Sometimes it’s about multiple rights

I posted this on my facebook account, but thought I’d post it here as well.  Of course, the chances that a non-gun person would read this is higher on my facebook account, but you guys might like it.

So, I’m guessing most of you have heard that someone has successfully managed to build a working firearm using nothing but 3D printed parts and a carpenter’s nail. Congress is freaking out over it. The designers have had it posted on the internet for a little while now. The BATFE has been asked about this several times and has posted a public letter stating that what these people are doing is legal as long as the person building the firearms is not selling them and is not a prohibited person (it is, in fact legal to build a firearm for personal use without background check, etc).

The original site (defcad.com) has since removed the the files due to a take down “request” from the Department of Defense Trade Controls. Notice that it’s not from the BATFE or another law enforcement agency that normally operates inside the United States. It’s the Department of Defense. The reasoning is that they are potentially distributing this information to foreign entities that may or may not be good guys.

Here’s why this should matter to non-gun people. The is the exact same law that the US government used in an attempt to suppress PGP and similar encryption programs in the 90’s. This is the government reminding us that it believes that it has not only the power, but the right to censor the internet if it thinks that the information might have military value.

Of course, the reality is the old saying “the internet sees censorship as damage and routes around it,” but this is very much a 1st amendment issue as well as a 2nd amendment issue. The internet has become very much integrated into our lives, and the idea that the constitution ends where our national borders end now being interpreted as the constitution ends where the internet begins.

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