Obama’s Proposed Changes to ITAR Regulations Might Make Gun Reviews, 3D Printed Gun Diagrams Illegal

Barack Obama, Joe Biden

Yesterday I urged y’all to take a chill pill over one of the proposed rule changes that the ATF is making regarding pistols. Today, we’ve got something a little different. The Department of State issued a notice on June 3rd in the Federal Register that they wanted to make some changes to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) — the documents that restrict what gear, tech, and info can be exported outside the United States. The focus of these changes isn’t on the hardware itself, but instead trying to lock down the information. The proposed changes seem to be pointed squarely at online exchanges which include technical specifications (gun reviews), schematics (3D printing diagrams), and training (RF’s beloved Self Defense Tip series, and other articles). It seems like a pretty blatant attack on the First Amendment as a workaround to stifle the Second, to me. Here’s what they propose:

  • Software is now a “defense article.” Encryption programs like TrueCrypt as well as 3D models of firearms would fall into this category.
  • “Technical data” is re-defined to include anything related to the development, production, operation, installation, maintenance, repair, overhaul, or refurbishing of a “defense article” (firearm). That basically includes every gun review, disassembly video, and how-to for cleaning a firearm ever produced. There’s an exemption for “non-proprietary general systems descriptions” and “information on basic purpose or function of an item” that would seem to specifically exempt reviews and basic training, but there’s no telling what they mean by “basic purpose or function.” That ambiguity could be used against people to the tune of millions of dollars in fines, and that’s downright frightening.
  • The change in the meaning of the word “required” in context that they propose would make technical information about a “defense article” on par with the article itself. So if I sent someone the technical drawings for an AR-15 bolt carrier, that would be equivalent in the eyes of the government to me having exported an actual bolt carrier. It seems like this is another attempt to crack down on the distribution of technical diagrams for 3D printed guns, like Cody Wilson’s Liberator.
  • An expanded definition of “public domain” now includes the internet, as well as any mechanism where further distribution of the information is not prohibited. They want to require anyone who wants to post “technical data” to this expanded definition of the “public domain” (forum posts on the internet, videos on YouTube, articles on gun blogs, old-school print magazines even) to apply to the government for permission before publication. If permission is not granted, the fines could range into the millions of dollars.
  • Posting information to the internet is now considered equivalent to “exporting” that information. Even if no one outside the US ever reads it.

On the one hand, there seems to be some acknowledgement in the proposed rule change that a certain level of discussion of technical data in the public domain is A-OK and legal. Gun reviews and other associated postings should be exempt from the regulations, but I have no idea how liberally they are planning on applying these definitions. In theory, simply posting the caliber of a firearm online could be considered ITAR restricted technical data and incur millions of dollars in fines. Its all down to how they implement the changes, and who’s got their finger on the button.

Take a read through the proposal, and if you feel compelled to submit a comment you can do so either through this here website or by emailing DDTCPublicComments@state.gov with the subject line “ITAR Amendment—Revisions to Definitions; Data Transmission and Storage.”

This is much more frightening than the proposed ATF changes to the definition of the word “pistol.” Orders of magnitude more frightening.

comments

  1. avatar actionphysicalman says:

    How did you come to find this change and the interpretation of it? I read it and am mostly just confused.

    1. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

      I found out about it through an NRA article earlier today. The interpretation is based on my own reading of the material.

      1. avatar actionphysicalman says:

        Oops,I hadn’t read far enough. It becomes clearer with the numbered paragraphs. Duh. I had a feeling I was missing something. I was – everything after the middle of the second page! Still not an easy read though.

        1. avatar Kristophr says:

          Put the cad file in ASCII format on a t-shirt and wear it through US customs. Then sue the snot out of them for taking the t-shirt.

          That was how the EFF broke up using ITAR to restrict cryptography code.

      2. avatar mike h says:

        sign the petition on whitehouse.gov. try to make a difference. and pass this on please.

        Stop the ITAR Regulations from violating our First and Second amendment rights

        “‘ITAR Amendment—Revisions to Definitions; Data Transmission and Storage.” Could be construed to limit free knowledge and speech related to firearms and their respected technology. Trying to remove this information is a blatant attempt to undermine not only the second amendment but the first as well. We as a free people should never be limited on what we can and can’t say about any particular subject including firearms and technology. A free people should not have to ask the government when discussing any subject public or private, this includes firearms and tech and internal specification related to firearms. This is a clear and false premise in which the end goal is to cater to anti-firearm agenda this administration has been vehemently to pass. Stand up for your rights today.

    2. avatar 16V says:

      Everybody remember to thank that pathetic wanker Cody Wilson for this…

      1. avatar Paladin says:

        Right, let’s blame the guy fighting for our freedoms rather than the ones fighting to restrict them.

      2. avatar John in Ohio says:

        Please tell me that you forgot the /sarc tag.

        http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2015/06/foghorn/obamas-proposed-changes-to-itar-regulations-might-make-gun-reviews-3d-printed-gun-diagrams-illegal/#comment-2164610

        I’m waiting for the pearl clutching, fainting couch toting POTG to start screeching how Cody Wilson “ruined it for the rest of us!”

        1. avatar 16V says:

          No sarc tag at all. While thousands of actual hobbyists are out there are building CNC firearms, and hundreds are actually doing things with 3D printing, Cody Wilson was busy doing the self-aggrandizement world tour.Then trying to turn it into money for himself.

          All he’s done is draw unwanted attention to a field where he has made sweet FA of any positive contribution.

          Not one Wilson’s fanbois will ever make one of his shitty pieces of junk, nor are they aware of the far better stuff that’s out there. And was out there before that little cretin went all PT Barnum. He is a detriment to the hobby at most generous.

          Unlike building your own gun, Uber and Lyft are both blatantly illegal. Did the founders run around telling taxi commissions all over the US what they were going to do and that they couldn’t be stopped? No, they quietly established facts on the ground. That’s what the smart people were (and still are) doing with 3D printed firearms.

