Kim Dotcom, the charismatic entrepreneur who is battling extradition to the US where he is accused of a string of crimes, said all links to the blueprints of the Liberator, the world’s first fully 3D-printed gun, have been removed from his Mega cloud storage platform.
In an interview with radio New Zealand, Dotcom said the publicly available files were deleted voluntarily after Mega found out that such blueprint distribution could violate international arms trade agreements. However, there’s no telling how many times they were duplicated inside Mega’s encrypted private hosting service, which cannot be accessed by Mega staff.
Cody Wilson, the leader of Defense Distributed (DD), the organisation that created the gun, previously said the blueprints were downloaded more than 100,000 times before the links were taken down from their own repository, Defcad, under orders from the US Department of State.
DD, the anti-establishment outfit responsible for developing the blueprint and testing the 3D-printed gun in real-world conditions, chose Mega as its main hosting platform thanks to its speed and ease of use. Kim Dotcom’s rocky relationship with the US authorities is widely known, and perhaps the US anarchists thought that a common enemy would make them allies.
However, on Saturday Dotcom admitted that the prospect of widely available plastic guns is “scary”, and constitutes “a serious threat to security of the community”. He said his team has removed every publicly available link to the offending files.
The Liberator, which passed the initial firing tests last week, consists of just fifteen plastic parts, with a common metal nail used as a firing pin. Add a standard .380 calibre round and you have a firearm which, theoretically, cannot be detected by airport scanners. Wilson previously said the name of the gun pays homage to the cheap, one-shot pistols designed to be air-dropped over Nazi-occupied France during World War II.
Last Thursday, the US Office of Defence Trade Controls Compliance wrote to Wilson, asking him to submit “Commodity Jurisdiction determination requests” for 10 items hosted on Defcad, including the Liberator. Until these documents were provided, the DTCC ordered Wilson to remove the files from public access.
By the time the organisation complied, the blueprints were already being shared on numerous Internet platforms, including The Pirate Bay, where they remain accessible.
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