The State Department wants Defense Distributed to remove their CAD files for 3D printing a functional handgun.
The notice came just a few days after Cody Wilson made available the blueprint for his ‘Liberator’ plastic handgun available on DEFCAD.org. All the controversies regarding regulations and safety aside, it appears like Wilson’s blueprint is also quite popular as it is reported to have been downloaded over 100,000 times within two days.
Wilson has complied with the department’s request, but that doesn’t mean the documents are no longer inaccessible. Kim Dotcom’s ‘Mega’ offshore file sharing site is among one of the known sites to still have the gun’s blueprint stored. Other file sharing sites such as Pirate Bay are also linking the documents as p2p downloads.
According to Wilson, the government’s censorship of the gun’s blueprint is only temporary as he believes there is no stopping the propagation of new technology and means of producing what one desires.
“This is the conversation I want,” he said. “Is this a workable regulatory regime? Can there be defense trade control in the era of the Internet and 3D printing?”
3D printing is opening up new doors for many people, but as weapons—and the likes—come into the picture the conversation of safety and censorship will blow wide open. There will be a lot to talk about as more and more 3D printing news arise, and surely this is a topic that everyone will want to have a say in.