Although Defense Distributed was demanded to take down the file, it is still available on sharing websites like Pirate Bay. There are no boundaries in the world of Internet. The downloaded files can be shared and send which make it impossible to trace as they circulated around the world. Hence, everyone can have access to this resource.
The fact that worried the opponents is exactly the reason why the advocates support the publication of downloadable files. Advocates defend the liberty to disclose information, which should not be halted by labeling them as dangers and threats.
Makers believed that giving access to a broader public of specialized knowledge and tools is the way to realize democratizing manufacturing. Defense Distributed believes that providing a downloadable design blueprint is the way to the practice. Open source design promotes sharing resources, not only software for UI/UX designs but also schemes for constructing 3D models, to encourage the development and improvement. With the circulation and popularization of technical information, more manufacturers and designers can devote to research and development.
Opened design resources, easy access to equipment and materials and knowledge acquired form Internet shortened the distance between manufacturers and consumers. The public and makers are considered to be amateurs in manufacturing industry. However, the more knowledge people gain, the more power people possess to make decision and to take actions.
In the era of digitalization, the democratization of technology, of information, and of manufacturing enabled consumers to participate more directly in the improvement and the development of the products they used.
Which is More Dangerous?
Which is more dangerous? Rights of information sharing being deprived by the government? Or making weapons easily without anyone knowing?
The issue is not just about the progress of design and manufacturing but also comprises the liberty of information and technology transmitting, the law of guarding people’s right and safety, and ideology transition.
What the advocates supported is more a liberal and open resources for information than 3D printed weapons. It’s no longer the controversy of gun control, but the dilemma of the right of self-defense and public security, privacy and data retention for counterterrorism, authority of the government and the right of the people, restriction and advance, etc. Can we really reach the ideal balance? Or we are just in the game of power and profit?
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