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Posts Tagged defense distributed
From The Verge:
In the film, Wilson is openly positive about the election of Donald Trump, which may help explain the film’s chilly reception among the liberal-leaning Sundance audience. Then again, there are plenty of reasons for people on the left — Lough included — to find Wilson unsettling. Lough interviews him at length in The New Radical, about other pioneers of the crypto movement, other libertarian radical activists, and how printable weapons level the playing field for anyone who wants a potentially undetectable plastic gun without any government oversight.
During the Second Amendment Foundation’s annual gun rights policy conference in Tamp, Florida last weekend, Wilson revealed he was denied membership to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry’s largest trade group, for reasons he is unsure of.
From Ars Technica:
In a 2-1 decision, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals was not persuaded that Defense Distributed’s right to free speech under the First Amendment outweighs national security concerns.
Ordinarily, of course, the protection of constitutional rights would be the highest public interest at issue in a case. That is not necessarily true here, however, because the State Department has asserted a very strong public interest in national defense and national security. Indeed, the State Department’s stated interest in preventing foreign nationals—including all manner of enemies of this country—from obtaining technical data on how to produce weapons and weapon parts is not merely tangentially related to national defense and national security; it lies squarely within that interest.
The underlying legal ideas stretch back to one of EFF’s earliest major legal victories. Twenty years ago, in Bernstein v. U.S. Department of Justice, a judge articulated that code is speech inrejecting so-called export restrictions on code that implements cryptographic protocols. Daniel Bernstein, a mathematics Ph.D. student, wanted to publish source code for a program to run an algorithm he developed. He objected to the State Department classification of his code as a “munition” and, with EFF’s help, sued to establish his First Amendment right to publish the code without arbitrary restrictions outlined in the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and other laws—restrictions that included registering as an arms dealer and submitting the code for governmental review.
Read EFF’s full amicus brief here.
From Fox News:
The (15) members of Congress, led by Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Kent., signed onto an amicus brief in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, where Texas inventor Cody Wilson is fighting a lower court ruling in favor of the government agency. The State Department in 2013, citing a law allowing it to regulate international arms trafficking, blocked Wilson and his nonprofit group Defense Distributed from posting technical data for 3-D printing of legal handguns.
Wilson has received more “friend of the court” backup from policy think tank Cato Institute and various free speech organizations.
From The Washington Post:
The ability to “print” or manufacture guns privately will allow individuals to bypass background checks, the primary way that guns are regulated today. And that challenge will expand exponentially as the technology advances, one day enabling individuals to print chemical, biological and nuclear weapons of mass destruction at home.
The threat of privately printed weapons will soon grow beyond the lethal handguns now in circulation. As we argue in research forthcoming in the October issue of the Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, considering expected advances in the technologies, terrorist groups will threaten nations with 3-D printed chemical, biological and nuclear weapons within a couple of decades.
This week U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman denied a motion for a preliminary injunction against the State Department in the case of Defense Distributed v. U.S. Dep’t of State.
Quotes and comment from Judge Pitman’s decision.
He starts with explaining that it takes a lot to get a preliminary injunction to stop someone from an action you assert violates your rights, and he believes the very fact it took DD so long after the injury to file suit proves that they do not face any urgent necessity to stop the State Department from violating their rights.
Judge Pitman does then grant that, well, precedent states that First and Second Amendment violations do rise to the level of “irreparable” that might demand an injunction.
According to Sean Davis at The Federalist the new regulations are nothing more than retaliation against Defense Distributed:
On June 3, just four weeks after Defense Distributed filed its complaint in federal court, the State Department suddenly decided to propose a new rule giving it the authority to pre-approve speech related to publicly available firearm plans. The State Department’s play here is obvious: it hopes to promulgate a new rule making its previous anti-speech efforts superficially legal in order to short-circuit Defense Distributed’s court case. If that were to happen, the non-profit would then have to file a new and separate suit alleging the unconstitutionality of the new rule.
From The New York Times:
Now, with a high-powered legal team behind it, Mr. Wilson’s company,Defense Distributed, a self-described “anti-monopolist digital publisher,” has filed suit against the State Department claiming that its efforts to stop him from publishing his instructions, which are no more than computer code, amount to a prior restraint on free speech. The 25-page suit, filed on Wednesday in Federal District Court in Austin, Tex., is an innovative and apparently unprecedented effort to use the First Amendment in support of the Second.
Wilson’s gun manufacturing advocacy group Defense Distributed, along with the gun rights group the Second Amendment Foundation, on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the State Department and several of its officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry. In their complaint, they claim that a State Department agency called the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) violated their first amendment right to free speech by telling Defense Distributed that it couldn’t publish a 3-D printable file for its one-shot plastic pistol known as the Liberator, along with a collection of other printable gun parts, on its website.
DD had pre-ordered a carbon fiber printer from the company MarkForged, who then backed out saying that only the government is allowed to use their printer for firearms.
The machine announced by Defense Distributed accepts all mil-spec lowers. Simply drop in your lower and use the software to finish it. No machining skills required.
You can get all the information at www.ghostgunner.net
According to an article in The Gaurdian, Wachovia bank ignored evidence that Mexican cartels were laundering billions of dollars through said bank:
“Wachovia’s blatant disregard for our banking laws gave international cocaine cartels a virtual carte blanche to finance their operations,” said Jeffrey Sloman, the federal prosecutor. Yet the total fine was less than 2% of the bank’s $12.3bn profit for 2009. On 24 March 2010, Wells Fargo stock traded at $30.86 – up 1% on the week of the court settlement.
Criminal proceedings were brought against Wachovia, though not against any individual, but the case never came to court. In March 2010, Wachovia settled the biggest action brought under the US bank secrecy act, through the US district court in Miami. Now that the year’s “deferred prosecution” has expired, the bank is in effect in the clear. It paid federal authorities $110m in forfeiture, for allowing transactions later proved to be connected to drug smuggling, and incurred a $50m fine for failing to monitor cash used to ship 22 tons of cocaine.
This comes just a few weeks after we learned that Chase bank cancelled Defense Distributed‘s account based not on illegal activity but because of politics. Here is Cody Wilson’s take on it from a recent interview with The Washington Post:
We’re regarded with suspicion. You might even say that it’s due, right? . . . So I have to file, like, affidavits that I’m not involved in illicit activity and online gambling, and I’m constantly just harassed with extra administrative supervision and stuff — this is while we were at Chase. We did like $18,000 in deposits one month this summer. We were doing business for Chase Bank, and treated more or less like — not resentment, but just like, “Ah, we’re a burden.”
So here we have a law student who runs a non-profit given the 3rd degree to make sure he is not a criminal, and on the other hand the drug cartels are laundering millions if not billions through Wachovia without raising much suspicion. Yep, everything seems to be working as planned.
From Fox News:
A May 21 bulletin distributed to numerous state and federal law enforcement agencies and obtained by FoxNews.com states that the guns, which can be made by downloading blueprints into cutting edge computers that mold three-dimensional items from melted plastic, “poses public safety risks” and are likely beyond the current reach of regulators. The guns threaten to render 3D gun control efforts useless if their manufacture becomes more widespread.
Power to the people.
Here is Reason.com’s take on the situation.
The State Department has stopped Defense Distributed from hosting the files for a plastic gun, but those files were copied thousands of times and are now hosted on sites all over the internet. People have already begun to make the guns and improve on the designs in just a few weeks. Forbes has a good article on the phenomenon.