Publishing a gun design online = arms export?

Design for using 3-D printing technology to produce a gun is posted on the internet. Feds order it taken down as a violation of arms export laws, because anything posted online can be read overseas and a data file counts as an “export.” Is there a constitutional problem with that? Trevor Burrus and Meggan DeWitt on a new Cato amicus brief. Update January 2018: Supreme Court denies writ of certiorari.


  • Prior restraint of a 1A right.

  • They used to make this argument about encryption software. I needed a license, as a us govt employee, to personally deliver a copy of pgp to a colleague in the Italian govt, back in the 90s, so that we could exchange non-classified, proprietary info electronically. It was a real pain.