        2. avatar Sian says:

          Cody is simply making it clear that firearms will become impossible to regulate in the near future as 3d prototyping technology matures. It is an inevitability of the next 30 years, much like the impending demise of print media and the traditional tv distribution model.

          Nobody’s going to stop it now.

      3. avatar BDub says:

        Yeah, he’s the problem. /sarc

        I say bring this on. I will happily violate this all day/everyday, and go to court/jail. If ever something was deserving of civil disobedience, its this kind of crap.

        Creating huge arbitrarily gray areas in the law and appointing your lap-dogs to interpret vague definitions conveniently to your current purposes is very bedrock of tyranny and injustice.

  2. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    This had all better be sustainable and in support of combating climate change or I’m going to be highly pissed.

    1. avatar Clay says:

      As well you should be! lol

  3. avatar Kyle in Texas says:

    Nick do you really think this will go through? Or are they starting with the worst case scenario, thinking they will haggle it down after inevitable public (people of the gun) backlash? I think you’re spot on; this looks like a blatant disregard for the 1st Amendment. Often times its people’s opinions and beliefs going up on forums, how-to videos and reviews (like TTAG), with support from facts and information almost always available on manufacturer websites. If something as simple as stating the caliber of a weapon is a violation, what will manufacturers like Sig, Remington, Wilson, etc. do? I can’t imagine that even they have the bank account to cover all the fines created by even the most menial information on their sites. I’m with you, this is frightening. I feel like Stalin’s great-grandson will be running for office soon.

    1. avatar AllAmerican says:

      He is, and his name is Hillary.

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        Hillary is NO relevance. She will not be the demtard nominee. You be more accurate in wondering if there will be ANY nominees in 2016.

        This is Joe Stalin/Adolf Hilter BS though. The progs just over totalitarianism.

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          Neiowa, you do recall the great relief we all had when Hillary lost the nomination last time?

          And what we got instead?

          Be *very* careful what you ask for, Indian Princess Libby Warren could be worse.

        2. avatar Daily Beatings says:

          The more accurate and appealing pejorative is Fauxcahontas.

  4. avatar Removed_californian says:

    This is VERY concerning to say the least. Now when you say proposed changes to ITAR does that mean he will actually have to wait his turn or will he use his phone and pen again?

  5. avatar Katy says:

    On paper it makes sense. They want to control the exportation of arms and associated technical data, just as they would anything else. I’ve been through a few of Commerce’s trainings, and they earnestly view their role as one of trying to honestly help companies navigate their well intended rules.

    The problem here is trust. Nothing the administration has done over the least two terms has built any trust, only eroded it. Had the idea been floated informally, and then launched after considering feedback, i might not have been so concerned. Instead, it feels like Green Tips Part 2, where Government Knows Best is being pushed forward in secret.

    If this does promulgate, what will they try next after DD uses IP-location based filtering to limit files to US users? I doubt they will honor their own words.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Just curious, Katy, are you a lawyer?

      It’s not a gotcha question, some of TTAG’s best commentators are in the legal profession, both sides of the table…

      1. avatar Katy says:

        Yes, but I try to avoid mentioning it.

        It’s a profession that, save for a potential to help reorganize society after collapse, provides little to no use to the general public. It’s why I started volunteering as an EMT/firefighter – it was a chance to give back.

        Out of curiosity, what was the giveaway?

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          Your style of speech in a comment you made a day earlier.

          “From the classic tort perspective, I see a duty, breach, causation (I’d argue that the nexus falls with LIRR), and harm.”

          Anyways…

          🙂

        2. avatar Geoff PR says:

          Oh, and huge thumbs up on being an EMT-Firefighter.

          I have a cousin who’s a volunteer Firefighter.

          Very difficult, dangerous yet highly technical work.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      On paper it makes sense. They want to control the exportation of arms and associated technical data …

      I disagree. No foreign army needs any specifications on any firearm designed in the United States. Foreign armies have the venerable AK-47 and AK-74 available. Those two designs are solid and proven and capable of enabling any army to do what armies do.

      Not only that, simple villagers in Afghanistan have no trouble making their own firearms with crude tools and methods.

      I see no point in trying to limit such information as the designs of a Ruger semi-auto pistol or a Smith and Wesson AR-15.

      1. avatar Roscoe says:

        Absolutely agree.

        This appears to be a regulatory work-around to curb as much popular discussion about ‘guns’ on the internet as possible…to take them out of being a…’normal’ topic of discussion and stifle firearms dialogue that helps, and unites, gun owners.

        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          That’s a similar game plan to an anti-OC push. Make something out of sight, out of mind so that it becomes fringe. With this information out there, being regularly discussed, it becomes normalized and widely dispersed. Something similar happens with open carry. More people out there bearing arms openly every day means that it is regularly seen and discussed. More people engage in it so it becomes normalized and widely dispersed throughout society.

    3. avatar 2Asux says:

      In one of my deep cover careers, I was a fed…an employee of a regulatory agency. When it comes to regulations, there are two mainstreams: internal controls and regulations impacting the general public.

      Internal control regulations are designed to provide numerous tripwires that prevent an employee from denying culpability by simple declaration of “I didn’t know…..” (except when senior officials are involved). Regulations impacting the public are even more diabolical. One of the favorite games of those creating regulations on the public is to bury the real purpose deep in the language. The other tried and true gambit is to load the regulations with so much other impenetrable language that the hidden ‘gem’ is not discovered until well after the regulation(s) publication date. The cammo of confusing wording, intent and content is an art form in itself. If you want something really nasty to be approved, you simply include a number of other things that you can simply trade away for what you really want.

      Beware of simple readings of any government rule. A government only has two purposes…to survive and to rule/control.

  6. avatar actionphysicalman says:

    Maybe I am just not paranoid enough, because I keep looking for the part that explains how this isn’t a sweeping change. I mean, nobody bites off that much that fast, do they?

    1. avatar Craig says:

      Alien and sedition acts passed kinda quick. Only problem though is if this is enforced and somehow isn’t overturned by a court as unconstitutional, seems to me that a Republican administration would rather keep it place to “protect American business interest.”

