It was the most shared story on the BBC for 24 hours; the world has been up in arms over Cody Wilson’s 3D Printed pistol. It was inevitable that it was always going to garner some official attention.
Today we learn that Cody’s company Defense Distributed have received a letter from the State Department Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance ordering him to take down the 3D printed gun CAD files from his website DEFCAD.org.
As we mentioned in the previous article Cody strives to obey the law and he has taken the files offline. Unfortunately for the State Department it appears to be a case of shutting the gate after the horse has bolted. The files are out there now, most savvy users will have expected this to come and will have downloaded the files immediately.
Forbes reported shortly after they printed the original story that the file had been downloaded over 100,000 times in the space of two days. Wilson told Forbes, “We have to comply. All such data should be removed from public access, the letter says. That might be an impossible standard. But we’ll do our part to remove it from our servers.”
The key word there is “our servers” a simple search for a couple of well known keywords on Google and you’ll see 3000 of those downloaders are sharing it to others through well known pirating platforms.
“This is the conversation I want,” Wilson says. “Is this a workable regulatory regime? Can there be defense trade control in the era of the Internet and 3D printing?”
Here’s the letter in full:
United States Department of State
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
Offense of Defense Trade Controls Compliance
May 08, 2013
In reply letter to DTCC Case: 13-0001444
Dear Mr. Wilson,
The Department of State, Bureau of Political Military Affairs, Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance, Enforcement Division (DTCC/END) is responsible for compliance with and civil enforcement of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2778) (AECA) and the AECA’s implementing regulations, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (22 C.F.R. Parts 120-130) (ITAR). The AECA and the ITAR impose certain requirements and restrictions on the transfer of, and access to, controlled defense articles and related technical data designated by the United States Munitions List (USML) (22 C.F.R. Part 121).
The 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.
Technical data regulated under the ITAR refers to information required for the design, development, production, manufacture, assembly, operation, repair, testing, maintenance or modification of defense articles, including information in the form of blueprints, drawings, photographs, plans, instructions or documentation. For a complete definition of technical data, see 120.10 of the ITAR. Pursuant to 127.1 of the ITAR, it is unlawful to export any defense article or technical data for which a license or written approval is required without first obtaining the required authorization from the DDTC. Please note that disclosing (including oral or visual disclosure) or tranferring technical data to a foreign person, whether in the United States or abroad, is considered an export under 120.17 of the ITAR.
The Department believes Defense Distributed may not have established the proper jurisdiction of the subject technical data. To resolve this matter officially, we request that Defense Distributed submit Commodity Jurisdiction (CJ) determination requests for the following selection of data files available on DEFCAD.org, and any other technical data for which Defense Distributed is unable to determine proper jurisdiction:
Defense Distributed Liberator pistol
125mm BK-14M high-explosive anti-tank warhead
5.56/.223 muzzle brake
Springfield XD-40 tactical slide assembly
Sound Moderator – slip on
“The Dirty Diane” 1/2-28 to 3/4-16 STP S3600 oil filter silencer adapter
12 gauge to .22 CB sub-caliber insert
Voltlock electronic black powder system
DTCC/END requests that Defense Distributed submits its CJ requests within three weeks of the receipt of this letter and notify this office of the final CJ determinations. All CJ requests must be submitted electronically through an online application using the DS-4076 Commodity Jurisdiction Request Form. The form, guidance for submitting CJ requests, and other relevant information such as a copy of the ITAR can be found on DDTC’s website at http://www.pmddtc.state.gov.
Until the Department provides Defense Distributed with the final CJ determinations, Defense Distributed should treat the above technical data as ITAR-controlled. This means that all such data should be removed from public access immediately. Defense Distributed should also review the remainder of the data made public on its website to determine whether any additional data may be similarly controlled and proceed according to ITAR requirements.
Additionally, DTCC/END requests information about the procedures Defense Distributed follows to determine the classification of its technical data, to include aforementioned technical data files. We ask that you provide your procedures for determining proper jurisdiction of technical data within 30 days of the date of this letter to Ms. Bridget Van Buren, Compliance Specialist, Enforcement Division, at the address below.
Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance
PM/DTCC, SA-1, Room L132
2401 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20522
We appreciate your full cooperation in this matter. Please note our reference number in any future correspondence.
Glenn E. Smith
Chief, Enforcement Division