You have the right

19.07.2023 9 mins to read

This is a police station.

You sit in a cramped glass box on a hard bench surrounded by another dozen men and women who were taken with you.

It was already deep into the night. Several hours had passed while the police were searching for a spot with an empty box for you.

Why can’t they just put us in a regular cell? complained some man while you waited.

Because you would do everything to get out of the box faster, someone replied at the time.

And they were right — in a regular cell, you don’t see the real world and therefore, don’t want to go back. But here, you see people busy with their business. The desire to get out is unbearably strong. And to take Kits with you.

Before placing you in the box, that police officer, with a lost look on his face, took away your Kits. He mumbled something about it being the weapon of the crime.

“Don’t worry,” Kits reassured, “I saved his identification number and made an extra encrypted backup of all the data on the cloud.”

The police didn’t confiscate the phone. Either they forgot or saw no point in it.

They apprehended Kits because they didn’t know what to do with them.

In truth, they had no idea what to do.

Today, the entire city took to the streets.

Two days ago, Kits released a new update that identified manipulations and influences in the media. In other words, propaganda.

Yesterday, the president delivered a speech. In his words, Kits detected 14 manipulative statements.

Apparently, it’s time to speak the truth and nothing but the truth.

Today you stood in the center of a huge crowd in front of the parliament building. People around you were smiling, laughing, and chanting slogans. They hadn’t taken to the streets to protest for a long time. It was exciting, joyful, and not scary at all.

The police were observing. It was unusual and exciting for them too. But not very joyful.

Suddenly, the sky lit up and there was a deafening explosion. Very close by.

You struggled to stay on your feet. People were rushing from side to side.

The police started making arrests.

Have you already contacted the lawyer?“ asks the girl sitting next to you in the glass booth.

Yes, but he warned me that I’m fourteenth on the waiting list,” you reply.

Lucky you, I’m twenty-second, she says sadly.


They took Kits, there aren’t enough lawyers for everyone. These walls are made of glass. Loneliness rolls over unfamiliarly like a wave. Everyone around is posting on Twitter, asking for help and support. You are too. But from this, the feeling of loneliness becomes even more piercing.

A niche opens up, a police officer calls out a surname. A man sitting in the far corner jumps up energetically. The police officer takes him away.

This happens every half hour.

According to what they write on Twitter, they are taken for questioning. Questioning without Kits, without a lawyer.

What they are asking, what one should answer — is unknown. Twitter’s algorithms delete such threads as potentially containing false information that can cause harm. To the corporation Twitter itself, of course, not the users.

“Nineteenth,” says the neighbor, nodding at her phone screen displaying a message from a lawyer.

“Thirteenth,” you reply.

“If only Kits were in the phone, huh?” the neighbor shakes her head.

“Yeah,” you brush off her words, but something makes you latch onto them.

Kits in the phone.

You jump up in excitement.

And just in time, because a police officer is calling your name.

“Legal Shell!” you manage to shout before the police officer takes you away.

Kits on your phone.

“How could I forget!” you scold yourself, walking down the long corridor following the police officer. Silence is the only response.

You’ve become so accustomed to Kits supporting you in these moments that a wave of disappointment washes over you with tremendous force.

Summoning what strength remains, you find the outdated Legal Shell app.


You enter the office. Just a regular office, not an interrogation room. Several desks occupied by fellow protesters like yourself. Tired policemen explaining something in smooth, persuasive voices. The room is filled with a uniform hum, making it difficult to distinguish individual words.

Your escort leads you to a desk where his colleague is already seated.

“Take a seat,” he says smoothly.

You sit down.

“Please hand over your phone,” he extends his tablet.

Why?” you ask, with a hint of suspicion in your voice.

You will need to sign a protocol,” the police officer says in a smooth, persuasive tone, “you have the right to request a printed version, which we are obliged to provide within three working hours. During this time, we will have to continue restricting your freedom of movement.

