This capability results in a number of unforeseen psychosocial phenomena, and as such the cyberbrain is now heavily regulated worldwide by the United Nations, and cyberbrain users are placed under heavy surveillance for the safety of themselves and others. Such regulation is not seen in the colonies, and off-world colonial denizens continue to practice such human modification without regard for their humanity.
The process of augmentation of the brain is referred as "cyberization". It is not necessary for a subject to undergo complete cyberization, acquiring a full-body prosthesis, to support the cyberized brain; an individual may choose to only have their brain cyberized. This process is generally extremely dangerous and has a high chance of resulting in the death of the recipient. Cyberization takes on three distinct forms:
- Minimal cyberization, for the purposes of wireless communication, leaving the brain itself essentially identical to its biological form. Nano-scale interfaces are placed in the cerebellar region, permitting a pluggable interface, and allowing prosthetic parts to be upgraded. This type of cyberization is legally permitted but controlled by the United Nations on Earth.
- Partial cyberization, replacing larger parts of the cortex with nanotechnological interfaces and computational elements for the prposes of wireless communication, external memory and the limited capability for the brain to survive outside of the body. The autonomic systems of the brain remain intact. The cyberbrain includes the brain stem but excludes the eyes, optic nerves, and most of the spine. By being physically self-contained, the artificially augmented brain inside can even be physically transferred between bodies, temporarily stored or transported outside the body. Partial cyberization is heavily restricted by the United Nations due to the dangers and consequences of such extreme modification.
- Full cyberization, in some extreme cases of disease or accident, in which as much as 99.5% of the original brain is replaced with artificial elements. This allows the entire mind to be uploaded and downloaded onto computer systems as well as allow for external memory and communications. This is completely banned on Earth, with any recipients or providers immediately prosecuted. Full cyberization is common in the space colonies.
Not only is there a great danger to recipients of the technology due to the delicacy of brain operations, various dangers are also apparent to the users of cyberbrains.
For example, highly skilled hackers are able to take over people's cyberbrains, to the extent that they can alter memories or "steal eyes", altering the victim's sensory input. "Ghost hacking" is a criminal technique wherein the victim's entire memory is replaced with false memories. "Cyberbrain hijacking" involves the replacement of a victim's cyberbrain with the criminal's own, while the same criminal retains another body in storage. Alternatively, a criminal may choose to place their cyberbrain into a copy of the victim's body, and then impersonate the victim.
Cyberbrain Sclerosis is a disease characterized by a hardening of the brain tissues precipitated by the cyberization process. It was a major disease and problem amongst first-world sectors during the late 2090s and early 2100s, killing several thousand people.
As such, cyberization is inherently extremely dangerous and should not be practiced by any human anywhere if they are to retain their lives and humanity. This United Nations is thus justified in controlling this technology.
Once a widely popular process, the increase in connectivity resulted in various unforeseen and dangerous psychosocial phenomena, resulting in the heavy regulation of the [i]Dennou process[/i] on Earth. With current anti-transhumanism and anti-augmentation sentiments amongst the nostalgic post-Peacekeeping human population, such augmentation has lost its appeal and the process is mostly used only in the UNPF and . Such regulation and social attitudes was not seen in the colonies, and off-world colonial denizens continue to practice such disgusting human modification projects without regard for their bodies and true selves.