"Legal encapsulation is not effectively possible," declares Cody Wilson of Defense Distributed, makers of the world's first gun made via 3D printing technology. "So it's fun to kind of challenge the state to greater and greater levels of its own hyper-statism."
Last year, Wilson and crew unveiled The Liberator, a plastic pistol they created on a 3D printer that fired a shot heard around the world. Then they put the 3D-printing files (or CADs) up on the Internet for free. To folks interested in cutting-edge technology and decentralized experiments in living, Wilson's gun symbolized an age of uncontrollable freedom. To lawmakers, it symbolized a threat that moved faster than, well, a speeding bullet. The State Department, in fact, shut down Defense Distributed's ability to disseminate the gun files on the Internet, claiming the nonprofit was violating federal rules about exporting munitions.
A self-declared crypto-anarchist, the 26-year-old Wilson is fighting the situation in court—and relishing every minute of his battle with the government.
While he's aggressively challenging restrictions on 3D-printed guns, Wilson is also working on an innovative Bitcoin project called Dark Wallet, which would further anonymize financial transactions on the Web, and a book intended to inspire a new generation of digital libertarians.
Reason TV's Todd Krainin sat down with Wilson at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.
About 28 minutes.
Produced by Todd Krainin. Cameras by Paul Detrick and Alexis Garcia.
Among the topics covered (with approximate time):
- How the State Department is shutting down Wilson's 3-D printable gun business (3:58)
- What it's like to be surveilled by the Department of Homeland Security (8:50)
- What is the Liberator 3-D printed gun? (11:00)
- How printable guns will change the dynamic of political power. (14:30)
- Will this challenge to the state lead to more personal freedom? (16:15)
- How does the Internet break down the politics of gun control? (17:35)
- What is Dark Wallet? And what's wrong with Bitcoin? (19:30)
- What's Wilson's new book about? (25:25)
Read Brian Doherty's profile of Wilson and Defense Distributed from the December 2013 issue of Reason.
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