The police officer pauses to make sure you understand everything he said.

Alternatively, you can provide your phone and sign an electronic protocol with an electronic signature, without waiting for three hours.

You can’t shake the feeling of theatricality in all of this, but it’s difficult to assess the situation rationally without Kits. Especially when there’s a police officer standing before you, whose mere presence convinces you to unquestioningly obey. You know without Kits that our brains are more inclined to submit to a person in uniform than without one.

Will you return my Kits,” you ask.

Of course,” another theatrical pause, “submit your phone, sign the protocol, and you can go home. With your Kits.

You nod and place your phone onto his tablet.

A notification pops up on the screen, indicating that the document has been loaded.

You have the right to review the contents of the protocol, please check your information, make sure all the details and dates are correct,” the police officer says.

“It doesn’t matter if my details are correct there, does it? And how can they be incorrect if they are taken from the database?” you ask Kits out of habit, but it turns out you’re asking yourself.

Luckily, Legal Shell is already installed. You launch the application and upload the protocol for verification.

Six years ago. When no one could even think of Kits, Legal Shell app was released. The very first in the Kind in the shell (Kits) series. You could take a photo or upload any document and receive a legal opinion as if a real lawyer had reviewed it.

The creator of the application, a lawyer himself in the past, later explained that an application that helps understand complex legal documents is a perfect example of the kind in the shell concept. Due to the imperfection of the structure of our brains, humanity needs shells. Legal Shell was the first such shell. Then other specialized shells quickly appeared. All these applications were combined into one Big Shell, which later became Kits.

Independent applications, such as Legal Shell, were not removed from the store. On the contrary, they made them completely free, making them as accessible as possible in countries where it was still difficult to pay for a Kits subscription.

Done. The phone slightly vibrates, signaling that Legal Shell has finished its work.

You carefully read the 10 recommendations generated by the Legal Shell artificial intelligence.

“What should I do if I disagree with the protocol text?” you ask the police officer and type the same thing into the application.

“I will have to make amendments according to the provisions of the charter, which may take no more than 4 hours. In exceptional cases, no more than 8 hours. Therefore, I will deal with it when I finish everything else. It won’t be before seven and a half hours,” the police officer says in a monotonous, hypnotic voice and displays the charter projection for added emphasis.

“According to the law, a law enforcement officer is obliged to make changes according to the words of the detainee. The protocol drafting period cannot exceed one hour from the start of processing.”

You don’t have the energy to read further references to case law. You don’t even have the strength to argue verbally. You simply hand the police officer your phone.

Surprise, anger, frustration – you notice how one emotion replaces another on the face of this uniformed person. A person who should protect you, but who deceived you.

“Please note that during questioning, the police officer has the right to deceive you, hide the truth, and mislead you,” Legal Shell emphasized.

“This applies not only to the police,” you hear in your head.

You understand that it is precisely because of this that you joined the protest. It is precisely because of this that humanity needs protection. This species needs a shell.

The police officer made the necessary corrections to the protocol of your detention.

You double-check the wording with the comments from Legal Shell. Everything is in order. And finally, feeling a little relaxed, you sign the protocol.

The police officer stands up, signals, and the assistant approaches.

“I’ll escort you to the exit,” the escort says.

“That’s it? I’m free?” you turn to the police officer. He doesn’t hear you, or pretends not to.

“Yes, everything is fine now,”his assistant answers instead of him, “we need to return your belongings to you.”

Kits, yes. You walk slowly behind the assistant. With adrenaline-laden hands trembling, you open Twitter to write about what needs to be done. Thanks to Legal Shell, you removed the clause about non-disclosure of the circumstances of the arrest and interrogation. So you can confidently tell the public everything.

However, upon closer examination of recent messages, it becomes clear that there is no need for it.

In the trends, protests and riots have been replaced by “Legal Shell”. In just a few hours, a small application, written many years ago, has saved the lives of thousands of people. Just like it did many years ago.