  7. avatar Harper says:

    Are you guys still having fun with your toys while you can?

    Thought I’d stop by and remind you about 2016, hy2, and safecities.

    I shouldn’t have even told you about it last year, but I thought it would be funny, since you can’t do anything about it. That .22 on your hip won’t do anything.

    Look at this as a good thing; after your little toys are taken away, you can try to learn how to talk to girls!

    In the meantime, here’s an article to cry over:

    http://www.salon.com/2015/01/01/the_nra_is_losing_moms_demand_actions_shannon_watts_on_what_the_medias_missing_on_guns/

    #mda @shannonrwatts #2016 #hy2 #safecities

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      I don’t know; I find the many woman, as opposed to girls, are attracted to men with guns, 🙂

    2. avatar actionphysicalman says:

      How’d you know I have a .22 on my hip?! And why would I want to talk to girls?

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        A 22 on your hip? That must give you an advantage with girls given the inverse correlation.

        1. avatar actionphysicalman says:

          I don’t know. I have been on libido robbing medication longer than I can remember. Maybe that is the reason for the .22:-)

    3. avatar TheGayWithTheGoldenGun says:

      Talk to girls? Honey, you are barking up the wrong tree….
      Also, Salon is probably one of the worst places for anything approaching “journalism”, so I wouldn’t be using them as “proof” of anything.

      Yeah, this proposed change is…..interesting. Will it pass? Doubtful.

      #botscanblowme #quittrolling #getalifeandorjob

      1. avatar Taylor TX says:

        Not gonna lie, your name is hilarious enough that I felt it warranted a comment.

        1. avatar William says:

          I read all the hash tags at once and saw #getablowjob. Still works though.

    4. avatar Excedrine says:

      Can’t tell if being sarcastic…

      …Or being willfully stupid.

    5. avatar DrVino says:

      I think you misspelled your name. It should be “Harpy”.
      There. Fixed it for ya.

    6. avatar Daily Beatings says:

      It’s funny that article spent half its length pooh-poohing the Pew Research poll about gun-control and gun-rights when the question Pew’s been asking has not changed since 1993. I’m pretty sure gun-control advocates have been citing that poll since its inception, except when the poll inconveniently is not in their favor.

    7. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “In the meantime, here’s an article to cry over:”

      Harper, Shannon Watts and her minions are a subject *extensively* discussed here in TTAG…

    8. avatar Justsomeguy says:

      What a delightful little troll. I don’t know just what you think who is going to take what, but I think you are probably going to be disappointed in the outcome.

      That little Salon piece you linked to is yesterdays newspaper and even when it was written it only served to show a supposedly educated womans ignorance of constitutional law. I’m always delighted after I read that type of article because they show how impotent people like Watts are. If it weren’t for Bloomberg, she’d be serving wine and lying to sell art to her husbands clients, or perhaps lying for some major corporation. She reminds me of Baghdad Bob. She keeps selling the same line even when its obvious to the whole world she doesn’t know what the hell she’s talking about.

      Do visit again soon. I find trolls like yourself to be quite entertaining. I do wonder though…are you paid to troll?

    9. avatar barnbwt says:

      Well, if Shannon says so, that’s gospel, right? It’s not like she’s a paid media-whore shilling for everyone from Monsanto to billionaire former Mayors (or above banging her married CEO bosses)

    10. avatar doesky2 says:

      Harper, you still mad about not being invited to the prom?

      You and your cohorts just keep yapping your pie-holes like you’ve been doing the past 10 years and we’ll just plod along and double the US gun totals again.

      I’m shooting long-distance guns from the 1800’s. My guns will far outlast the time it takes for the insects to devour your fat azz in its hermetically sealed casket. In fact they will likely outlast your next 5-10 generations but then again due to issues related to the first line of this post you probably aren’t going to have any offspring.

    11. avatar wlitten512 says:

      Cute, real cute.

    12. avatar NjGunGuy says:

      1. This isn’t twitter, stuff it with the hashtags.

      2. “22 on your hip”, “talk to girls”? Your ignorance is showing.

      3. Are you a useful idiot, or are you being paid to troll? If so, who and how much?

    13. avatar Lurker_of_lurkiness says:

      Hey Harper, could I call you Harpster? thanks

      Welcome to ttag, notice that unlike the mda folks we actually allow opposing coments here!

      Also note how your first comment here (in a year anyhow) is rude and has a condescending tone; not a polite way to debate to be sure.

      Finally I though your fellow demanders were not about taking our guns away?

      Are you telling me you guys are all liars here?

      Harpster please tell me that Shannon is not a huge unethical liar and that you are not in a movement led by liars!

      ttyl Harpster.

      #harspterLovesGuns4Ever

      ps. I’d like to know more about this talking to girls stuff.

      Wait are you a girl? and am I talking to you?

      #lurkerTalksToGirls4Ever

    14. avatar John Butler says:

      Pfffft.

      .22 he says.

      Like I’d leave the house with anything less than a tree fiddy sebin.

    15. avatar Ross says:

      “Look at this as a good thing; after your little toys are taken away”

      Pray do tell me who is going to take my toys away?

      1. avatar Silver says:

        Leftists hate guns, except when government agents use them to murder and oppress people they don’t like.

    16. avatar Silver says:

      HAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      I’m sorry, you subhuman creatures amuse me, thinking you know what you’re talking about or that you’re actually worth considering. I don’t pay attention to insects who enslave themselves to the state. You are fun to laugh at though, you remind me that no matter how dull I may get with age in the future, I’ll never be on your level of idiocy.

  8. avatar dwb says:

    Look forward to seeing the NRA, SAF, and ACLU on the same side of this lawsuit. One thing this admin loves, is getting smacked 9-0 by the Supreme Court. Quite a few of these have even had the liberal members Obama appointed going, you wanna do what? No!

  9. avatar tdiinva says:

    Your thinking is too small. Don’t look at this actions as narrow attack on either the First or Second Amendments. It is an attack on the entire concept of Constitutional government.

    1. avatar Wyocowboy says:

      ^this^

    2. avatar Ralph says:

      Absolutely.

