US State Department orders removal of Defense Distributed's printable gun designs


34 Responses to “US State Department orders removal of Defense Distributed's printable gun designs”

  1. peregrinus says:

    Yeah, this is a bit of a shiv in the guts of internet freedom.

    Everyone knew he was about to publish – why didn’t they stop him?  Almost like having conversations about the net works better in an emotionally heated environment – more likely to get tight restrictions.

    Although of course everyone is super-keen on a free internet. /s

    • Alexander Enten says:

      Government incompetence or shadowy conspiracy? We comment, you decide.

    • davids12 says:

      IANAL but I suspect that would fall under prior restraint. 

    • I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t believe that you can go to court over intent. The infringement of the regs has to happen before you can look for a remedy.

      • peregrinus says:

        Yeah ianale but if the State Dept was going to freak out about this, they could have sent him a note telling him publication would likely contravene XYZ and they’d have to act.  Not a prosecution.

        Equally, incompetence, or running around hearing what the lawyers had to say.  But there will be a working group studying the impact of information freedom etc, linking themes with economic performance and so on.  Wonder if anyone knows what it might be?

        But it’s all hanging out in the same zone as additive manufacturing and information liberty, and the reaction is caustic enough that those two things could be stunted or worse.  And they’re changing the world for the immensely better, so I’m mad.

        Personally I was pissed he published anyway.  Enough guns.

  2. John Vance says:

    Ah, the Streisand Effect. I’m surprised people still don’t understand it. The files are already being furiously torrented. Someone, please tell the suits that the internet has no ‘Delete’ key.

  3. Boy am I glad the government is doing this.   I would not want N. Korea to get the secrets for a single-shot gun with a barrel so weak that it shatters after a few shots.  I feel safer already.  Also on the list is a plastic magazine.  I am sure that foreign nations could not figure that one out either.

    • AnthonyC says:

      Agreed. It does, of course, make proposals like “ban large magazines” less impactful. But there is little chance of such a measure passing anyway.

  4. tyger11 says:

    As the saying goes, “You can’t delete something from the Internet. It’s like peeing in a pool; once it’s in there, it’s IN there.”

  5. bingo says:

    Thank the Deity the government is protecting us from this threat.  Now we can get back to simple human rights issues like allowing people with no background check to buy assault rifles with huge magazines.  Whew!

    •  I hope you realize that this is a fallacy.  By and large, criminals do NOT obtain their weapons legally (look up the definition of a criminal).  Also,  how do you define “assault weapon?”  Is it black?  Does it have handles?  If somebody were shooting at me, I would worry more about the bullets and less about what color/shape the gun was.  Rifles in general are used in less than 3% of homicides.  Know your facts.

      • endrest says:

         I think @disqus_QBYBbOmFX8:disqus  knows some facts… and is being sarcastic.

      • grimc says:

        Yeah, what’s the big deal about the occasional annihilation of a couple dozen grade school kids? It’s only 3%! Why should a bunch of dead kindergartners interfere with our rights to fantasize about battling Mexican drug gangs at the mall or overthrowing the government? Gun grabbers are so stoooopid.

        • MertvayaRuka says:

           The worst school shooting in our history was pulled off buy a guy with a pair of pistols. But obviously a bit of information like that is not nearly as important as implying that firearms owners are all callous monsters who fantasize about shooting up the food court at the mall. Because it really elevates the discussion to imply that the people who don’t agree with you are all blood-gargling psychotics and you don’t at all sound like you’re from some Bizarro World version of Operation Rescue.

          • grimc says:

            Gosh, when gun owners let Wayne Pierre do all the talking for them, it would appear they want to come off as blood-gargling psychotics.

            And to be honest, I was going for more of a ‘Walter Mitty with anger issues’ vibe.

      • Robert Drop says:

        “Look up the definition of criminal”?  Er, what now?  That’s the weirdest fucking circular argument I’ve seen.  If I buy a gun, shoot someone, thereby becoming a criminal, the gun I purchased must have been illegally obtained because I’m now a criminal? Or are people born as criminals, and thus only illegally purchased guns are used for crimes, because all gun crimes are by people who are already “criminals”?  The reality is that 40-something percent of those convicted of violent felonies had absolutely no previous convictions for felonies or misdemeanors, with about half of all murderers having no previous convictions. So about half of all murderers were not previously “criminals.”
        As for where actual criminals get guns:
        Also, of course, spree killers tend to buy theirs legally, and they do love their rifles.

