that will address the vulnerability.
In most cases this will be applied remotely and customers will not need [to] do anything. However, a small percentage of our customers with affected routers may need additional support from us to reconnect to the internet and we are in the process of contacting them. KCOM added that the attack is not limited to its customers.

Broadband users across Europe are been affected by the same kit crashing (DDoS) issue. The cyber attack is not limited to KCOM customers. Large numbers of customers of other UK and European communications providers have also been impacted. We have provided formal notification of the attacks to the communications regulator, Ofcom, and will continue to work with other UK communications providers to ensure a consistent approach to mitigating this threat. Thousands of boadband users in the Hull area have been affected by the issue. Quite a number havve criticised KCOM's handling of the whole incident, as local paper the Hull Daily Mail reports. ® Sponsored: Customer Identity and Access Management
He's bound to say that.

Truth is, it'll get worse before it gets better Comment Admiral Sir Philip Jones, head of the Royal Navy, has written how "you'd be forgiven for thinking that the RN had packed up and gone home" in response to the kicking the naval service has received in the press recently. In an open letter published on the RN website, the admiral wrote: "Sadly the world is less certain and less safe.

But our sense of responsibility has not changed.

The Royal Navy may be smaller than in the past but has a strong future so this is no time to talk the Navy down." On 21 November the Defence Select Committee published a swingeing report into naval procurement, which concluded: "The MoD is embarking on a major modernisation of the Royal Navy surface fleet. Notwithstanding the Committee's concerns that the number of ships is at a dangerous and an historic low, it is a programme which has the potential to deliver a modern navy with a broad range of capabilities." Meanwhile, HMS Duncan, a Type 45 air-defence destroyer, had to be towed back into port after her unreliable Rolls-Royce WR-21 engines* broke down, as they tend to do on all Type 45s with worrying frequency – so much so that the RN has started a dedicated initiative, Project Napier, to add extra diesel generators to the Type 45 fleet.

This involves cutting large holes in the hull of each ship. Royal Fleet Auxiliary** tanker Wave Knight, currently deployed on Atlantic Patrol Tasking (North) in the Caribbean on anti-drugs patrol duties, broke down in St Vincent with Prince Harry aboard.

APT(N) used to be carried out by an actual warship rather than a refuelling tanker, but cuts to destroyer and frigate numbers left the Navy with no option. Last year a naval offshore patrol vessel, normally employed to stop and search fishermen's boats and their catches, was trialled on APT(N). A few weeks ago it was revealed that the RN will, from 2018, be left without any anti-ship missiles on its frigates and destroyers. Then there's the Type 26 frigate programme, which continues to stagnate as MoD officials lock horns with vastly more experienced BAE Systems negotiators over contracts.

The Type 26s are planned to partly replace the UK's current fleet of thirteen Type 23 anti-submarine frigates.

There will be fewer Type 26s than Type 23s, however, with the final five Type 23s set to be replaced with Type 31 "general purpose frigates", a cheap 'n' cheerful concept intended primarily for export.

The government, having initially pledged a like-for-like replacement of Type 23 with Type 26, later changed tack and cut the planned order of Type 26s, presumably because of the spiralling costs. A perfect storm for the naval service So what did the First Sea Lord have to say in defence of the RN? Type 45 destroyers are "hugely innovative" and "money is now in place to put this right".
Indeed, "if they weren't up to the job then the US and French navies would not entrust them with protection of their aircraft carriers in the Gulf." A strong point: for all their electrical flaws, the Type 45s are world-leading air-defence destroyers. The Harpoon anti-ship missile was cut partly because it "was reaching the end of its life" – though the admiral's attempt to claim that last month's Unmanned Warrior robot naval boat exercise featured anything capable of replacing a dedicated anti-ship capability was fanciful at best and downright disingenuous at worst.

That said, the admiral is duty bound, for better or for worse, not to embarrass his elected political masters. Admiral Jones also mentioned the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers and their F-35B fighter jet air wing, due to enter service in a few years.