  10. avatar Accur81 says:

    This math is pretty simple. A$$holes like Kerry, Biden, Clinton, Obama, Pelosi, Feinstein, etc. will take great joy in the slow erosion of your rights via the federal bureaucratic process until there is nothing left. It’s just part of their nature. It’s all moral, because it’s “for your safety.”

    They’d certainly enjoy shutting down TTAG. That’s a rather irritating signal, from the perspective of the arrogant statist, that could cause all manner of problems to future control campaigns. God forbid, Neanderthals reading this information online might discover that big government might not have their best interests in mind.

    Meanwhile, ammo prices are reasonably low. I suggest buying now before Hrod’s campaign fuel another ammo panic. I’m personally hoping for Rand Paul, Scott Walker, or Rick Perry for POTUS 2016.

    1. avatar JR Pollock says:

      This is what “Net Neutrality” is really about. Giving the government the ability to control content on the internet. It will start with things like this, mundane, technical issues, and then move on to their real goal, which is shutting down dissent.

      1. avatar sagebrushracer says:

        of course they want to shut down dissent. nobody in charge like hearing opposition to their plans and goals and putting a lid on modern communication would be a real nice feather in their cap. course, they will have to infringe on some of the bill of rights, certain amendments, but hey its for the greater good doncha know? Also, if you happen to disagree, your probably just a domestic terrorist.

      2. avatar A Hill says:

        No, it’s not. Net neutrality is pretty much what we have now. What the telecom companies want to do is put it the hands of the people like Bloomberg (ie the ultra rich who can afford to own telecom companies and direct their bandwidth application policies).

        If you think you will just “go to the other guy” look at the lefts deathgrip control over the mainstream media now, it could only get worse. Secondly, when have telecom companies ever been fir tye average consumer and not screwing them out of every dollar they can? It means not just you, but websites will be getting screwed paying for the same bandwidth you are already paying for now.

        1. avatar lasttoknow says:

          Net neutrality puts the govt in charge of the internet. The government took possession of private property and declared that each internet provider is required to share their product with direct competitors. Would we want Ford to be required to advertise GM products, or provide space at Ford dealers for competitor cars and sales staff? Just because we think all communication should be free because the internet exists does not negate someone else’s right to the fruits of their effort. yes, big money controls the big corporations….always has. The point of the capitalistic system is competition. So, if people do not like the way the ISPs work, an alternative would be an attractive proponent. If there were a true market for the alternative an Elon Musk would start-up the free internet. But of course, if internet service were free, who would pay for it?

  11. They going to use this rule to pressure service providers to cut off access to firearms related content, the same way they used the FDIC to pressure banks to cut ties with legal firearms businesses. It’s about attacking the individual by proxy. If the service providers, like YouTube, don’t comply with gov’t demands to change its TOS and restrict firearms content, then YouTube/Google and expect the wrath of the government regulators (like an anti-trust investigation).

    1. avatar JD says:

      If youtube and or Google came out and stopped all gun related videos another competing service with that content would open up over night. People want firearm related content. If it wasn’t in such demand now I believe it would already be banned by youtube.

      1. avatar Sian says:

        youtube already restricts monetization of gun videos pretty harshly, which is why a lot of folks are moving to full30.com for that sweet gun vlogging.

  12. Well if they want to attack number 1 I guess those of us who support number 2 may have to do it with well, I will leave that to your imagination. Those on the left only like speech they agree with and want to ban all others. However this is still a free speech issue and on top of that the state department can not make law. No matter what they think. Also AT THIS TIME the government does not have regulations on content on the internet. It is international. I could move my site’s to an international server and the feds are screwed. Just my 2 cents worth.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      I wouldn’t be so sure of that. If you are a citizen of the United States of America, you could be raided and charged. There are other laws of the United States that are enforced and prosecuted against our citizens regardless of where in the world they commit the act.

      Besides, they could just go after those providing the feed in the US. The FCC now regulates the internet here. Also, it could be twisted into supporting terrorism. There are more than one way for our government to screw us over on something like this.

      1. I live in Washington State so I am aware of said laws. However, it does boil down to a freedom of speech issue.

        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Oh, I agree that it’s a load of tyrannical shit. However, once codified or established administratively, government will use it as it wishes; if not today then one day. This stuff can’t be allowed to make it onto the books and any that are already there must be striken with extreme prejudice.

  13. avatar D Duane Harrison says:

    I am reminded of a quote by Robert Heinlein,

    “I began to sense faintly that secrecy is the keystone of all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy…censorship. When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, “This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,” the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything — you can’t conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him. “

    1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      I always liked Robert Heinlein and read quite a few of his books. The science fiction is sort of dated, but I think he was spot on as far as some social predictions of the”Crazy Years” go. I actually talked to some older German people who lived through the Nazi era and at the time they thought Hitler was the best thing since sliced bread. Of course, the USA worships and adores the Roosevelt Statists. Control of the media is ecstasy for the State.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        If you want an education on what the ‘Roosevelt Statists’ were really about, read Amity Shlaes’s ‘The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression’. It’s a real eye-opener.

        http://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Man-History-Great-Depression/dp/0060936428/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

  14. avatar whitehammer says:

    If they take guns from us they have to take them from cops they are sevillians

  15. avatar michael nieto says:

    lol thats funny the govt thinking it is smart or competent enough to regulate anything on the internet the FBI has a hard enough time catching child porn users IT IS IMPOSIBLE TO REGULATE ANYTHING ON THE WEB it is too big. meanwhile china, anonymos, and 14 year old hackers will continue to make the US govt cyber security look like a joke

  16. avatar Ralph says:

    I hope they don’t censor my movie reviews.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Just your… er, ‘home movies’…

      *cough*. 🙂

  17. avatar Mk10108 says:

    Ahhhh. Ink on paper, a drawing, technical references, Internet distribution and we the people become felons & terrorist.

    It’s 2015, you’d think by now liberty would ingrained in everyone’s DNA. But Nooooo, government spends all hours figuring out, justifying (water boarding) then getting judges to sign off on every infringement they can think of.

