Cody Wilson Talks to TTAG About the Department of State Takedown Letter

Cody Wilson enjoying a modest little Margaux (courtesy The Truth About Guns - both the picture and the wine)

As soon as Robert texted me to let me know that Defense Distributed had been targeted by a Department of State letter to take down their files, I gave Cody a ring. I figured he’d be knee-deep in crisis management mode, but when he came on the line he sounded like the same calm, cool and collected Cody we had dinner with only a couple of days before. I asked him about this latest development, and the plan going forward and he laid his cards on the table for me . . .

What’s happened is that the State Department Defense Office of Trade Controls believes that Defense Distributed’s publishing of their Liberator files constitutes a breach of the ITAR regulations. These laws keep American-designed firepower from leaving U.S. shores without the approval of the State Department, kind of like a “prime directive” for information about firearms that keeps high tech guns out of the hands of developing nations. In theory.

In the mind of State, by publishing the technical details of a firearm on the internet, Defense Distributed violated one of the provisions of the ITAR regulations. In response, they drafted a letter to Cody and requested that he remove the files from his website. “Requested” being the operative word — there was no forced removal of those files by government hackers from DefDist’s site, and their website’s DNS remains unchanged. In other words, nothing on their website was touched by anyone but Cody and his crew.

In response, Cody decided to comply with the government’s request. For now. But as he noted when we talked, this isn’t the end of the road. The government has provided a period of time for Defense Distributed to reply and prove that their actions were lawful. And according to Cody, he thinks he has this rap beat. Apparently there’s an exemption from the ITAR regulations for non-profit organizations working in the public domain, which is exactly what they are doing.

What’s their next step? Cody said he’s reaching out to the EFF and some other California-based lawyers for help. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is to civil rights on the internet as the Second Amendment Foundation is to gun rights out here in meatspace. They’re a massive organization of lawyers and fundraising geniuses that have fought and won some important cases regarding privacy issues and copyright protection on the internet, and a fight like this one would seem to be right up their alley. However, since this involves guns and the majority of EFF donors seem to be of the Democratic persuasion, Cody might get the cold shoulder and have to resort to other lawyers to help him out.

Either way, this ain’t over. Not only is it impossible to undo the damage that’s already been done (over 100,000 downloads from Defense Distributed’s site, plus untold thousands via P2P torrents), but there’s no way to stop someone else from advancing Cody’s work.

Cody believes that this is a purely political move, one that will eventually be beaten. Though he hasn’t ruled out the possibility that he’ll end up in jail anyway. I asked him if he had any plans as to which books he’ll read. He said, “I already have my reading list picked out. It’s just a question of how many will be allowed in, and how many will be branded as ‘subversive material’.”

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About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

98 Responses to Cody Wilson Talks to TTAG About the Department of State Takedown Letter

  1. avatarWilliam Burke says:

    “I gave Cody a ring.”

    Wow. I didn’t know things had gotten so serious!

    Anyhoo, Cody was on Alex Jones’ show this afternoon, so you got scooped slightly.

  2. avatarneiowa says:

    This is John Kerry and the Dept of State. Not DOD

  3. avatarBigFire says:

    You can still find the CAD files on torrent bots. Good luck on getting those down.

    • avatarpwrserge says:

      Looks like you indeed cannot stop the signal. I’ll be seeding this thing with half my upload bandwidth for the next couple of months. Have at em.

    • avatarDaniel Silverman says:

      The number of seeds on the torrents are growing by the minute. This is sort of us geeks way of saying F U! You can’t stop what can’t be stopped.
      I down loaded them, verified the download, saved to DVD, Memory stick and other places.
      Those are now out of my hand but safely stashed away in various safe locations. The genie is truly out of the bottle.

      • avatarcurz says:

        Question being, as gun owners tend to characterize themselves as the most law abiding of lawful citizens, is going against the DOS takedown notice in a rogue way like this instead of through the courts an appropriate action.

        • avatarVisceral says:

          But this isn’t a matter of legality. He was ‘requested’ to remove the information pending proving his own innocence as to ITAR violations. If he was doing something illegal, the website would have been taken down, not asked to comply.

          The information isn’t illegal to be in possession of, so those that are downloading it are a-ok. The only problem I see is if this is ruled as an ITAR violation and the seeders are found to have been broadcasting the information off shore. Even in this case, however, a typical seed never transmits the file in it’s entirety, so it would be difficult to peg an export violation on a single entity.

