Tuesday, 14 May 2013

3D printer gun plans pulled from website

A University of Texas law student and his company called "Defense Distributed" recently figured out how to make a working handgun on a 3D printer and made the plans available on the Defense Distributed website. The federal government got involved when the "Department of Defense Trade Controls", an agency of the State Department, wrote to the company arguing that the files should not be posted because the website uses servers in New Zealand, and sharing gun manufacturing information through servers operated in a foreign country amounts to an illegal export. The plans were removed from the website but the New York Daily News reports that prior to the takedown, copies of the gun blueprint were downloaded more than 100,000 times and are now available on other websites. The Atlantic has an interesting story, titled "How Defense Distributed Already Upended the World", in which there is a discussion of various facets of the issues involved.

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