    When this goes through, my as well shread the constitution.

  18. avatar GuyFromV says:

    I believe Australia is voting on a law that would make the teaching or use of encryption greater than 512-bit illegal.

  19. avatar barnbwt says:

    “As the Americans learned so painfully in Earth’s final century, free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.”
    — Commissioner Pravin Lal, “U.N. Declaration of Rights”

    Let’s smother this shit in the crib, fellows. Whatever we did for M855, let’s do it double –no, triple– and follow it up with sanctions on the State Department folks in charge of regulating defense articles. Outside the items and data contracted to the government, by what authority do they assert their dominion over this data? Becuz national security and guns? Screw that. Keep in mind that Obama’s little trade deal specifically prohibits restricting data storage to a single nation, as forums would need to be in order to remain in operation in any capacity.

    1. avatar Taylor TX says:

      I thought that sounded familiar, loved me some Alpha Centauri, too bad Civ BE didnt end up being AC2.

  20. avatar gsnyder says:

    We have a POTUS with his sights on ramming through anything possible before he loses time to do so. The extremist left views are clear, a nanny state is what he wants. There is the misguided belief if you make enough laws, ban things, restrict access etc, from lawful people, the criminals will not be able to get their hands on. This is bona fide progressive left thinking, believing they can build utopia. They are disconnected from the purpose of liberty and the responsibility to take the risks to keep it alive.

    IMPEACH NOW

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      Nope, we already closed that door, remember? Why do you think O tries to get away with this stuff?

  21. avatar doesky2 says:

    Ooops …wrong place

  22. avatar SentMKG says:

    The potential part about encryption part really worries me. The federal government lost its fight against that one and if they can win that fight this way that will of the UTMOST worry to me.

    Compromising Americans, not to mention citizens of and in other countries, ability to keep their private information confidential is a HUGE danger to the ability of political parties for republics or democracies to function and bring about the government the people want.

  23. avatar Anonymous says:

    This is just anti-Cody Wilson law (and similar). The gov doesn’t want any outspoken political dissidents.

    LAF. This presidential signed piece of paper is not going to stop someone from designing a 3D printed, drop in, AR15 to full auto conversion plastic piece from reaching the internet or another country. Anyone can download tails, go to a McDonald’s parking lot, load it up, connect to TOR (or not – who cares), and upload the piece on any P2P network, etc.

    1. avatar Taylor TX says:

      Those damn uppity colonial peasants going on and on about their rights 🙂

    2. avatar John in Ohio says:

      I’m waiting for the pearl clutching, fainting couch toting POTG to start screeching how Cody Wilson “ruined it for the rest of us!” 😉

      In addition to TOR & Tails, spoof all MACs too, I would recommend using a long range, directional antenna like a Yagi for hitting those free WiFis at great distances. Used from a vehicle (tinted windows are nice or a service van with no windows and a disguised external antenna is better), there is very little chance of the access being connected to the individual except for a very, very unlucky security camera grab. The odds of being identified through the access location is minimal.

  24. avatar Detroiter says:

    Ok guys. I don’t know how many of you have worked on a project that is ITAR controlled before so Lets all take a collective breathe for a second. I’ve not read the full text of the proposed change yet, but the only way this gets really scary for me, is if there are other changes nick hasn’t mentioned in his article.

    Right now, ITAR regulations exist on anything produced for the military that is not a commercially available off the shelf product. You want a hummer engine? No problem: it is all commercially available parts for an old Chevy truck. No issue. You want the mc widget the military uses for navigating drones at night, or a special armor panel, or an Abrams tank? Problem.

    Under rules of ITAR, any non cots product is under the rules nick has mentioned. You want a drawing for that special armor plate? You want to email it? Problem. There is no way to make sure your email doesn’t make its way through a third world router somewhere. Hand over a thumb drive, set up a secure encrypted transfer site, whatever. You want to send that to a foreign national green card holder working down the halls you In Colorado. Bad idea. Go straight to jail.

    The reason I say these rule changes don’t necessarily scare me is this: beretta 92fs, ar15, barret50, rem700, etc: all military weapons; all commercial off the shelf, no problem (as long as the mfg gets that determination). ITAR would apply to whatever fancy glock brand 12mm carbine the special forces guys play with, and the public never sees: and for a tank cannon guidance system: but that hardly affects any of us day to day.

    So unless the rule change is specifically for all fire arms or inclusive of COTS fire arms, I’m not worried. much more research needed….if the wording does include one of those changes it poses more questions: gun control or genuinely protecting our firearms tech from foreign powers? Either way it would make it really difficult to be a potg…..

    1. avatar doesky2 says:

      Generally agree.
      BTW…..COTS= Commercial Off The Shelf

    2. avatar george from fort worth says:

      afraid you are being somewhat naive here. words have meaning (whatever meaning govt wants, whenever it wants). just because the “right” people have not been in charge before, just because the right words have not been in place before, just because we have not seen it happen here before does not prevent a thing from happening. when it becomes politically expedient (or riskless), government will find meaning and rules where none existed before (i present you with, say, the right to abortion, gay marriage, obamacare, ATF rules on M855). Whenever government puts out warning of a rule, of any kind, be ready to have the proverbial truck driven through.

      1. avatar Will says:

        For all the panty entwisting that’s going on here, basically there have been long standing limitations on what can be “published” regarding military technology. No doubt the folks at Aviation Week, or Janes Defense have been bumping in to these limitations for, well, forever.

        Simply put, there are military secrets and other data that can not be blindly published in Guns and Ammo. They couldn’t publish this stuff before these changes, they won’t be able to publish them after these changes. All of those articles about military equipment we’ve seen in the past have been properly vetted. That’s what makes publishing those articles not considered “espionage”.

        Before they had a list of essentially what was considered “publishing”, and now they have expanded that list to include the internet. Mind, not that this is some loophole suddenly being forced close. The list of publication methods is representative, not normative. It’s not like “Oh, look we could never post this in the magazine, but Hey! We can put it on the blog!”. That was never the case. These changes are simply clarifying language.

