Kim Dotcom might like to sound off about the freedom of the internet, freedom of speech, freedom of thought and expression, but that apparently doesn’t extend to the blueprints of 3D printable guns, as he’s told Mega staff members to remove any copies of the blueprint from the file locker. How they could learn what those files are, without the decryption key that prevents people unlawfully accessing content on the site is unknown.
Of course this wouldn’t be hypocritical, if it was merely a legal issue. The furore surrounding the plastic, printed “Liberator” handgun has sent many sites running for cover in an effort to avoid the government attention that is surely coming, but Dotcom isn’t removing the gun plans because it’s illegal, he’s doing it because he doesn’t agree with the moral principle behind it.
“I think it’s a serious threat to the security of the community. I think it’s scary that people can print 3D guns that can’t even be detected by metal detectors. This should concern everybody,” said Dotcom, according to a statement emailed to TechCrunch.
Understandably, after this comment was made people have been reaching out to Dotcom’s legal team, with US based Ira Rothken commenting: “I think it’s fair to say that we don’t need to do a very complex legal analysis to understand that we are dealing with an issue of first impression regarding printing plans for 3-D guns.” Chances are there will be a legal precedent soon enough, but as he says, for now there’s not much to go on.
Dotcom has an understandable dislike for guns, having his home raided early in 2012 by heavily armed police officers, arresting him as part of the crackdown on his then popular file locker, Megaupload. Since then he’s been arguing against his extradition to the US and embarrassing governments and authorities with revelations of illegal surveillance and seizures. However he’s spent a lot of that time criticising officials and organisations for censoring information – isn’t that exactly what he’s trying to do here?
It would be interesting if a comment like this was used by the authorities as a way to discredit the man, suggesting that he doesn’t stand by his principles of freedom of information.
I’ve asked Kim to comment. If you’d like him to, give it a retweet: