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Old May 9, 2013, 06:47 PM   #1
tobnpr
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Pentagon removes plastic 3D gun plans from the 'net...

Defense Distributed has removed their 3D gun plans from their website at the "request" of the DOD.
"The United States Goverment Claims Control of the Information"

Under what law(s)??
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Old May 9, 2013, 06:56 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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I assume their justification will be the Arms Export Control Act.

It's a little late... it was downloaded, what?, 50,000 times? The genie is out of that bottle.
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Old May 9, 2013, 06:57 PM   #3
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Link?
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Old May 9, 2013, 07:00 PM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
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Link:

http://gunssavelives.net/blog/breaki...fileswebsite/#

The DEFCAD site confirms it:

http://defcad.org/
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Old May 9, 2013, 08:01 PM   #5
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Exactly what justification or authority does DOD have to do this?
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Old May 9, 2013, 08:08 PM   #6
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That's a very good question, but given that the site says that the US Department of Defense Trade Controls made the request, I'm guessing it's the same authority that allows the federal government to restrict exports of computers & other hardware & software that is easily convertible to weapon systems.
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Old May 9, 2013, 08:13 PM   #7
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This makes me uneasy. I think it could be argued this runs counter to 1st, 2nd, 4th, and maybe 5th amendment rights. They're claiming import and export laws, but as long as the guns don't cross state lines, that should mean nothing.

Over 100,000 people downloaded the files and they're already hosted on offshore file download sites where the US government can't really touch them.
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Old May 9, 2013, 09:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
This makes me uneasy. I think it could be argued this runs counter to 1st, 2nd, 4th, and maybe 5th amendment rights. They're claiming import and export laws, but as long as the guns don't cross state lines, that should mean nothing.

Over 100,000 people downloaded the files and they're already hosted on offshore file download sites where the US government can't really touch them.
ITAR controls the export and import of not only weapons and munitions, but also the technical data to build them. The argument is that posting the data online where foreign nationals can readily access it is effectively exporting it. Violations of ITAR can result in criminal penalties of up $1,000,000 and/or 10 years in prison per violation.
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Old May 9, 2013, 09:18 PM   #9
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I have a very hard time believing that making data publicly available is the same as importing or exporting it. If that were the case, everybody who posts a guide on how to make an AK fully automatic on the internet should be arrested and charged with transferring a machine gun. This is not the case.
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Old May 9, 2013, 09:18 PM   #10
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I still don't get what authority they have to suppress this information?

Quote:
ITAR controls the export and import of not only weapons and munitions, but also the technical data to build them. The argument is that posting the data online where foreign nationals can readily access it is effectively exporting it. Violations of ITAR can result in criminal penalties of up $1,000,000 and/or 10 years in prison per violation.
How is this different from posting a set of plans for manufacturing a gun on regular machine tools. I bought a book that gives step by step instructions for building a fully-automatic SMG. (The P.A. Luty book, all for educational purposes only of course ) You can download plans for any number of firearms online including .50BMG rifles. How come those haven't been taken down yet?

Sounds like the feds freaking out about a scary new thing and facing a lawsuit pretty soon.
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Old May 9, 2013, 09:50 PM   #11
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How is this different from posting a set of plans for manufacturing a gun on regular machine tools. I bought a book that gives step by step instructions for building a fully-automatic SMG. (The P.A. Luty book, all for educational purposes only of course ) You can download plans for any number of firearms online including .50BMG rifles. How come those haven't been taken down yet?
There are exceptions to ITAR regulations for technical data published in the "public domain". The public domain in this case means readily available to the general public. My understanding is that simply publishing on the Internet does not meet the definition of "public domain" in regards to ITAR (most likely because the wording predates the widespread use of the Internet and hasn't been updated).