As previously reported on El Reg, the F-35 will not be ready for true carrier deployment for another five years minimum and even when it is, we won't own enough of them to put to sea without borrowing half the fast air wing from the US Marines. Moreover, each carrier will need, at the very least, both a frigate and a destroyer as escorts; the frigate to detect submarines, the destroyer to maintain an anti-aircraft screen. Will we be able to spare these two ships from all the other standing tasks, let alone training and maintenance requirements? On the whole, the Royal Navy is in very poor shape.
It cannot meet all its standing patrol tasks (as detailed in the Defence Select Committee report) without resorting to small patrol vessels and mostly civilian tankers to do so.

The Fleet Air Arm will not be a credible force capable of deploying overseas at even minimal strength (12 F-35Bs) until the middle of the next decade.

The frigate force is capable but ageing and due for retirement soon.

The destroyer fleet will be plagued by engine problems for another five years. On the other hand, the carriers will enter service.

F-35B will enter service.

Type 26 will start entering service from the mid-2020s.

The RFA will receive its new Tide-class replenishment ships to support the carriers.

Three new offshore patrol vessels are under construction and will be delivered in the next few years. New nuclear deterrent submarines are now under construction and will enter service in the coming years.
In terms of fighting strength, ability to put to sea and ensure freedom of navigation and lawful commerce, the Navy will improve. The tough part is that we will not hit rock bottom and start climbing out of this well of impotence for at least the next three years. What those three years bring – Brexit, more Russian sabre-rattling, possibly even a new Middle East flashpoint – could stretch the RN to breaking point or even beyond. While the First Sea Lord has publicly defended his service, ultimately it is the politicians of all flavours who starved the Navy of the funding for new ships and equipment that it desperately needed ten years ago, leading to today's situation where so many demoralised personnel have left that ship deployments were lengthened from six to nine months. The next time the Defence Secretary pops up to recycle tired old announcements that amount to nothing new, remember that. ® Bootnotes *The two gas turbines themselves are OK – it is the intercooler-recuperator assembly which lets them down.

Briefly, the intercooler-recuperator recovers heat from the turbines' exhausts and uses it to pre-heat the fuel/air mixture being fed into the engine.

This reduces wasted heat while increasing fuel efficiency and electrical output.

Due to a design flaw, the intercooler-recuperator tends to drop out without warning when operating in warmer waters (reportedly as low as 30C).

The sudden spike in electrical demand overwhelms the ship's two auxiliary Wärtsilä diesel generators and causes the entire electrical system, propulsion, weapons and all, to trip out, leaving the destroyer dead in the water as frantic marine engineers rush to reset it all. **The Royal Fleet Auxiliary is a uniformed but civilian branch of the naval service. Officially classed as civil servants sailing civilian-registered British ships, their personnel man the tankers, replenishment ships and general duties vessels, which increasingly find themselves used as actual warships, such as on the APT(N) deployment or as the mothership for the British minehunter contingent in the Persian Gulf. Sponsored: Customer Identity and Access Management
Enlarge / Kirk and Spock wear nifty outfits in order to contemplate the concept of the Prime Directive, which was first introduced in the episode "Return of the Archons."Paramount Star Trek 50th Anniversary Smithsonian Channel’s Building Star Trek is a cheesy but reverent tribute Why does the Star Trek franchise keep returning to its origins? View more storiesreader comments 55 Share this story Asking lawyers about Star Trek is a bit like asking bike mechanics what their favorite beer is.

