Darknet paper, the 3D printed gun edition

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/08/02/ak-3dp.html


It’s not illegal to distribute plans on how to build a nuclear bomb… That pretty much tells you all you need to know about why it’s not illegal to distribute plans to make a crappy gun.


Citation Needed.

16 Notre Dame J.L. Ethics & Pub. Pol’y 279 (2002)
Bomb-Making Manauls on the Internet: Maneuvering a Solution through First Amendment Jurisprudence


Thanks. Now comes the question of whether I wan’t to google that - I can’t help but think that’s the kind of thing that flags NSA search filters… :-/ (As writing “that flags NSA search filters” probably also does :-0 )

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Obviously one cannot provide a positive proof that a thing does not exist. One cannot prove the non-existence of unicorns with a positive proof. What I’ve linked to covers the last time someone tried to pass a law banning the distribution of bomb making information. In our country such a law would constitute prior restraint and violate our most basic protections concerning freedom of speech.


The hard part isn’t find out how to build one. The hard part is enriching the material needed to make one.

In relation to the article (not a direct reply), this knowledge and more has been around in print and digital form for decades. I mean I thought the Anarchist Cookbook was celebrated here to a degree. This knowledge and dissemination of such shouldn’t be a crime.

Fair point if you want actual creation to be regulated differently, but that is a separate issue.


We saw a great documentary at Sundance about Cody and his legal battles. It’s called “The New Radicals” and it’s on Amazon now https://amzn.to/2MfM41Y Highly recommend for all of y’all. It also follows a few other hacktivists and digital-anarchists through as well.

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As I understand it (the reference is here somewhere, but I don’t have a link) if you frequent BoingBoing, or other sites such as Linux-oriented forums, you’re on the NSA list already. For most of us here, then, that ship has sailed.


Jokes on them, Mister.44 isn’t my real name!


It isn’t? B-b-but your file here says, um, never mind.


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Congrats! I haven’t seen a single scrap of legitimate journalism on the 3D printed guns topic in the news until this article. Every other piece I’ve seen for the last month or so has breathlessly talked about how these designs will suddenly “become available” if the government does/doesn’t do something! Meanwhile, tons of designs are already out there, available after the most cursory search. Cheers for getting it right.


And how do they know that I am not one of the other Borderers? There are about half a million of them.


Why even bother with Darknet when these and much more are all available on the regular net (if you consider public torrents sites a part of that):


There’s a breakdown of the contents (I think) here:

You don’t need to go to the Darknet for this kind of information. There are enough different safe harbors, forums, torrents sites (which already skirt around the law) for that. Information is too cheap in disk space and bandwidth to need anything else. Unless the punishment (both legal and social) for distributing these files becomes as severe as for child pornography, they will be distributed alongside the latest movies.

The Darknet is for buying of drugs, guns and dissemination of child pornography. Or was it for persecuted activists?

A deactivated version of the Liberator could just be a fun conversation piece?

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Here’s where I get messed up - I agree, knowledge and the dissemination of knowledge shouldn’t be a crime, but how do we know where the limits are? I hate censorship in all it’s forms, but let me put out one word - child pornography. OK, that’s two words. I think, or at least I hope, that everyone in this forum would agree that the irreparable harm done by child pornography trumps any freedom of speech or anti-censorship argument a rational person could make. But somebody getting shot and killed, that’s pretty irreparable too. But what lesser offenses, where is the line? I’m not taking a stand, I’m asking a question, with the hopes that someone can help me figure it all out.


I’m not sure that’s a difficult line to draw, though. Possessing blueprints for a dangerous weapon doesn’t actually harm anyone. Making and distributing child pornography definitely hurts someone.


The difference is that to produce child pornography you need to harm a child. You don’t need to harm anyone to make a 3D model.

A better analog would be with rendered child pornography or lolicon. Most people find the thought offensive, yet no one was directly harmed when they were drawn. Also, some think that they provide an outlet for pedophiles that lessens the risk to actual children, some think that they just make pedophiles worse.

IMO all meaningful legislation should be aimed at real life. You can’t (you really, really can’t) control the information, so you should aim at preventing someone using it to cause harm. For example, limit the availability of bomb components and make it illegal to actually build bombs. This is not foolproof, but nothing is. Even prisons have contraband available and we really don’t want to turn our society into a prison.

The first step is of course raising civilized citizens that have other interests.


Tracking down and punishing those who create child pornography using actual kids - yep, those rat bastards create irreparable harm and I’d take them down by any means necessary.

But once the child porn has been created, and it’s out there on the webs, whether or not its distribution causes additional harm is properly a subject for debate.

I hate guns. They are destructive weapons/machines designed to kill living organisms.

As an engineer there is nothing stoping anyone from acquiring the knowledge to fabricate any machine. I think that making illegal the production and possession of these machines is a legal remedies to deal with this. We should do that quickly.

I would be more afraid for the person who shoots this plastic gun. I looks like it could blow up in your hands.

America is a sick and depraved culture. We need tons of education and therapy. Some medication wouldn’t hurt either.

All at once and you’ve got an entertaining evening.

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