          Also, define DOS for me? Do you mean Department of State or Denial of service? Just to be clear, a denial of service is generally achieved by flooding a service with requests and exceeding it’s available scaling limits.

    • avatar16V says:

      Seed all the torrents you want. It means NOTHING.

      Do you have a 3D printer? Nope? Then you are spreading the ‘revolutionary’ plans to build a house to people who have no wood, nor a saw to cut it with.

      • avatarmatt says:

        Get a 1 month membership at a hackerspace. Now you have access to a 3d printer for under $50.

        • avatar16V says:

          Sure you do. Which if they print even one gun part will get them shut down as ‘manufacturing without an FFL’.

          I love fantasyland. But it ain’t real life.

        • avatarDoug says:

          16V, people without FFLs let people use their equipment to manufacture their own firearms all the time. It’s perfectly legal.

        • avatarAnonymous says:

          16V knows nothing about gun law. I doubt he is even a gun owner. He is a rainbow loving unicorn socialist in disguise.

          You can manufacture any component you want so long it is not a receiver or frame or an NFA/AOW accessory.

          Btw, I have access to a 3d printer and they will become cheaper and more available in the future.

          You missed a spot on my lawn, sheep.

        • avatarHolyDiver says:

          In most states it is perfectly legal to manufacture a complete firearm even ar receivers and anything needed to assemble a COMPLETE firearm, as long as, and heres the kicker,EVERYTHING(materials) originated in that state. Something to do with inter state commerce and the subsequent taxes(excise and itar fees). In Arizona, all ammunition and firearms, excluding NFA/AOW, assembled out of parts that originated or were manufactured in state, and as long as the item remains withing the borders of said state, nullifies all federal laws regarding “registration” and any applicable taxes associated with such an item that does not meet these requrements.

      • Which is why you download the plans for a 3d printer as well.

        Duh.

  4. avatarRandy Drescher says:

    I’m sure an ankle bracelet wouldn’t be safe enough for this desperado, best to just let the serial rapists out on those. Hopefully this all just goes away for him. obama damaged/embarrassed the GOP by exposing the greed, obama is being generously rewarded in kind now. This smooth talker won’t be able to sell a used car to his mother soon, Randy

  5. avatarhmmmmmmmm says:

    So when are all you FLAME DELETED going to saddle up with all your firepower and go and defend this poor guy’s honour? I thought that’s why you need all those guns – so you can defend the tree of liberty from tyranny?

    Or are you going to just sit and whine on the internet about how much more “free” you used to be back when Macarthy was around and the liberal filth in this country was being shown the true face of your ideology?

    FWIW I kind of admire this guy. He’s going to get ground into dust by the big bad government (rightly so, IMO), but I think all of us have a little anarchist in us. Then we reach puberty, of course.

    • avatarRandy Drescher says:

      Last I heard he was advised, hardly something to take action over,lol, Randy

    • avatarJoke & Dagger says:

      Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals #4:

      * RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules. (This is a serious rule. The besieged entity’s very credibility and reputation is at stake, because if activists catch it lying or not living up to its commitments, they can continue to chip away at the damage.)

      Weak effort Hummer

    • avatarJohnny Jihad says:

      So, Hmmmmmmmm, you think it requires firepower to defend honor? I think rational and reasonable debate and arguments rather than my big swinging dick, which has nothing to do with it, does a bit better. Many folks here weren’t around during McCarthy era politics, so uh, you’re dumb. Oh and you don’t think a determined insurgency with rifles and household chemicals could defend against the big bad U.S military or militarized police? Meet the Boston Bombers (2 men shut down a whole city and got busted by…a civilian), Mahdi Army, Badr Brigade, AQI and scores of other organized insurgents. Don’t be a tool get out of your “progressive” school.

      • avatarDaniel Silverman says:

        Well welcome back Hmmmmmmmm. Wow we haven’t heard from you in forever.
        That being said Cody is just fine. No need to tool up. He is following the law even if he kept them up, but he is doing what they asked in good faith. I have a feeling he will have them back there in due time.
        Hmmmmmmmm what you seem to miss isn’t that he has some fantastic new ray gun which would tip the tables on any battle. He is a pioneer in gun technology. He certainly hasn’t created something that can’t be made by more traditional methods. He did it to see what the technology could do, and he has made some pretty big headway.
        I commend Cody for his efforts. The fact he has scared so many politicians just makes me laugh.