IANAL, however, and ITAR is a huge and complicated issue that I don't claim to fully understand. This is just my understanding to the best of my knowledge of how it works, but I make no guarantees in regards to my accuracy.
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Old May 9, 2013, 10:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
ITAR controls the export and import of not only weapons and munitions, but also the technical data to build them. The argument is that posting the data online where foreign nationals can readily access it is effectively exporting it.
That could be it. Things like encryption schemes and certain trade techniques can be classified as falling under ITAR regs, and perhaps this is what happened here.

EDIT: Turns out they're invoking ITAR. This is the letter sent to Defense Distributed:

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

The actual department is the Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance.

Quote:
DTCC/END is conducting a review of technical data made publicly available by Defense Distributed through its 3D printing website, DEFCAD.org, the majority of which appear to be related to items in Category I of the USML. Defense Distributed may have released ITAR-controlled technical data without the required prior authorization from the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), a violation of the ITAR.
So, naturally we have a Streisand Effect. You can't really just, you know, take something off the internet. Doesn't work that way.

As it stands now, the file is being rehosted all over the place. By trying to clamp down on it, the government has ensured that it is being more widely disseminated than it ever would have been if they'd just left it alone.

This guy's shop project may soon become an interesting civil liberties test case.
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Old May 10, 2013, 12:00 AM   #13
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I'm no lawyer but I doubt that the feds will go after him as long as keeps it down, but he isn't the first to run get a cease and desist notice. Back in the 90s Phil Zimmerman came under investigation for PGP. Rebel that he was his workaround was to publish the source code in book form using an OCR friendly font . The case was dropped soon after because the genie had left the bottle.
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Old May 10, 2013, 07:12 AM   #14
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I think the article is wrong. I think this is the Department of States, Directorate of Defense Trade Control (DDTC) not the Department of Defense (DOD). DOD has no dog in this issue, other than I'm sure they have downloaded to files as well.
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Old May 10, 2013, 08:00 AM   #15
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I think the article is wrong. I think this is the Department of States, Directorate of Defense Trade Control (DDTC) not the Department of Defense (DOD). DOD has no dog in this issue, other than I'm sure they have downloaded to files as well.
You are correct. It's the Department of State Directorate of Defense Trade Control.


http://www.pmddtc.state.gov/


DOD makes it much more sinister than DDTC.

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Old May 10, 2013, 08:47 AM   #16
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I am fairly familiar with ITAR regulations.

Quote:
ITAR controls the export and import of not only weapons and munitions, but also the technical data to build them.
This is a correct synopsis of the law. Some may argue that ITAR is an infringement on 1st ammendment rights, but this law primarily affects the big defense contractors, and if Lockheed-Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, General Dynamics, and Northrop-Grumann thought they could challenge it, their pockets are deep.... it would not be a pro bono situation . The fact that they do not challenge it is telling.

In 1994, Bruce Schneier wrote a book on cryptography which contained algorithms in the form of C code. The book was by far the most comprehensive and effective book on military grade encryption that had been written to date. My Recollection is that the US Government (I believe the NSA) attempted to prevent publication on the grounds that the book was, for all intents and purposes, a weapon because it contained actual computer code. The publisher sued (I have no citation), the court ruled that the Government can not restrict the publication of a book in paper form, but the book can not be exported in electronic form (such as a PDF). As of 1999 this was still the case. I don't know the status today, but I do know that this case established certain precedents that are followed today in the world of ITAR regulations
https://www.cdt.org/crypto/legis_104/schneier_ltr.html


Jim
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Old May 10, 2013, 08:49 AM   #17
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This is a really big oversimplification...
But, as I understand it, ITAR relates to defense, and military technology.

What could be the justification of including this under that categorization?

IOW, as the above-poster mentioned, information on "home-built" weapon systems is, and has been , readily available for many years and does not fall under ITAR.

Do you suppose it is because of the new technology allowing comparative ease of manufacture- and they consider it a threat to defense?
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Old May 10, 2013, 08:57 AM   #18
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This just doesn't make sense to me.
We are not talking about plans for a missile, a jet fighter or a tank.
We are not talking about classified technology not available in the rest of the world.