        You’ll note that the manufacturers can not even PATENT this information, because patents are “public domain”, much less fling it out on a blog.

        Again, it’s clarifying language, syncing this set of regs with a parallel set. All of the stuff that’s listed here can’t be done now anyway.

        Simply put, there is nothing to see here. There is nothing NEW here.

        1. avatar george from fort worth says:

          we agree regarding military specs, etc. issue is extension of the ITAR to include civilian weapons and ammunition. if you think the govt will not intrude wherever it can, trust me on this….they will. as to laying easter eggs into regulations (wording that can easily be used to accomplish whatever the govt wishes), been there and done that….for real. spent many days and weeks crafting govt regulations, policies and procedures. much of the time was spent wording and re-wording so as to obscure the real intent, and provide an avenue for later getting what we really wanted. don’t think that happens? RICCO laws target “the mob”, and were designed to break the mafia families. funny how it turns out that individuals can be prosecuted under RICCO, not for mafia activity, but because, well, criminals. likewise, asset forfeiture was designed to drain the profit out of organized crime (a goal that had almost unanimous acceptance among the populace. now cops wherever can take your property, without warrant, and use it for their won amusement. and lastly, it wasn’t all that long ago that the attorney general of north carolina declared that the anti-terrorism laws could be used as a normal crime-fighting tool whenever it was useful because, well, criminals.

    3. avatar Silver says:

      “…gun control or genuinely protecting our firearms tech from foreign powers?”

      Do you honestly think an administration most directly responsible for damaging this country since the Civil War has any legitimate interest in protecting it?

  25. avatar GuntotinDem says:

    This sounds like the same crap they tried to pull over the anarchist cookbook. If the internet were so controlable the Darknet would ever have existed. I was interested in the bolt system of the m3 and the sten gun since they are ostensibly made out of plumbing parts and guess what. the exact specs are available on line including cut lists. If you are ever really bored look up army field manuals. As its government printed its available to anyone even on line. Hmm can we arrest the DoD for violating the law? Hell pick one http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/fm/

  26. avatar GuyFromV says:

    The fact is that this is unenforceable with respect to the 1st Amendment issues – the hallmark of a bad law. They did the same kind of thing with RSA encryption that NIST and the NSA cooked up, making it a “munitions-restricted” commodity until around 2000. This was before it was common knowledge of how they were manipulating encryption standards to be more easily broken by them.

  27. avatar hurricane567 says:

    There’s a video on You Tube of Richard Lee showing, in about 40 seconds, how to reload a rifle round with a Lee Loader. I’d like to see Uncle Sam try to fine a national treasure over that lol

  28. avatar Almost Esq. says:

    This proposal is clearly prohibited by the first Amendment. Can you say overbroad? Yeah I hope the courts in short order strike this down with a vengence. Perhaps we will get some good case precident out of this devilish attempt to tramble on the Bill of Rights.

  29. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

    Yet another added to the pile of steaming laws, rules and regulations intended mainly to ensure that every day each of us is breaking at least one law. And being lawbreakers, we walk freely in this world only at the pleasure of the ruling class, who will lock us up if we ever become noticeable enough to become a nuisance to them.

  30. avatar Bob108 says:

    So, we know that the Obama Regime is going to strive for these kinds of redefinitions of the law. I want to know if after Obama is gone what will happen to those folks who were following these unlawful orders. I want to know if they will go to jail for their crimes.

  31. avatar Hurricane567 says:

    Hate to be paranoid, but i just had an idea. If Cheaper Than Dirt offers guns for sale over the internet and a guy in France browses the site looking at .380 pistols, does that put CTD in violation of ITAR? Further, if the Feds offer CTD a plea bargain, would it be something like “multi million dollar fine gets reduced to $25 for no seat belt if you agree to turn over a list of everybody who bought a gun from your website since the day you started selling them.”

  32. avatar David says:

    I have been saying this for awhile but:

    Arms Control = Thought Control.

  33. avatar Silver says:

    So now we know that the government considers the “public domain” to be under their total control. As if that’s a surprise to anyone.

  34. avatar Cody says:

    PART 125—LICENSES FOR THE EXPORT OF TECHNICAL DATA AND CLASSIFIED DEFENSE ARTICLES
    (a) The controls of this part apply to the export of technical data and the export of classified defense articles. Information which is in the public domain (see §120.11 of this subchapter and §125.4(b)(13)) is not subject to the controls of this subchapter.

    That is from the bill itself, notice that the last part says the public is not subject to the controls of this bill.
    Here is how the bill defines Public:
    120.11 Public domain.
    (a) Public domain means information which is published and which is generally accessible or available to the public:

    (1) Through sales at newsstands and bookstores;

    (2) Through subscriptions which are available without restriction to any individual who desires to obtain or purchase the published information;

    (3) Through second class mailing privileges granted by the U.S. Government;

    (4) At libraries open to the public or from which the public can obtain documents;

    (5) Through patents available at any patent office;

    (6) Through unlimited distribution at a conference, meeting, seminar, trade show or exhibition, generally accessible to the public, in the United States;

    (7) Through public release (i.e., unlimited distribution) in any form (e.g., not necessarily in published form) after approval by the cognizant U.S. government department or agency (see also §125.4(b)(13) of this subchapter);

    (8) Through fundamental research in science and engineering at accredited institutions of higher learning in the U.S. where the resulting information is ordinarily published and shared broadly in the scientific community. Fundamental research is defined to mean basic and applied research in science and engineering where the resulting information is ordinarily published and shared broadly within the scientific community, as distinguished from research the results of which are restricted for proprietary reasons or specific U.S. Government access and dissemination controls. University research will not be considered fundamental research if:

    (i) The University or its researchers accept other restrictions on publication of scientific and technical information resulting from the project or activity, or

    (ii) The research is funded by the U.S. Government and specific access and dissemination controls protecting information resulting from the research are applicable.

    1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

      Cody, 120.11 is being slightly changed, too. Here’s the revised definition of public domain.