        • avatarhmmmmmmmm says:

          My understanding is that he isn’t falling foul of the law for actually creating the guns, but for distributing the plans, which are falling foul of (the admittedly retarded) ITAR regs. So I wouldn’t be so quick to say he’s doing fine TBH.

          And anyway, do you really think that the vast left wing conspiracy being perpetrated against him from dark, smoky rooms would come at him without any basis in law? ITAR sucks, and is very real – look into it.

        • avatarrtempleton says:

          From Wikipedia:

          ITAR does not apply to information related to general scientific, mathematical or engineering principles that is commonly taught in schools and colleges or information that is (legitimately) in the public domain.[8][9] Nor does it apply to general marketing information or basic system descriptions.[10] These exceptions must, however, be treated with extreme caution: college professors have been prosecuted for breaches of the AECA as a result of access to USML items by foreign graduate students[11] and companies have been penalized for alleged breaches of the AECA for failing to properly remove USML items from material used to market defense articles.[12] The U.S. Government has also taken action (albeit unsuccessfully) for the export of technical data that was (allegedly) already publicly available on the internet.[13][14]

          Watch out for your cornhole, Cody!

        • avatar16V says:

          ITAR ‘means’ whatever the gov says it does. Every law means whatever they choose to prosecute you for – read the ’3 felonies a day’ thing if you want to eliminate some naivte.

          This little idiot has accomplished nothing – except motivating the gov to crack down on those among us who actually build guns at home that will fire, hundreds and thousands of times.

          So which 3D printer do all you accolytes own? None? Yeah, that’s the reality.

    • avatarhmmmmmmmm says:

      This is supposed to be the “truth” about guns, so let’s actually cut to the chase for once – the “truth” here is that this guy almost certainly broke ITAR regulation. Debate away on whether ITAR is retarded, as someone in tech who is fully aware of the encryption stupidity I will probably agree, but at the end of the day if you break the law you face the man. Period.

      After that though one of two things can happen – you can either do your time, because one man will never derail the government, or you can rely on all the big talking, gun toting baggers who support you to make such a fuss that the government have to let you go. Option B might well include anything up to full on revolution – which all the big talkers round here claim they are down with, and that’s why they need their guns, but don’t seem to ever do much about when it comes to the crunch. Sucks to be you Cody – unless your legal defence runs on hot air I think you are pretty screwed!

      • avatarrtempleton says:

        The irony of course is that ITAR was passed under Ford and was a direct reaction to the cold war.

        Vast left wing conspiracy indeed.

        Cody is definitely screwed, look at the recent prosecutions for it. You get federal prison for that nonsense. And NOT club fed like bankers get.

      • avatarAccur81 says:

        ITAR is, as are many laws, a matter of interpretation and enforcement. Cody is pushing the envelope as it were, and created something that the government cannot destroy or control. As such, the powers that be are sh!tting themselves.

        You tend to have a whole lot of bravado yourself when bashing gun owners and our preoccupation with freedom and liberty. If you have any understanding of history, the armed populace is not a particularly weak or gullible element of society. In an emergency situation, I’d much rather be surrounded by members of TTAG than members of the statist media who continually mock us based upon emotional arguments that wouldn’t pass muster in a middle school research paper.

        • avatarmatt says:

          Wow Accur81, calling out the statist media when you yourself are a statist enforcer. Starting to consider a new career yet?

      • avatarStilicho says:

        Hummmmer, no matter what you say, you simply cannot unsuck that d***.

    • avatarDr Duh says:

      @hmm

      Back under the bridge troll

  6. avatarMatt says:

    I’m seeding the torrent as we speak :)

    • avatarTom in Oregon says:

      I don’t know how to do that or I’d be doing it…
      So, all I can do is give a hat tip and say thanks for doing that.

