Posts Tagged ‘Defense Distributed’

6
Mar

Cody Wilson on Gun Control (RT interview)

by adminadam in articles, videos

RT asks: Is the release of plans for the Liberator Pistol going to help people protect their rights and freedoms, or is it a move that’s going to put people in danger?

Cody Wilson explains that he created the Liberator Pistol as a political statement and as a form of political action. The publication of this process (the plans for the 3D-printed gun) and the concept that the barriers to entry for manufacturing, particularly firearm manufacturing, are coming down is significant because neither the plans nor this new notion can be censured or expunged from the internet. The plans are and will continue to be seeded through bittorrent and shared through other means online despite the take-down requests of government agencies aimed at Defense Distributed.

He goes on to describe the act as a kind of ‘attack’ to counter the increasing paranoia and legislative momentum leading towards greater gun control. This attack gives the control and power regarding gun ownership and gun production to each and every sovereign individual, at a time when some politicians are attempting to exert their authority in this space to further restrict such powers to select, pre-approved parties and existing manufacturers. The Liberator Pistol, he says, is an effective way of showing off the power of anarchist market innovation through 3D printing and peer-to-peer file sharing technology.

Effectively, this creates a new political and cultural reality: Regulators are placed on a level playing-field, more or less, with Joe Average, who can now procure — or not procure, if he so chooses — an untraceable, unmarked firearm. At this point, legislative fiat is rendered ineffective due to the resilient nature of information shared online and the accelerating democratization of access to technologies like 3D printing.  It is no longer unreasonable — either practically or financially — for you to make your own working, unregistered Liberator Pistol (namely, the AR receiver) by purchasing or borrowing a 3D printer, such as the Ghost Gunner. Indeed, it can only get easier from here on out.

And while some people might resent this change being thrust upon us, perhaps others — even if they don’t welcome the implications of the democratization of gun production — will appreciate the fact that Cody Wilson and his compatriots at Defense Distributed are forthcoming and transparent about their goals and explicit about what they think it means for us all: Regardless of Cody Wilson having gone ahead with this plan, crossing this kind of point-of-no-return, it was (and is now) inevitable that individual actors bring new and disruptive innovations — such as this gun and the plans to print it — to the world. Going forward we are likely to see more and more plans and home-made products that are illegal or quasi-legal, along with items that are considered taboo or controversial in society. We will see everything from 3D-printed sex toys to black-market electronics, children’s toys to pharmaceuticals, perhaps even 3D-printed houses and cars. Metamaterials (things like glass with malleability and programmability, e.g. solar reflectiveness vs. solar absorption, thermal reflectiveness vs. thermal absorption, impermeability vs. permeability, etc.) will enable the expansion of productive capacity further, leading to millions more currently-unfathomable inventions.

Cody Wilson and others that follow (even unknowingly) in his footsteps and publish plans for disruptive innovations such as these are effectively rendering null-and-void the centralized legislative bodies and bureaucratic agencies of the world, routing around them much like censorship on the internet has resulted in new and more resilient, more distributed solutions to the need for information and sharing and innovation in the world (see: napster; limewire; bittorrent).

This is the new paradigm we are entering. It is a world of radical and expanding individual sovereignty and decentralized and disruptive technological innovation.

How about printing yourself a jet (engine)?

1
Oct

Human Innovation vs. State Control

by adminadam in videos

Defense Distributed‘s new promotional video:

Ghost Gunner

Defense Distributed’s stated aims are as follows:

“To defend the human and civil right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the United States Constitution and affirmed by the United States Supreme Court; to collaboratively produce, publish, and distribute to the public without charge information and knowledge related to the digital manufacture of arms.”

They are a pending 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in the State of Texas.

DD’s founders, Ben Denio and Cody Wilson seek to create a “a political and legal vehicle for demonstrating and promoting the subversive potential of publicly-available 3D Printing technologies.” To that effect, on July 27th, 2012 they launched the Wiki Weapon Project — the effort to create and release the files for the world’s first printable handgun.

The History of the DD is still in the making; the dust has not settled:

In August 2012, Indiegogo.com removed DD’s inaugural fundraising campaign from its website, citing a terms of service violation. This removal prompted stirrings in the 3DP and tech blogs, and led DD to court the Bitcoin community to help fund the Wiki Weapon. By September 2012, DD had raised enough money to set to prototyping and experimentation, when industry player Stratasys scandalously revoked its lease with the company and quickly repossessed its printer. This repossession, one of the first of its kind, made world news, and the Wiki Weapon found commensurate support.

By December 2012, DD began prototyping more durable rifle receivers for the popular AR-15, a fact not missed in American gun politics after that month’s Sandy Hook Massacre. By January 2013, DD had created the gun file repository DEFCAD and released the files for the first printable AR-15 standard capacity magazines. DD followed these achievements in March with the files for the first durable printed AR-15 rifle receiver.

On May 5, 2013, DD released the files for the Liberator pistol — the culmination of the Wiki Weapon Project. This release was met by a flurry of US governmental censures and investigations, and DD is still involved in a conflict with the US State Department over whether there is a requirement to seek government approval before releasing privately generated gun files into the public domain.

And now the Ghost Gunner has entered the scene…

Ghost Gunner is a miniature CNC machine designed to automatically manufacture publicy created designs with nearly zero user interaction. No prior CNC knowledge or experience is required to manufacture from design files. Defense Distributed’s first design is the venerable AR-15 lower receiver. Ghost Gunner automatically finds and aligns your 80% lower receiver to the machine, with simple installation instructions, point and click software and all required tools. Just follow a few simple instructions to mount your 80% lower receiver, tighten a couple screws (with simple tools we provide), and on day one, Ghost Gunner can help you legally manufacture unserialized firearms in the comfort of your own home.