      ■ 5. Section 120.11 is revised to read as follows:

      § 120.11 Public domain.
      (a) Except as set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, unclassified information and software are in the public domain, and are thus not technical data or software subject to the ITAR, when they have been made available to the public without restrictions upon their further dissemination such as through any of the following:
      (1) Subscriptions available without restriction to any individual who desires to obtain or purchase the published information;
      (2) Libraries or other public collections that are open and available to the public, and from which the public can obtain tangible or intangible documents;
      (3) Unlimited distribution at a conference, meeting, seminar, trade show, or exhibition, generally accessible to the interested public;
      (4) Public dissemination (i.e., unlimited distribution) in any form (e.g., not necessarily in published form), including posting on the Internet on sites available to the public; or
      (5) Submission of a written composition, manuscript or presentation to domestic or foreign coauthors, editors, or reviewers of journals, magazines, newspapers or trade publications, or to organizers of open conferences or other open gatherings, with the intention that the compositions, manuscripts, or publications will be made publicly available if accepted for publication or presentation.
      (b) Technical data or software, whether or not developed with government funding, is not in the public domain if it has been made available to the public without authorization from:
      (1) The Directorate of Defense TradeControls;
      (2) The Department of Defense’s Office of Security Review;
      (3) The relevant U.S. government contracting entity with authority to allow the technical data or software to be made available to the public; or
      (4) Another U.S. government official with authority to allow the technical data or software to be made available to the public.

      Note 1 to § 120.11: Section 127.1(a)(6) of this subchapter prohibits, without written authorization from the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, U.S. and foreign persons from exporting, reexporting, retransfering, or otherwise making available to the public technical data or software if such person has knowledge that the technical data or software was made publicly available without an authorization described in paragraph (b) of this section.

      Note 2 to § 120.11: An export, reexport, or retransfer of technical data or software that was made publicly available by another person without authorization is not a violation of this subchapter, except as described in § 127.1(a)(6) of this subchapter.

    2. avatar Danny Griffin says:

      The patent office has been removed from the public domain definition.

  35. avatar Robert Aldag says:

    This seems to be an attempt by the government to tax intellectual property, in an effort squelch a specific segment of societies first amendment rights. I guess Obama doesnt like what we have to say so he is going to tax us or make us shut our mouths. President Obama is a disgrace to the office of President of the United States. I am sure Premier Stalin would have been proud of his disciple.

  36. avatar Matt says:

    Need to make the gamer community aware of this before their call of duty and the like are shut down.

  37. avatar auston says:

    So this is telling me that the government is trying to stop people from making informed decisions about guns, make them not to buy guns because of lack of info, or both. Not only that they are stepping on our first amendment right to do it, this tells me that the government is not afraid of the people and are trying to gain more power. if the government were not so worried about guns and more worried about the economy we would be doing much better as a country.

  38. avatar Chuck says:

    See 22 CFR 120.3. I don’t believe our firearms meet all the criteria to be determined defensive articles.

    § 120.3 Policy on designating and determining
    defense articles and services.
    An article or service may be designated
    or determined in the future to
    be a defense article (see § 120.6) or defense
    service (see § 120.9) if it:
    (a) Is specifically designed, developed,
    configured, adapted, or modified
    for a military application, and
    (i) Does not have predominant civil
    applications, and
    (ii) Does not have performance equivalent
    (defined by form, fit and function)
    to those of an article or service
    used for civil applications; or
    (b) Is specifically designed, developed,
    configured, adapted, or modified
    for a military application, and has significant
    military or intelligence applicability
    such that control under this
    subchapter is necessary.

  39. avatar Will says:

    In an NAGR email recently sent to me (and of course asking I join/donate), they state there are these executive orders coming our way. (How much is true and how much is fear-mongering I cannot discern.)

    “*** A so-called “Unified Agenda” for federal agencies to follow, which could dramatically expand the number of American citizens who are flat-out BANNED from owning a firearm;

    *** New so-called “mental health” regulations designed to hand bureaucrats power to strip law-abiding American citizens of their Second Amendment rights WITHOUT due process. That could be just because a bureaucrat doesn’t like your race, religion or politics;

    *** New restrictions on ammunition, pistols, new “storage requirements” and so-called “safety devices” designed to make the cost of purchasing a new firearm unaffordable to most Americans.”

    Also, sourced from the same email, and more relevant to this article/blog:

    “And this is ON TOP of the recent State Department regulations seeking to force anyone who wants to talk about guns or ammunition online to first obtain federal permission — or face a million-dollar fine and up to 20 years in jail!”

    All this on top of the TPP, aka “ObamaTrade,” bill business with the same disclosure level as Obamacare.

  40. avatar Dakota says:

    I think I have an idea of what’s going on and to me, it just sounds like a lot of trouble over nothing and a big waste of time. It’s sounds like they are basically trying to take firearms offline, from gun reviews to how to videos and anything else that relates to firearms.

    1. avatar 2Asux says:

      You got it right, Skippy; in one try. Never trust the government won’t expand the meaning and application of any regulation/law.

  41. avatar Michael J. says:

    This is just the first step in to silence us about firearms and our rights to own them, then after you can’t talk about them, that’s when they will take them away, if you can’t say anything about them, you can’t tell others how their collecting firearms from U.S. citizens and can’t stop them cause not enough people know or understand whats happening cause its all being silinced. This is a very smart plan to confiscate firearms from the general public, and jail those who try to speak out. Very smart…..but not smart enough 😉

  42. Objectively reviewing ITAR it is a clear violation of the 2nd Amendment. Again objectively speaking, the United States Government has asserted full control of arms, ammunition and components without the benefit of law or license of every manufacturer within the United States or any and all importer or exporter of goods of every kind. The USA as a result has become a totalitarian state in absolute violation of the Constitution for which it was given license to govern. “International Trafficking of Arms Regulations” has nothing to do with domestic affairs. It is a criminal act against the people of the United States. I will shortly sue the United States, on behalf of the People of the United States, to gain relief under the 2nd amendment and others. It is a common view that any regulation, law, or license that prevents a People from recalling an unjust or unlawful government before the bar for violations of public trust to be treason. I cite treason; and treason of anyone who signed, supported or gives support to ITAR as it applies to domestic requirement as it stands today. I will begin with Class Action shortly. As an 11% surcharge is on every American product used in America I would ask Americans to join me and impose a 100% surcharge on all goods sold to the government as an open penalty for violating the public trust. The first PEEP you hear from this government will be louder than Concord. The British marched on Concord to take guns. ITAR does it with a pen….We have a bankrupt government that has incurred a debt equal to 25% of America’s wealth, it has no balanced budget, it must therefore suppress a People or collapse. The People must be disarmed. You cannot do it by law openly. ITAR, a regulation, does that. You, the People of the United States have been formally subjugated. Take a stand here, or perish.
    Karl C. Lippard

  43. avatar Justsomeguy says:

    Good to see you post sir.