  6. Aurvondel says:

     Zimmerman? PGP? Anyone learn from history?

    • crenquis says:

      Exactly what I was thinking — the old encryption restrictions…

      Lots of companies get themselves in trouble because they forget that “technology” (drawings, procedures, etc) is also subject to export restrictions.

    • Stonewalker says:

      All I gotta say is shame on Cory for not including the epic PGP story in this post. MIT’s paper publishing of the PGP code exactly correlates to 3D printable guns in the non-emotional manner he laments about in his blurb. And guess what – the Feds lost the ITAR battle against PGP and it was a victory for freedom in America

      It’s preposterous that ITAR could be used to justify the State Department taking down Defense Distributed’s files. ITAR is supposed to regulate the international sale and distribution of dangerous tech – so that ‘State Actors’ don’t wind up murdering people with technology provided by an American person or entity. No State Actor is going to be printing up 6-shot pistols for its death squads to use.

      The State Department has overstepped its bounds and is asserting authority it does not have. Internet-Freedom people need to realize this and call out our government’s missteps.

      Here’s hoping that the EFF gets involved in a big way.

  7. GawainLavers says:

    It’s too late the design is out there!  Now people unprotected by the glorious 2nd Amendment will be able to make their own guns!  This is it, I expect the whole world to become free democracies in a few months.

    • Free and democracy are contradictions. An individual cannot be free if he is owned by the collective, even if he makes up part of that collective.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I expect the whole world to become free democracies in a few months.

      With any luck, this development spells the end of the Empire, and oppressed nations like Texas can finally be free.

      Oh, look. I’ve illustrated Poe’s Law.

  8. oasisob1 says:

    If I opened the zip file in a text editor, pasted the contents into an md5 hash generator and got ‘d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e’, would reversing the steps regenerate the original zip file?

    • austinhamman says:

       no, hashes are one way. think of it like this:
      if i combine milk, eggs, sugar, yeast, and flour i can bake a bread, but given a bread i cannot get back the milk,eggs,sugar, yeast, and flour.
      or a simpler example: unscrambling an egg.

      • endrest says:

        Said to the evil genius: “I want you to catch Superman!”

        Evil Genius: “Couldn’t I do something more simple, like unscramble an egg?”

  9. morehumanthanhuman says:

    One of the files they ordered the take down of is an air gun sound suppressor designed by one of the RepRap core team(based in New Zealand!), and is still available on thingiverse:

  10. Cory,

    I often disagree with some of your positions, but generally agree with your views on “freedom of information” ( in the general sense, not FOIA).  Hence, I am disappointed that you apparently have chosen to forego those views because of your concern about whether the facts and info involved are “good” or “bad.”
    This case is a clear misuse of ITAR by the government in an attempt to control information that it considers “bad,”–a power of distinction I don’t recall giving the government.  Where is the outrage you express when the government attempts to control information you consider “good?”

    • Stonewalker says:

      This is nearly exactly what I have to offer on Cory’s post.  I replied further up with a similar message.

      Cory – shame on you.

  11. timquinn says:

    In that this project is really a proof of concept and state of the art it has succeeded and can’t be undone. He has shown that with current tech the problem can be solved by a non-genius. Feds are just helping him get the press he deserves. The file is a souvenir.

    • oasisob1 says:

      I downloaded my souvenir the day it went up. So did a hundred thousand others, apparently. It can’t be taken down, and I think that Defense Distributed has very nearly made their point. Once the State Department figures out that ‘it’s out there and we can’t put it back’, then perhaps they will achieve enlightenment… or not.

  12. Jason's Robot says:

    I don’t know why the Gov’t needs to get involved.

    The NRA (aka Gun Corporations) will never let home 3D gun printing become a mass available thing.

    They aren’t gonna let these kinda shenanigans cut into their gun sales.
    They’ll find a way to convince/trick/buyoff their base and politicians so that home printed guns of any sort are somehow viewed as bad for America and disappointing to God

    • oasisob1 says:

      I think your comment is off the mark, because I really don’t think the point is for anyone with a 3D printer to start running them off by the hundreds. A different purpose is served.

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