12 May 2013

3D gun design links removed from Mega, says Dotcom

3:09 pm on 12 May 2013

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom says he has removed all public links to the blueprints for a 3D printed gun from his new file-sharing website.

The US government is investigating whether the gun's designer, Defense Distributed, breached American arms-control regulations by making the plans available on the internet and demanded the designs be removed from public access.

Mr Dotcom says he was not contacted about the files, which were on his Mega website, but called his team immediately he became aware of the US order to identify any public links to the plans and close them.

"I think it's a serious threat to 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."

Mr Dotcom says although all public files were removed, those that are privately stored in any cloud-storage system could still be made available on the internet.

Computer security consultant Matthew Poole says although the company and online cloud-sharing services such as the Mega website have complied with the takedown notice, the design is still available on the internet.

Mr Poole, director of Daemon Security, says at least 100,000 people have already downloaded the gun's blueprints and removing them from the Defense Distributed account on Mega affects just one copy.

The BBC reports the files have been removed from the designer's site but it was not clear whether this will stop people accessing blueprints, as links to copies have been made widely available via various sites.

Unlike conventional weapons, the printed gun is made of plastic on a printer. Many engineering firms and manufacturers use these machines to test prototypes before starting large-scale production.