      • avatarg says:

        It’s as easy as Googling “BitTorrent”… ;)

        1. Find a client program like VUZE, download and install.
        http://www.vuze.com/

        2. Use a torrent listing site like PirateBay or Kick-@$$ Torrents.
        http://kat.ph/

        3. Find a torrent for the Liberator files and download it.

        4. The BitTorrent client will automatically download the file and help distribute it as long as you keep the client up and running. WARNING: having a fairly popular torrent will eat up a lot of your upload bandwidth. ;)

    • avatarcurz says:

      you rebel, you

  7. avatarJohnny Jihad says:

    So, Hmmmmmmmm, you think it requires firepower to defend honor? I think rational and reasonable debate and arguments rather than my big swinging dick, which has nothing to do with it, does a bit better. Many folks here weren’t around during McCarthy era politics, so uh, you’re dumb. Oh and you don’t think a determined insurgency with rifles and household chemicals could defend against the big bad U.S military or militarized police? Meet the Boston Bombers (2 men shut down a whole city and got busted by…a civilian), Mahdi Army, Badr Brigade, AQI and scores of other organized insurgents. Don’t be a tool get out of your “progressive” school.

  8. avatarIn Memphis says:

    So companies like Rock Island Armory based in the Phillipines need permision from the State Department to manufacture 1911′s since they are American designed?

    • avatarRuss Bixby says:

      They would, but the Philipines and we still have a special relationship.

      1911′s manufactured in Pakistan, nope; the data flew the coop long ago. New things must be evaluated, however.

      This li’l tinker toy is new.

  9. avatarAharon says:

    Many mass media outlets published stories about how to make a pressure cooker bomb after the Boston Bombing. How come there wasn’t any USG crackdown? Sure, the Liberator plans are very specific yet in reality 3D printers are not around. On the other hand, pressure cookers and the needed chemicals can be found easily.

    • avatarDaniel Silverman says:

      Not exactly. The 1911 is an old design. Any thing with an open spec like an Ak, AR etc are fair game. Things like the Tavor or perhaps the latest M&P are still under patent. That is more of an issue between companies not the US and another country.

  10. First, it’s STL, IGES, and OBJ files that are restricted and censored.
    Then, it’s JPEGs, GIFs, and PDFs of blueprints.
    Then, it’s text, forum posts, and blog updates.
    Then, it’s books and manuals.
    Then, it’s conversations.
    Then, it’s thoughts.
    3D Firearms are just an excuse to exercise such control.

    Welcome to one possible future.

    I choose another future.

    The reality is, they can’t stop the signal.

    Telling someone data is illegal only makes them want it more, and awakens them to the motives of the people who want to criminalize their interests.

    Dear State Department bureaucrats and micro-managers: good luck with your crusade to stomp out mean old gun files on the interwebz.
    Something tells me you don’t root for the Browncoats when you watch Firefly, you purplebellies.

    Best,
    John Bear Ross

  11. avatarrtempleton says:

    “However, since this involves guns and the majority of EFF donors seem to be of the Democratic persuasion, Cody might get the cold shoulder and have to resort to other lawyers to help him out.”

    I have no idea why you think people who vote democrat do so in lock-step agreement with national policy. I guess because republicans vote that way? Most progressives have slammed Obama hard of late due to his continuation and expansion of Bush-era privacy and rights violations.

    Either way I can’t remember the EFF ever taking a partisan stance the way the NRA routinely does.

    • avatarPeter says:

      Just because a political party’s views are similar to an organization’s views does not make that organization’s views partisan. It just means they hold similar views.

    • avatarint19h says:

      I was just about to write the same thing. For that matter, I’m not even sure that the majority of EFF supporters are liberals; I know that there are many libertarians there.

      In any case, based on their track record, EFF is decidedly a single-issue organization: they care about your freedom of speech and privacy online in any context, period. Seeing how this is very much a 1A issue now, they will be on it for sure.

  12. avatarglenux says:

    I was at a Cryptography Conference in Santa Barbara in 1993 with Crypto researchers from all over the US. The internet was just getting started. The big issue was at the time was that cryptography was also considered(by the US Government) as Munitions. Some of the Crypto guys were threatened with jail time as well. They didn’t go to jail. Cody, what has happened to cryptography since then? Ever heard of Public Domain Cryptography? The internet blew away any kind of controls of cryptography. They don’t know it, but the internet has already blown away any kind of gun control they thought they could have. The cats are out of the bag. Ever try to herd a a group of cats? Be positive and be of good cheer.

    • avatarglenux says:

      The man I met at that Crypto conference is named Whitfield Diffie. If you read about some of the things that happened you may be able to protect yourself.

    • avatarhmmmmmmmm says:

      The cat may well be out of the bag, but the law is still on the books, and being applied.

      Prohibition didn’t stop people drinking either, but I don’t think you really wanted to be up in front of a judge using “everyone else was doing it” as a legal defense to be honest.