You can find detailed spec's on every single aspect of constructing an AR-15 online, why is this any different?

If I posted a program online that would let CNC machines of a cartain brand mill out lowers would that violate any federal laws?


This is just desperation and its too late.
The Design has already been downloaded all over the world, in a couple of months you will see ever further improved designs online.
I wouldn't be surprised if we start seeing these in Syria!



Edit: Interesting, found a list of 9 other things taken down the same day from other sites. Article here
http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/201...cstate-wanted/

Quote:
1. Defense Distributed Liberator pistol
2. .22 electric
3. 125mm BK-14M high-explosive anti-tank warhead
4. 5.56/.223 muzzle brake
5. Springfield XD-40 tactical slide assembly
6. Sound Moderator – slip on
7. “The Dirty Diane” 1/2-28 to 3/4-16 STP S3600 oil filter silencer adapter
8. 12 gauge to .22 CB sub-caliber insert
9. Voltlock electronic black powder system
10. VZ-58 front sight
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Old May 10, 2013, 09:14 AM   #19
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I suspect that DDTC is trying to establish a precedent. They don't care about a novelty firearm like this Liberty gun... they want to get out in front of the issue and establish that all 3d printer plans relating to firearms are subject to their export authority... no different than blueprints or engineering data.
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Old May 10, 2013, 11:07 AM   #20
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You can find detailed spec's on every single aspect of constructing an AR-15 online, why is this any different?
Including, online videos and instructions on how to easily finish 80% AR lowers- NO FFL required- with nothing but a drill press. Heck, if you were good enough you could probably do it by hand.

I know the NRA has it's hands full these days, but I doubt (make that- I'm sure, this is the Federal Government) this guy's pockets are deep enough. I hope he is able to secure a pro-bono defense, it will indeed be an interesting precedent.
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Old May 10, 2013, 12:29 PM   #21
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I agree that they are attempting to set a precedent. Actually, I think there are 2 goals at work here. Folks who do know what they are talking about attempting to set a precedent on public distribution of this sort of user level data. Whether or not they have to authority to do so is open for question and will have to be settled by the courts, I assume.

On the other hand you have other people, politicians primarily, who DON'T know what they are talking about ranting "AHHHH, the sky is falling!! Ban it! BAN IT!! EVIL!!!" Of course, the only thing that will do is ensure that the files are spread farther and wider than they ever would have been otherwise.

Ultimately, this is futile. Technology advances. At some point it will be impossible, for all practical purposes, to prevent people from making whatever they want. Already a competent machinist can build a firearm fairly easily. These advances mean that someone can do it without spending years developing the required skills.
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Old May 10, 2013, 03:33 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patriot86
This just doesn't make sense to me.
We are not talking about plans for a missile, a jet fighter or a tank.
We are not talking about classified technology not available in the rest of the world.

You can find detailed spec's on every single aspect of constructing an AR-15 online, why is this any different?
I don't know about that last part, but pretty much all "defense" technology is restricted under ITAR. It doesn't have to be traditional heavy weaponry associated with wars.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Export_..._United_States

Since around y2k, they've eased up on restrictions so that basically all free non-classified cryptographic software can be made available on the internet without much trouble, but it still technically falls under ITAR.
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Old May 10, 2013, 03:36 PM   #23
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Now pirate bay has taken over distribution:

http://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-t...le-gun-130510/
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Old May 10, 2013, 03:50 PM   #24
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Countdown to TPB being on the State Department's list of terrorist organizations...
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Old May 10, 2013, 03:50 PM   #25
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My understanding is that DoD "requested" he pull the design down, and he complied, so technically no federal agency has forced anyone to do anything.

That being said, this plan was downloaded, apparently, over 100,000 times. This particular cat is out of this particular bag, regardless of DoD's desires.
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