Even if it’s not their area of professional expertise, they have lots of clear, well thought-out opinions on the subject. One day last month, I put out a quick call for Trek-minded attorneys, and they flooded in. Within minutes, this actual e-mail message landed in my inbox. Sir: I suddenly had five people e-mailing me saying I had to chat with you! I aver that I am a lawyer who defines himself first and foremost as a Starfleet officer. May I help? CWWChristian W. WaughWaugh Law, P.A. Sent from my Starfleet Communicator I should add that this guy goes by the handle @AdmiralWaugh on Twitter.
I knew I had hit on something great. As a Trek fan—I'm a child of the 1980s, TNG was my first foray into the universe—and someone who reports frequently about legal issues, I wanted to honor the 50th anniversary of the series with a look at the legal issues at play across Star Trek. Sure, entire books have already been written on this subject, but this was boldly going into terra nullis for yours truly. From copyright to civil law After reviewing various episodes (research, I swear!), I was reminded of how many Picard-as-counsel episodes there are.

Court-style procedurals are no rarity across the various series and movies. According to a recent panel discussion at Comic Con (SDCC) entitled "Star Trek: Where Lawyers Boldly Go," there are a number of landmark legal-themed episodes ranging from TOS "Court Martial," to TNG’s "Measure of a Man," to DS9’s "Tribunal," to Enterprise’s "Judgment." This panel, I should add, included various legal luminaries such as California Supreme Court Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, and former US Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal, now a vice president and lawyer for Facebook. Enlarge / Some legal issues raised in Star Trek have direct relevance to today. Joshua Gillilan The point is there are many legal roads to go down in the Star Trek universe, and some even have direct parallels to our own time.

The ongoing case of Naruto v.
(currently before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals) involves the question of whether a non-human (in this case, a macaque) can hold copyright of a photograph. Nearly this exact same question is explored in Voyager’s "Author, Author," where the Doctor, a holographic medical program, tries to assert intellectual property rights over a holonovel. In the Star Trek universe, of course, the most important "law" is more of an overarching policy and social norm.
It's called the Prime Directive, and interpreting its meaning is one of the major preoccupations of show characters and fans alike.

As one of the organizers of that SDCC panel, Joshua Gilliland pointed out to me during a conversation over coffee, that in itself is quite true to life. "What is law but a civil contract as to how we’re going to behave?" Bending the rules In canonical Trek, the Prime Directive is never explicitly stated in its full, legalistic glory.
Introduced as a concept in the 21st episode of TOS, "Return of the Archons," it is a commandment of the highest moral authority to not interfere in the natural cultural and scientific development of a civilization, particularly those that are pre-warp.

That's a pretty difficult rule to follow, given how hard it is to define a concept like "natural cultural and scientific development," let alone loaded terms like "civilization" and "interfere." So this was the precise question that I put forward to the best human legal minds I could find: Could the Prime Directive actually work as a law? How should we, in 2016, think about United Nations law or whatever our existing equivalent is, as being precursors to an interstellar directive (should we even think of it as a law? Or merely a guidepost?) to the Prime Directive? Here on early 21st-century Earth, the Prime Directive is probably most similar to something like the Law of the Sea—a "law" that nearly every country on Earth follows—establishing rights and norms for the usage of the world’s oceans and waterways. (Interestingly, while the United States essentially accepts the Law of the Sea, it has not formally ratified it.) "The Prime Directive is a lot like international law in that it is often not enforced depending on who breaks it," Greg Della Posta, a tenancy lawyer in Buffalo, New York, e-mailed Ars. "Famous captains, or ones in important circumstances, are usually forgiven, much like large nations generally don't face consequences from international courts for breaking treaties." In short, if international law doesn’t always work all that well now in the 21st century, is there any hope that an interstellar law could work in the future? Many officers of the court seemed to dismiss the idea of a truly universal law binding the members of the planet, much less something approaching the United Federation of Planets. "The concern probably is not military takeover, but communication that violates the Prime Directive, because that doesn’t require unrealistic interstellar travel," Scott Moss, a law professor at the University of Colorado, wrote. He wondered what would happen if interplanetary communications began before Earth united under one government. "What if a highly religious regime like Iran sees a need to spread a religious message to other planets by giving a less advanced civilization the communications technology necessary to share (or impose) theological views?" Moss wondered. Moss continued his thought experiment: And when the threat is interstellar communication, which is much lower cost than interstellar travel, what stops rogue tycoons from freely communicating whatever idiosyncratic messages strike their fancy? A nation can, of course, criminalize dangerous activity, but (a) such a ban would, in the United States, require the government to prove actual harm in order to restrict speech, and I can’t wait for the First Amendment case about Donald Trump, Jr., violating the American Prime Directive by communicating his family’s greatness across the stars, and (b) a rogue tycoon in a country not imposing a Prime Directive would seem to have free rein. Looking back to the 17th century Given how difficult it would be to control rogue nations from violating something like the Prime Directive, it might be truly impossible to rein in private companies. "I think it's more likely that future interstellar craft will say ‘Musk Enterprises’ ‘Virgin Galactic’ or ‘Putin Enterprises’ on the hull," Marc Randazza, a well-known First Amendment lawyer based in Las Vegas, e-mailed. "So let's say a private enterprise sends its spacecraft off to conduct a mining mission or an exploration mission, one might think that Earth-based governments would say that they have jurisdiction over their citizens who engage in interstellar or interplanetary or intergalactic exploration and commerce.