      • avatarAnonymous says:

        Those unconstitutional laws are still on the books… for now.

        I see news of government intervention on a firearm that has less capability than a single shot black powder pistol and it just makes me want to hit Autocad and draw up a chain fed fully automatic 410 shotgun (3d printed) where the user only need screw in a pipe nipple for a barrel. The files can be uploaded anonymously and with no company front. Good luck with that – ITAR.

        Gun control will always be opposed and can always be circumvented. Government’s continuous squeeze to prevent “access” in order to attempt to “prevent” a crime that is already outlawed is ridiculous and counter productive.

        Hum that up and sulk in your futile quest to have government regulate “objects” in lieu of “actions.”

      • avatarPwrserge says:

        You assume that you will find enough patsies stupid enough to try and get us to a judge. I don’t think so many are quite that suicidal. We are now guaranteed the means to defend ourselves from tyranny, and if we must trade the life of a patriot for every stormtrooper we remove from the equation, we will still win as we outnumber your patsies by several orders of magnitude.

  13. avatarCJ says:

    Do disseminated weapons information have to be functional in order to fall under ITAR’s oversight? I mean, yea we saw a video of a gun that looks like the blueprints and the 3D parts (and I believe it’s legit) but it could have been a ruse. Now that would be clever. Especially if they build it to use as evidence and it didn’t work.

    • Tech specs are good enough. Which makes me wonder if all that gun related advice we dish out on this site on a regular basis falls under ITAR…

      • avatarscm says:

        There’s an exemption for “Data on Basic Operations, Maintenance, & Training.” So I think TTAG is in the clear. There’s also an exemption (125.1 a) for technical data in the public domain, which might be a decent argument for Cody. However, 125.2 c refers to precisely what Defcad did and requires a license.

  14. avatarSoccerchainsaw says:

    “The government has provided a period of time for Defense Distributed to reply and prove that their actions were lawful.”

    Seems to me that the government should have to prove that they’re in the right, not the other way around.

    • avatarAnonymous says:

      Agreed, but people like “hmmmmmmmm” prefer to live in a socialist/statist regime where emotions and knee-jerk reactions dictate law as well as totalitarian ideas such as guilty until proven innocent. “Rightly so, IMO” is how he worded it.

      He is one of those sheep that trip the sheep next to him while running so he won’t be consumed by the wolf.

    • avataruncommon_sense says:

      This involves guns and “national security”, due process does not apply. Should it apply — yes. Does it apply — no.

    • avatarLiberty2Alpha says:

      First thing I thought, too.

  15. avatarAPBTFan says:

    The files are out there, end of story. The Feds can try or claim whatever they want but it won’t do any good. The Founding Fathers would be proud.

  16. avatarJack Walker says:

    Reason describes Cody Wilson as a radical anarco-libertarian. That sounds about right to me. Asking for help from EFF seems all part of his script. This is testing EFF just like he tested the maker/Boing Boing/Mr Jalopy cadre. I’m betting good odds that EFF will pass on this. I don’t think they will be able to stomach it.

    • avatarPK says:

      Just as they passed on the government use of drones?

      Or computer printer ID tags? (your home printer also prints a pattern of dots with the date, time, and SN of your printer on each page)

      Or various crypto cases?

      EFF defends the 1st Amendment and the privacy of people. I don’t see how they could pass on a case like this and still get donations from folks like myself.

      • avatarrtempleton says:

        if the EFF passes it will be because it falls outside the purview of “digital rights.” ITAR is pretty explicit: no technical documents on anything on that list is to be shared with foreign nationals in any form.

        It’s the stuff of cold war era red scare but there you go. Challenging this means challenging ITAR itself and that’s a tough battle.

        • avatarint19h says:

          EFF was never shying away from tough battles. They have a vision (of a free exchange of information and ideas on the Net), and they pursue it.

    • avatarBen says:

      As both Jack and PK state, this is a test for the EFF. It would seem to fit firmly into the free speech & digital rights realms and less in 2A issues. I’m with Jack though and I think they pass. It will be interesting to watch and then see if there’s fall-out either way.

  17. avatar16V says:

    Keep poking dog with stick, despite the fact that you have nothing to back it up if the dog actually decides to bite.

    Cody (if you couldn’t figure it out from the name alone) is a just another spoiled little punk who I’ll berate as a dolt every time he makes the news. What a total traitor and a tool. He’s the idiot that kept telling the Brits that “we we’re gonna kick their azz” and giving away our position in the process. Meanwhile, he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn.

