B.L.U.F. California Assemblymember Gipson has introduced legislation that would punish people that send STL or CNC files to people in California without state permission.

The International Traffic in Arms Regulation, or ITAR.

That’s right, while the state of California is arguing that magazines are not Arms covered under the Second Amendment, the federal government has or had listed ciphers as an “arm” covered by ITAR(22 USC. §2778).

(b) Information security or information assurance systems and equipment, cryptographic devices, software, and components, as follows:

(1) Military or intelligence cryptographic (including key management) systems, equipment, assemblies, modules, integrated circuits, components, and software (including their cryptographic interfaces) capable of maintaining secrecy or confidentiality of information or information systems, including equipment or software for tracking, telemetry, and control (TT&C) encryption and decryption;

(2) Military or intelligence cryptographic (including key management) systems, equipment, assemblies, modules, integrated circuits, components, and software (including their cryptographic interfaces) capable of generating spreading or hopping codes for spread spectrum systems or equipment;

(3) Military or intelligence cryptanalytic systems, equipment, assemblies, modules, integrated circuits, components and software;

(4) Military or intelligence systems, equipment, assemblies, modules, integrated circuits, components, or software (including all previous or derived versions) authorized to control access to or transfer data between different security domains as listed on the Unified Cross Domain Management Office (UCDMO) Control List (UCL); or

(5) Ancillary equipment specially designed for the articles in paragraphs (b)(1)-(b)(4) of this category.

While it says “military or intelligence cryptographic” the truth of the matter is that if the encryption is good enough to be “military grade”, then it is covered by ITAR.

Back in 1991, Phil Zimmerman created a program called “Pretty Good Privacy” or PGP. Today it continues as Gnu PGP or GPG. This software consisted of three major parts, a method of doing key exchange via public key cryptography, a symmetric cipher to encrypt the actual message, a methodology for establishing key trust.

He released this for free on the Internet using FTP.

Shortly thereafter the United States Customs Service started investigating Zimmerman because the “high strength cryptography” of PGP made it a munition covered under ITAR.

What this meant was that if somebody from outside of the United States or who was not a US citizen could download the software it was considered exporting without a license.

Zimmerman fought this on First Amendment grounds. He was loosing and the government kept coming after him. He finally won the case after the distribution started happening from outside the US.

One of the ways that the software was legally exported was that the core algorithm was printed in an OCR font on a Tee-shirt and then worn through customs. There were other examples of this methodology. Where the code was printed in OCR format and then it could be shipped.

The government finally figured out that the code, printed out in a machine readable font was protected under the first Amendment. They then applied a little bit of logic and came to the determination that having the code as a file on the Internet was no different from printing it out and then being able to read it back in.

I.e. If OCR is protected, is paper tape/punch cards? If paper tape/punch cards are protect, what about magnetic tape? If magnetic tape is protected speech, what about files stored on magnetic disk or CDs?

In the end the government agreed that it was all protected speech. Computer programs are works of art and can be copyrighted just like any other piece of art. (This article is “a piece of art” in this context.)

Which brings us to the next step in this monstrosity which is gun infringement world.

There is a bill currently before the California legislature which would make the following lines of text not illegal but open to a civil action against somebody outside of California or inside.

N10 T5 ( Select Tool #5, 0.109 drill)
N20 M6 (load tool)
N30 G0 Z0.250
N40 G0 X5.572 Y0.123
N50 G81 Z-1.25 R0.25 F0.5
N60 G80
N70 T6 (Select tool #6, 0.125 reamer )
N80 G01 Z-1.25 F0.5
N90 G01 Z0.25

If you were to locate 0,0 on the forward take down pin of an AR-15 receiver, those instructions tell a CNC machine to load a 7/64th drill bit, move to a location on the AR-15 receiver, drill a hole there, load a 1/8 reamer and ream the hole that was drilled to size.

For those that aren’t in the know, that’s a small hole just above the selector switch. Number extracted from M4A1 blueprints.

The bill would additionally provide that a civil action may be brought against a person who distributes any code or digital instructions for the manufacture of a firearm using a three-dimensional printer or CNC milling machine. The bill would specify that a person is strictly liable for any personal injury or property damage caused by any firearm manufactured using the distributed code.

This is the game that is currently being played in the legislature and courts, we, the government, aren’t going to throw you in jail for violation of this statue, but we are going to encourage all the people to sue you out of existance.

One of the magic things in this bill is that a CNC machine is only OK if it isn’t “reasonably designed or intended to be used to manufacture or produce a firearm.” I’m sorry but if you have a CNC machine, it doesn’t care if it is an AR15 receiver in the vise or a medical device. This bit of language game sounds good, but any CNC machine they decide was used to work on a firearm would be covered under this bill.

They have also decided that being an FFL isn’t right for them. So now they are requiring state-licenses. Not sure how that works, but I can be pretty sure that the difficulty of getting an FFL to manufacture a firearm from the ATF is much easier than getting a California License to manufacture a firearm. You will still need the FFL, it just isn’t good enough on its own for California.

For purposes of this section, a CNC milling machine or three-dimensional printer has the primary or intended function of manufacturing firearms if the machine or printer is marketed or sold to the public in a manner that advertises that the machine or printer may be used to manufacture firearms, or in a manner that knowingly or recklessly promotes the machine’s use in manufacturing firearms, by individuals who are not California licensed firearms manufacturers, regardless of whether the machine or printer is otherwise described or classified as having other functions or as a general-purpose machine or printer.

This means that if Hass markets a CNC machine as a full capacity CNC machining center, and somebody, not to say Everytown would do this, but somebody who is not Hass then publishes an advertisement for a Jig that works in that Haas to hold AR-15 receivers, this law would turn all such Haas machines into “primary or intended” to make firearms.

Go read this monster, it is only a few pages long. Just another infringer attempting to limit our rights to keep and bear arms.

California Assembly Bill No 1089

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By awa

5 thoughts on “What Do Ciphers and Firearms Have In Common?”
  1. California keeps taking more steps to becoming the West Coast Washington. Standards for trucking fleets, Prop65, sending police across state lines to pressure, bribe, or calling in favors from locals there to enforce california laws in other states.

    At what point can we declare them an invasive species

  2. hmmm… more BS as usual.

    Code is clearly protected speech. Some code (like encryption) is also a protected ‘arm’ under the 2nd. It’s not too far of a leap to conclude that code intended for the manufacture of arms is also an arm protected under the 2nd.

    Cody Wilson is literally banking on it.

    Which brings me to the PLCAA… is CA risking it’s scheme by defining purpose built CNC machines as ‘firearms products’ under one part of the law, and then saying ‘you can sue these guys under strict liability for damage caused by the products they sell’ PLCAA be damned?

    a classic case of wanting your cake for show, but eating it too.
    as usual, fuck ’em. carry on.

  3. Of all the rules and regs I had to be trained on at BigLabCorp, ITAR was the scariest. Yes, in front of the bio/chem/nuke stuff – that, at least, I could readily understand and take steps to mitigate. ITAR on the other hand, made Byzantium look like a straightforward place to do business. So many ways to accidentally violate it, so many penalties possible.

    1. There are so many laws on the books, that no one alive can go a day without violating a multitude of them. When the fascists want you, they can get you. Things might slow a little after the first few fascists get sent to Hell. We’ll soon find out.

Only one rule: Don't be a dick.

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