Eric Schmidt on 3D printing guns and no Internet delete button


Not only does information want to be free, it can’t really be blocked any more. Eric Schmidt of Google explains how the government trying to ban 3D printing just makes things worse for the government and everyone else.

The perfect example of a collision of many things on the Internet today, all of which we talk about in our book

1. 3D printing can in principle be used to build a personal weapon hard to detect

2. Plans are uploaded to the Internet and becomes a big story

3. The government asks the information be removed, but as there is no delete button, copies are kept on foreign sites

4. The resultant publicity makes the problem worse.

This is reminiscent of when Phil Zimmermann almost got indicted for putting PGP encryption software on a server where he could have been downloaded by someone overseas. He didn’t back down, the fledgling net then supported him, and now PGP is everywhere.

Both with him and with Cody Wilson, the Fed’s issue is not that the software / plans are illegal but that they can’t be exported. Which is a ludicrous rule now to impose much less enforce.

I’m sure copies of the 3D gun are on Dark Web sites accessible only using Tor where you have to know the URL. Or on Goggle docs. 🙂