GhostGunner3DPwithLowerReceiver
[Read more at Ghostgunner.net]

“One of these centuries, the brutes, private or public, who believe that they can rule their betters by force, will learn the lesson of what happens when brute force encounters mind and force.”

     — Ragnar Danneskjöld (from Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand)

23
Apr

Noteworthy Bitcoin News: Spring, 2014

by adminadam in home

A few weeks before tax day, the IRS gave guidance saying (that is, they declared that) Bitcoin is, was, and always has been a commodity in regards to tax burden. Capital gains tax applies each time a transaction is made with this currency commodity (shall we call it a commurrency?), even if it is just a cup of coffee being purchased. If the price of Bitcoin was higher when you bought the Bitcoin than when you made the purchase, then you are liable to pay capital gains tax on that purchase. This is great for institutional investors, not so great for people in the U.S. who are using it as a currency. Personally, I wonder about the IRS’s capacity to enforce and act on this with the growing adoption of Bitcoin. Also, since the ruling is retroactive, all purchases/transactions made with Bitcoin since the beginning of time are fair game. So what if you don’t or can’t know the input and output values of all your coins (including other virtual currencies like Litecoin, Dogecoin, etc.) since 2009, when Bitcoin was released?

There is a clause apparently that says that if you can’t provide this information for some reason, or if you don’t have the records, then you *may* be forgiven of some of your burden for some of your gains if you appeal upon being audited for a given amount. Losses do deduct from total gains, just like you would expect, but I guess I just wonder how the IRS expects to keep track of Bitcoin transactions and audit people going forward. I know a number of people who bought their first Bitcoins through coinbase using a bank transfer. Like most people in this boat, you then transfer those coins to a safer-than-coinbase storage medium, whether that’s a paper wallet or the Bitcoin-Qt Standard Software Wallet which you run on your home computer (hopefully safely encrypted and backed-up — see my guide on doing this here). Each transaction made in order to get these coins under your control in this scenario is a transaction, but note: you haven’t purchased anything, or traded anything of value for your Bitcoins. Ultimately, essentially, all Bitcoin transactions whether purchases or personal fund-movements appear identical to the Bitcoin network. Were there some greater level of willing transparency on this issue from the IRS, we could know if they plan to, say, host their own bitcoin node, download the blockchain themselves just to make sure they understand it, or merely check transfers using an online blockchain (the public ledger), like blockchain.info, for example.

The final obstacle in collecting (and reporting) revenues from cryptocurrencies stems from high-frequency trading — say you bought your Bitcoin on a U.S. exchange, then transferred it to BTC-e in Bulgaria (where it’s counted as a virtual currency, incidentally…), then engaged in a bout of high-frequency Bitcoin/Litecoin/Dogecoin/Peercoin trading. The IRS doesn’t likely have legitimate access to these trades, nor may you have even a decently-complete record of what’s transpired; all you know now is you have more fill-in-the-blank-coins than when you started.

Another complication arises with the arrival (soon: May Day) of dark wallets and (next-gen) seamless coin mixing services. Dark Wallet by Defense Distributed is one such development which will be used to strip coins of their identifying information (i.e. where they came from first/middle/last). Anonymity in cryptocurrency will be possible (more possible than it is now). Add to this the facilitation of anonymous purchases through dark markets and distributed markets, such as BitWasp and DarkMarket (this also from Defense Distributed). Where the Silk Road was shut down, Silk Road 2.0, and others now exist. Add to this these 2 more new projects and project outwards: we are seeing exponential development and evolution in this economic space. Many more black, grey, and unrestricted markets will bloom — expect to hear more about this soon!

In other news, China is still wishy-washy about Bitcoin, but hasn’t outright banned it, and since some time has passed since the last definitely-going-to-be-banned rumors spread, the price has come back up a bit to around $500, from a low of approximately $350. Ultimately, the failure of Mt. Gox brought the value down by half in the early part of 2014, simply because so many people lost their money, and also because of all the FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) spread about by the media; read: “Mt. Gox failed; Bitcoin’s dead!” Such proclamations will likely continue to be heard for a few years to come for a variety of reasons, but whatever happens in one country or region need not happen in another (I’m talking about legislation, FYI…). Finally, I will say I believe Bitcoin’s value will continue to rise as the technology is made more accessible through simple, non-smart phones, as more people learn how to send Bitcoins through SMS, and as more charities and families are able to receive donations and remittances throughout the world with near-0 friction, essentially for free at that.

Lastly, in the news: Sidechain innovation. I’m excited about this for Bitcoin and its future. Basically, instead of creating new alt-coins in the future, it may be possible to update the Bitcoin core to more easily extend Bitcoin into semi-temporary Sidechain-coins with different, varying properties based on people’s needs. Say you need a coin that transacts (or is confirmed) quicker — you simply create a sidechain, put some Bitcoin in escrow to initiate this, and create Side-Quick-Bit-Coins or whatever you wanna call them. Then when or if the need is gone, return the Bitcoins in escrow to the normal Bitcoin network. I’m fuzzy on the details, but stoked about the implications, particularly for Bitcoin’s ability to compete with Ethereum and other Bitcoin 2.0 protocols like Mastercoin and Colored Coins. The bottom line is new functionality and greater scalability with this.

BONUS DARK WALLET PROMOTIONAL VIDEO