On Corrupted Weapons Files
Why did the MAGAbomber’s MAGAbombs fail? My theory is that he went online for bomb blueprints, but he went to a site that the FBI had already hacked and neutralized. The same notoriously happened to the Anarchist’s Cookbook. You cannot defeat the master in the master’s house with the master’s tools.
The MAGAbomber should have known looking for bomb blueprints on the Web will raise red flags, and that the Feds were watching. He could have run his life better, but he didn’t. Some lives don’t compute for lack of computing power.
And as for the Feds corrupting free-weapons blueprints: speech is free, but weapons cost money. TINFL. I guess that the Feds have done the same thing to the printable-gun sites.
The first shootable printed gun was called the “Liberator II”; referencing a cheap pistol, with the ammo sealed inside, that was dropped all over France right after D-Day, to kill Nazi soldiers and take their guns. You can bet that kind of marketing got the FBI’s attention right quick.
I predict an arms race, with the feds introducing subtle errors into the design, enough to make the plastic guns jam or explode when used. (As is they tend to do so anyhow, so the change needn’t be big.) Counter to this will be the free-gun makers, who will examine the designs offered with ever sharper eyes. Thus an arms race.
The free-gun makers will get no help from the NRA, whose real constituency is the gun sellers. Duck hunters have no use for a one-shot untraceable gun; ditto home defenders. Thugs, terrorists, and seditionists will have a use for such guns; thus the FBI will note and take steps.
The Feds need not hack all of the sites. Enough of them will do, especially if the press makes a point of publicizing tragicomic cases of robbers injured by their own malfunctioning plastic weapons. The whole point of those nearly-worthless weapons is psychological; contaminating enough of the code would be an effective counter-psi-op.
TINFL: there is no free lunch. Those who want the power to kill, reliably, have to pay real money for it.