Who is this FAQ for?
This FAQ is intended to be a quick primer for those interested in chronoportation. For a more in depth treatment of the legal aspects, see this Department of Justice page or consult with a lawyer. For a more in depth treatment of the technical aspects, see this wikipedia page.
Who is the author of this FAQ?
This FAQ was written by the now defunct U.S. Department of Temporal Technology, a branch of the U.S. Department of Energy.
What is chronoportation?
Chronoportation is known in layman's terms as time travel. This FAQ will use the term chronoportation throughout, to distinguish it from mundane travel forward in time without the use of machinery, which is experienced by almost all known objects.
How does chronoportation work?
In most cases, a quantum entanglement field is generated through a continuous stream of subatomic particles travelling through a magnetic containment loop. When properly calibrated, a destination site in space/time can be chosen with great precision. Once this is done, the matter within the entanglement field forces a relationship to the matter at the destination site. A high amount of energy is used to stabilize this relationship, and once the energy is removed the subject matter merges with the related matter, in effect transferring the subject matter into a different time stream at another location in space/time. For a more detailed explanation, click here.
What is a time stream?
A time stream is one of the fundamental concepts of chronoportation. It is best to think of time as making a number of copies of the universe, all arranged in a single line. Each copy is minutely different from the last, changing accordance with the universal laws. When someone chronoports, they remove themselves from the current "image" or "frame" of the universe and insert themselves into one further back in the line. This causes the creation of a second line. Each of these lines is called a time stream. It is not currently possible to travel between time streams.
Is chronoportation legal?
It is legal to leave this time stream, though the practice is heavily taxed and regulated. It is legal to chronoport into the future, though there are certain legal consequences of doing so. It is illegal to enter into, or have entered into, this time stream from some point in the future.
Why is it illegal to enter but not to leave?
Leaving the time stream is covered under the same legal code as the Mason Self-Termination Act. Like suicide, chronoportation to the past deprives those who have made investments in you of a return on that investment, and is in addition a violation of the implied social contract. However, like suicide, this loss to others can be made up for with monetary compensation. Entering into the time stream, while almost always a net gain in resources, leaves too much room for the abuse of our society (e.g. lotteries, stock markets, speculation, technology, blackmail, etc).
How is this monetary compensation calculated?
One of the tax engines will weigh a number of factors matched against the sum of data that makes up your worth. Because the cornerstone of worth is value, the engines will calculate your worth on the basis of your lifetime generated value in terms of cultural, social, spiritual, and economic values. This calculation of worth is then extrapolated into the future (subject to actuarial tables) and compared against lifetime civic investment. The result is the monetary compensation required for the government to approve chronoportation.
Can I dispute this amount?
Yes. A process exists whereby a person can present evidence to a judge which might influence any part of the calculation; value, extrapolation, or investment. Thought the appeals process takes some time, in most situations it will lower the amount required for monetary compensation.
What is the penalty for entering the time stream?
Travel to "the present" from "the future" carries a number of serious penalties. In the best case scenario, you will be charged with Attempt to Alter, which means no less than five (5) years and no more than twenty (20) years in jail, or equal time in a work camp depending on skills. Attempting to change a major world event (since the Undue Influence Act of 2032carries the penalty of life in prison, or equal time in a work camp depending on skills. If your entrance into the time stream means that there are duplicate versions of you, you may be sued by your younger self. Note that by default travelers from the future have no rights; this may only be changed by presidential pardon or in the due course of law.
What if I have traveled to the past prior to the existence of these laws?
Unlike most laws, the temporal laws are retroactive. Crimes committed prior to the existence of these laws are still punishable under these laws and no exceptions will be grandfathered in. There are a number of engines running under the oversight of several federal departments which search public and private information in order to find and convict those guilty of breaking the temporal laws.
What laws should I be aware of if travel to the future?The law sees no material difference between traveling forward in time mechanically and naturally. Therefor, chronoportation to the future does not enjoy a privileged legal status. When you arrive in the future, you will still be the same legal entity which you were when you left. That said, it is paramount that those going to the future pay all bills and close out all recurring payments. Several individuals have been known to arrive in the present from the past buried deeply in debt because of interest. It should also be noted that most people who travel in such a manner choose an executor of their estate in their absence.