    Mike Brewster AKA JSG

  44. avatar mike says:

    people i beg you please we need to stop this crap the government job is not to just do what they want to do all they have been doing since this man got in office that i did not vote for is restrict the citizens they are supposed to protect i am so sick of what these people are doing to our rights this even pleads with the none gun owners ask your self this one question do you really trust this government those people that much that you want all guns banned the right and choice to bear arms stricken you realize if that ever came to be they would be the only ones with guns would you put your life and your right to protect you in there hands look at what they are doing now not just about our gun rights but every thing they have done and are still doing you may not like guns but if that right goes away we are no longer living in a free county but a communist/fascist/government is king county the only guns they could ever take away are legal registered firearms which means people who follow the law loses them and criminals get to keep them because any one with a brain cell knows criminals do not walk in a gun store and fill out the papers and take the back ground check wait the number of days take the safety classes and the government knows this which goes to show how little they care about us now all they do is create laws to restrict our freedom when there is a long damn list of things they could be doing to make our lives better and they choose the latter even if there was no guns at all do you really think that will stop some one who has violent intentions no it wont things will just be more medieval or explosive look at how easy it is for these people to make bombs and other poison substances the only thing that will change if that right is gone is the government will be the only ones with guns ask your self why would they want that why would they want to disarm its citizens other than to control us and turn those guns on us look at what they are doing now restricting and slowly trying to control us now with the laws and acts they write and you know its true when did you ever think that you would make you get mandatory health care or you will be penalized when you have done nothing wrong if they take that right what will stop them from making you work 18 hours a day keeping all you money or making you vote the way they say or telling you how many kids you are restricted to having people do not have the right to smoke any more because of certain people while smoking is bad it was a free county and there is far more chemicals coming out of the millions of exhaust pipes and the waste the government dumps that we dont know about but people cannot smoke this is not because they care about our health it is because they are trying to control us one law at a time until they pass a law that bane the our 2nd after that is gone then the 1st will go no more freedom of speech we all know that one is not what it used to be look at the people in trouble for speaking there mind then we will lose all rights to protest and assemble the government has got to big and bloated and is out of control and certain groups of people need to grow up and realize we all have the right to be free even though we dont see eye to eye you have an opinion you spoke it and when some one who dont have the same views speaks back they are not grown enough to take it on the chin this is a huge problem just because we have different views dont give us the rights to start taking rights away from each other thats what the government wants the only guns the government can take are the legal guns legal people have look at how many would die if that ever came to be people are not going to give up what rights they have left with out a violent fight instead of government and groups of people protesting to get unregistered guns off the street and stolen guns back to there owners they want to take guns away from people who passed the back ground check and paid taxes on it instead of writing laws that protect those rights and writing laws that raise the penalty for criminals carrying them or having them instead of writing laws that make a citizen whos gun was stolen liable for if they called the cops when it was stolen how in any way is it fair to hold that gun owner liable what about the cops who failed to get it back it is a double edged sword and works both ways but even the people who do not want to own a gun or people who hates a gun you have to know deep inside that the government are not doing this for the safety of its citizens because the government know criminals do not register weapons they do not show id or fill out the required papers and the only way the government can take them from criminals is if they get caught with it you have to know that is is a very bad idea for the government to be the only ones left with guns would you really give up that right and put you safety and life in there hands that right was written so we have the the freedom to protect our selves from tyranny weather it is a person or a government this is a free county and that right is crucial to keeping that freedom if it ever goes away we are no longer free we will live in a communist version of america where the government and king barrack tells its citizens what to do how do it and how long to do it we are all americans and gun owners are not the bad guys we need to stop fighting with each other because deep down we all know what would happen if that right was ever taken away we need to ban together now more than ever and trim a whole lot fat off this government it has got way to big and there are people who are behind the wheel that turning this country into shit just so they can fill there pockets what this government is doing is not what it is intended for they are supposed to speak and do for us not restrict and control us it is time we show them that and get there power abusing law abusing asses out of the driver seat this government is taking away every right we have one at a time little by little when they should be doing things to help us and increase our rights not take if we do not do some thing about what they are doing soon it will be to late not just about fire arms look at the stupid choice they are making right now with iran did our citizens say lets deal with iran because they are responsible enough to follow laws and set a nuke off on us in the near future weather you like guns or hate them it is a right that was put in place for all of us for a damn good reason we are all american if you dont like and have said so you have that right and that is fine but dont try to make every one else live by what you like are hate because you making it were the government will be the only ones with guns and that will be very bad for all of us we are all brothers and right know we need to look at the big picture and what our government is doing to all of us and the stupid choices they have been making when they should be using that money and power to help us to get the guns criminal already have out of there hands now not taking away from people who follow laws we need to make a change now regardless of what we like or hate because if we dont get control back from our runaway government the only rights or choices that will be left is the right to obey what the government tells you to do we have one problem that is going to destroy every right and choice we have and it is not guns or the 2nd amendment it is our own government thank you for reading this i am not a person who is anti government i believe in a government that helps its citizens and make decisions based of the voice of it citizens not one that is corrupted by greed has no morals makes stupid decisions does nothing but ignore restrict and take rights from it citizens this is not what this government was established for only we can change it before we lose the rights to do change it

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