Think of the Dutch East India Company, or other enterprises that sent people off from Europe to colonize other areas.

They were still ostensibly under there on the flag and could be punished for violations of the law of their land once they returned.

But what jurisdiction was there out there really?" Companies and nation-states might sign agreements not to violate the Prime Directive, but Randazza argued it would lack an enforcement mechanism. "Unfortunately, I think the only existing force strong enough to get us out there is greed and capitalism," he said. "But once those forces land somewhere, it's already fucked.
I think if you want to look forward into the future to see what the exploration and exploitation of space is going to look like, you shouldn't be looking at Star Trek.
I mean if you want to dream and aspire, that's definitely the place to look.

But if you want reality, take a look at Africa in the 1800s coupled with Blade Runner—and that is me being optimistic." Live long and prosper Other lawyers explained Star Trek's legal system as a reflection of the era when the series was conceived. Recall that this was a time of great post-war optimism and 1960s grooviness. Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek’s creator, was a World War II Army fighter jet pilot from the age of 21 to 28. Roddenberry went on to become a cop with the Los Angeles Police Department.
It was only after years in the law-and-order professions that he switched careers to write his first TV show, The Lieutenant. Airing in 1963, the show featured many as-yet-unknown actors, including Leonard Nimoy. "[Roddenberry] lived in a Cold War environment where any and every developing nation was valued almost exclusively as a pawn in the conflict between capitalism and communism," Ashley Meyers, a personal injury lawyer in California, e-mailed. "This background makes the centerpiece philosophy of the show unsurprising.

For someone who experienced both the horrors of war first-hand and who saw the damaging impact of the First World’s ‘benevolent’ interference in the Third World, the Prime Directive makes perfect sense." In the context of the series, the Prime Directive is violated (or perhaps "bent") in arguably justifiable scenarios. Meyers cited TOS’ "A Private Little War," where Kirk returns to a planet that he last knew as an Eden-like paradise. However, upon his return, he finds that the Klingons are disrupting the balance of power by providing the "Villagers" with flintlock long guns, and they are attacking the "Hill People." Kirk decides that the way to restore this power is to similarly provide firearms to the Hill People. "Some sort of corrective measures would have to be the first step toward any meaningful attempt to model international law after the Prime Directive," Meyers concluded. "Realistically, an objective committee could act like a jury and evaluate what would be necessary for every ‘pre-warp’ nation on Earth to be made whole. What would restitution for colonialism, Cold War proxy wars, and modern interference look like? Restitution damages are never easy to calculate but it can be done." Inga Fyodorova, a corporate lawyer with Steiner Leisure, agreed.
She told Ars that while "humans find great challenge in non-interference," she remains an optimist. "Given the current state of our international relations, I find it unlikely that we would succeed, but the Trekkie idealist in me wants to believe that we as humans have the capacity to tap into some inherent non-judging, cooperative spirit and hug it out as a planet," she wrote. "Consequently, we would live long and prosper."