The US government has tried to apply its arms export control rules to 3D model files that describe firearms, and declare that publishing those files is the same thing as exporting guns, and is therefore prohibited. Whatever you think about 3D printed guns, love 'em or loathe 'em, that's a terrible way to deal with them.
Applying the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) rules to online publication of mathematical descriptions of 3D objects is effectively demanding that Americans get a license to publish from the government. Not just any license either: under ITAR, the government has no objective standards that it has to follow, nor any timeline for responding to petitions, nor any judicial oversight for its decisions.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a brief in Defense Distributed v. Department of State, tying the case to its seminal, twenty-year-old victory in Bernstein v US DoJ, which legalized the publication (and therefore the use) of effective cryptography, striking down the NSA's restrictions on its dissemination.
Whatever a legitimate export control regime may look like, it does not involve standardless, unreviewable censorship of all online publications describing entire ranges of technology that have civilian uses, and about which the public needs to be informed in order to evaluate and challenge our government's policy choices. The First Amendment does not prevent proportionate measures to prevent weapons from reaching those who would misuse them, but it does mean that the government cannot choose the quick-and-easy path of broadly criminalizing online speech and figuring out what speech it wants to allow when publishers go to the trouble of asking permission.
In 3-D Printing Case, "Code Is Speech" Faces New Challenges
According to a recent press release, KFC wants to become a “restaurant of the future” by “crafting the ‘meat of the future,'” with help from a Russian company called 3D Bioprinting Solutions. This initiative, “arose among partners in response to the growing popularity of a healthy lifestyle and nutrition, the annual increase in demand for […]
Experimental fashion designer Anouk Wipprecht—most famous for her Robotic Spider Dress from a few years ago—has now created the Proximity Dress to help with physical distancing during the pandemic. The 3D-printed electromechanical dress poofs out when triggered by proximity and thermal sensors detecting someone getting too close to the wearer. From 3D Printing Media Network: […]
“The glove remover is a simple device that reduces the risk of contamination when changing protective gloves while increasing efficiency and convenience.” The website has a link to the 3D model so you can print your own (if you have a 3D printer or access to one).
Building blocks are among a child’s first, and arguably, most important, toys. Once they start stacking one tentatively on top of another, the blocks not only spark waves of creativity, but actual real-world understanding of scientific principles like engineering and physics. It wouldn’t even be a stretch to call blocks on of the first true […]
Time management and self-motivation, the ability to stay on task and achieve in the office or when you’re working with home, is the true test of any person’s professional mettle. While that’s easier said than done, those skills can be taught and developed as you’ll find in The 2020 Work From Anywhere Hacker Bundle. The […]
It’s easy to be instantly dismissive about most Bluetooth speakers, especially small travel-sized units. Over the past few years, makers of every shape, size, and variety have started pounding out Bluetooth speakers, many barely able to sound much better than your smartphone speaker, let alone provide the bass and volume heft of legitimate portable speakers […]