    Wake the eff up. He’s doing squat for anyone but himself. He’s not helping anyone, especially home gunsmiths. (The guys who actually make guns that work in their on homes.)

    How does anyone not see what a complete blight on gun owners this self-serving little wanker is?

    • avatarmatt says:

      someone sounds like a jealous statist. and nothing he is doing to is going effect you finishing your 80% lower or whatever it is youre doing.

      • avatar16V says:

        Thanks, I’m 28 miles from a ‘statist’, it’s just that I’m not frakkin’ stupid. Nor do I sanction being a complete f-up. Which is what this idiot is.

        Tactics 101 is not to draw attention to yourself or make yourself a target, especially when you have a BB gun and the other guy has a .44 Mag.

        Oh yeah, I build from scratch save for my barrels. Unlike this idiot who has built NOTHING that actually works for more than a minute.

        • avatarAnonymous says:

          Right. Verbally slap the man who is trying to undermine the concept of gun control so that you can continue to “build from scratch.”

          Way to give up and switch sides. I bet when all guns are banned you’ll merely say “it was a good run for me, I tactically avoided taking any heat.”

          Cody is twice the man you’ll ever be. At least he stands up to what he believes in…take your cowardice back to your gun room… While you still have it.

        • avatar16V says:

          Yeah, I’m hurt. Oh wait, I’m over it.

          He’s the traitorous bigmouth who gives up your position to the enemy, and can’t hit the broad side of a barn. We dealt with people like him when we founded this Great Nation. Protip: It wasn’t pretty.

        • avatarAustin says:

          You don’t seem to understand the implications of what is happening at all. You’re shoving your head in the sand and pretending that because this absolute first in the history of firearms doesn’t make a big enough boom for you it holds no importance. There’s more at stake here than a bunch of loud bangs.

          While you’re too busy being a hobbyist this person has absolutely flipped the ideas surrounding the gun control debate on their head.

          Please don’t attack something you know nothing about. That’s the type of thing that gives those of us on the sane side of gun control a bad name. It is that exact type of banter that produced “shoulder things that go up”. Have fun placing yourself into that group of great thinkers.

        • avatarmatt says:

          Did you ever consider his intention is to draw attention to the issue? Look at how crypto was in the 90s, Phillip Zimmerman thumbed his nose at the government, was subject to a criminal investigation and won. And as a result, export regs on crypto were dramatically reduced. And without it we wouldnt have things like Tor.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pretty_Good_Privacy#Criminal_investigation

          Some people are willing to take risks and make sacrifices (including long prison sentences) if necessary for the betterment of society. It doesnt sound like you’re one of them.

          Lets see, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc all had bb gun’s compared to America’s .44 mag; yet they all still won too. Firepower doesnt mean you’ll win.

          And congrats on copying other peoples designs rather than taking a new technology and engineering a design so simple literally anyone could do build it. If I’m wrong and you’re hot shit like you imply you are, how about you share with us your marvelous achievements in firearm design. I certainly hope its more than a Remington 700 action made with greater precision.

        • avatarSGC says:

          Attitude goes a long way in this world…and Cody Wilson seems to have a better one than you do. I’d use his plastic fantastic before I’d pick up one of your from chicken scratch creations any day.

          You just don’t get it. “Hide and tinker” is what I hear from you, while this guy is making a public statement and taking some big chances.

          You don’t support his work or his ideas, thats fine. Some of us do.

      • avatarrtempleton says:

        I don’t think “statist” means what you think it means, matt.

        • avatarBender says:

          Is a statist the one on bottom or is that the masochist. I always get that confused.

        • avatarmatt says:

          Telling us what we should and should not do for no other purpose to appease the state certainly qualifies for the label statist.

        • avatarmatt says:

          *than to appease the state

  18. avatarBender says:

    You know… I’d probably get behind this issue more if this guy wasn’t trying so hard to be Kevin Flynn. Anyway, good luck to you, you just stirred up the hornet’s nest.

  19. avatarDavid says:

    Nick,

    “a Technical Assistance Agreement (“TAA”) which authorizes a U.S. manufacturer/service provider to supply defense services to a foreign person (which could involve training or technical discussions regarding U.S. technology)”

    I am thinking just talking/writing about weapons related topic could fall under ITAR. The whole thing is so broad it is esentially what the feds say. So yeah it might be time to lawyer up.

