When Cody Wilson, the 25-year-old crypto-anarchist and University of Texas law student behind Defense Distributed, helped create the world’s first 3D-printed plastic handgun (called The Liberator), one of his more audacious ideas was to release the blueprints online to allow anyone with a computer and a 3D printer to make their own gun. Turns out, the government hates this idea more than I could have expected–and I always figured they’d stop it somehow. The State Department has forced Defense Distributed to remove its 3D printed gun plans from the Internet.
“Files are being removed from public access at the request of the U.S. Department of Defense Trade Controls,” reads a statement on Defense Distributed’s website Thursday. “Until further notice, the United States government claims control of the information.”
The Department of Defense Trade Controls is an agency under the purview of the State Department. The agency argued that posting the files online violated the Arms Export Control Act. Due to the location of Defense Distributed’s web servers (New Zealand), putting the plans up through servers operating in a foreign country is essentially an illegal export. Never mind the fact that information on any server can be seen throughout the world if it’s published to the public.
Time to go back to getting guns the old-fashioned way, I suppose.
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