  20. avataruncommon_sense says:

    You know what is so interesting about this? Many people say that the populous, armed with “puny” firearms (such as the Liberator), represent no threat whatsoever against the mighty U.S. government. And yet the mighty U.S. government is throwing a conniption fit over distributing the technology/plans to make “puny” firearms.

    Our government put themselves in a no-win situation. Either they have to admit that the populous, armed with “puny” firearms, is a threat to the government. Or they have to admit that they are unnecessarily restricting the flow of information. Which is it?

    • As always, everything is black and white.

      There is an in between ground: no, the masses armed with puny Liberators are not a threat to the government (at most, a nuisance). However, even one terro-criminal can wreck havoc with a puny Liberator (see 9/11 and box cutters) and that we can’t abide by.

  21. avatarJAS says:

    This is not just about the Liberator. They made him take down ALL the files. He has to submit paperwork within the next three weeks. The DoS letter lists 10 files, that’s ten possible “violations”. Cody should start organizing a legal defense and, his slammer book list. I think they have him on a USML technicality.

    The DoS letter is at the end of this article:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2013/05/09/state-department-demands-takedown-of-3d-printable-gun-for-possible-export-control-violation/

  22. avatarPat Carver says:

    The gov’s attempt at scrubbing this from the Internet is a bit like trying to take pee out of a pool.

    The info is out there and will stay out there.

    • avatarhmmmmmmmm says:

      Maybe they can’t take the pee out of the pool, but they can still string up the kid that did from a gibbet outside as a warning to others.

      • avatarjwm says:

        A child hung for peeing in the pool? the real you is coming thru hummmmmer. The female of the species is quite vicious when they are desperate and backed into a corner.

      • And they can certainly flush the whole pool too.

        The argument that this is a game changer that will invalidate gun control is tainted by what y’all want to hear. To a current legislator, it simply means that unlicensed manufacturing must be made illegal, as does manufacturing a fiream that contains less than x or y ounces of metallic/magnetic content.

        Much as I disagree with 16v’s viewpoint, I too think this does not mean what you think it means.

  23. avatarBob2 says:

    Hmm, criminals have been making guns for years with pieces from hardware stores, albeit very crude guns. I have seen the designs in several non-fiction books about crime and in museums. I have a book on my shelf that has all the plans for building a 1911. So why is the Department of State explicitly targeting the Liberator?

  24. avatarBob Damon says:

    After reading the letter from the Dept of State, reviewing the USML (ITAR munitions list, and both CFR 121 and 127, he has probably committed a violation of the ITAR.

    I work for a large defense contractor, we have an Army of lawyers for ITAR and other regulations and we still violate ITAR. So, it is not uncommon.

    If all the Dept of State is concerned about is the ITAR compliance, they will likely just make him submit the Commodity Justification requests and not charge the company.
    They will likely rule he cannot export the files, which include more then just the funky pistol.

    The key here is the export. If Cody were to create a web site that is limited to US persons, then he could post he files and ITAR is no longer an issue.

  25. avatarRuss Bixby says:

    Well, since noone else is saying it:

    Hoplogram? Hoplography…?

  26. avatarST says:

    Mo’ freedom,Mo’ Problems.

  27. avatarJoseph B Campbell says:

    The thing about a thought or an idea the more you try to suppress it, the more it comes to life. He may have been forced to take the material down, but it has been in media form for too long to stop it now. It will keep popping up over and over again. You can watch me all you want. That stuff doesn’t interest me!

  28. avatarJusBill says:

    I remember decades ago when the same technique was used to try to stop the spread of the PGP encryption program. NSA hated it because it couldn’t be broken and didn’t have a Government “backdoor” in it. The answer: Many people printed sections of the source code on t-shirts, flew overseas and dropped off the shirts, and someone keyed in the code. Now it’s “rinse and repeat” Internet style…

  29. avatarEric says:

    This reminds me of the old Apple advertisement for their PowerMac G4, which claimed that it was “too powerful” and the gov’t had declared it a weapon. They were simply referring to the same export laws in this case, but it raises the question (forget cars): What if U.S. citizens were required to pass a background check and register their computers with the federal government?

  30. avatarmrta says:

    What I don’t get is why is a crappy 3d printed gun an issue in the States when there are so many places you can just go buy a reliable pistol with the important parts machined from steel?

    If your state has restrictive laws, it not to far to travel.

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