As we reported early Wednesday, after a US District Court Judge issued a preliminary injunction in the Defense Distributed 3D gun plan case, a consortium of gun rights groups based in California launched a new site, www.codeisfreespeech.com, to host the CAD files containing plans for 3D printed guns.
Wednesday afternoon, Firearms Policy Coalition tweeted a screenshot of a takedown notice they received from Amazon Web Services.
Check out the takedown demand by @awscloud about our https://t.co/2zJBmRaRvg initiative. We aren't party or subject to any restraining order. Are tech #oligarchs caving? Democracy dies in darkness — when @amazon and @JeffBezos censor speech. cc @EFF @instapundit @DRUDGE_REPORT pic.twitter.com/yr1my704Sn
— Firearms Policy (@gunpolicy) August 1, 2018
A short time later, New York Daily News reporter Janon Fisher emailed FPC’s spokesperson, Craig DeLuz, asking for comment. DeLuz and Fisher traded emails, screenshots of which (provided by Firearms Policy Coalition) are published below.
Fisher initially asks what happened, and if the site was taken down. DeLuz replies that the site was in the process of being moved to other servers and service providers when one (*one*) web host received the takedown demand. DeLuz added that Amazon hadn’t provided any further information and that the demand “does not appear to have any basis in law or fact.” He told Fisher that the site is receiving heavy traffic and within a few hours would have more capacity.
Fisher replies, asking how he and FPC would respond to critics who say the information allows criminals and terrorists easy access to “untraceable and unregulated firearms”? Sure, the gun groups claim it’s a free speech issue, but “what about their point”?
DeLuz rightly replied that “they [critics] don’t have a point; they have a policy preference that flies in the face of the Constitution, case law, and longstanding free speech principles.” He brings up the Anarchist’s Cookbook and asks if, following the critics’ logic, that book should be banned since publication of such material could allow it to fall into the wrong hands.
But what Fisher published tells a completely different tale, and gets easily verifiable facts wrong.
A group of California gun nuts hoping to disseminate 3D printer plans for a homemade handgun via the internet suffered a misfire Wednesday when Amazon took down their website.
A group of California gun nuts? And, aww, what a great use of gun terminology. They suffered a “misfire.” Get it? It’s not a group of gun nuts; the site clearly states the names of the non-profits behind the site.
Amazon Web Services removed the entire website called CodeisFreeSpeech.com after receiving a notice of unwanted content regarding the downloadable blueprints for “The Liberator” a 3D-printable single-shot handgun.
Only, they didn’t.
A collection of California gun advocates calling themselves the Firearms Policy Coalition stepped into the breach, creating the CodeisFreeSpeech.com site to post the downloadable gun plans.
Again, it’s not a collection of advocates “calling themselves” anything. There are four separate groups, all 501(c) nonprofits that have been legally established for years, one of which is Firearms Policy Coalition.
The group framed the website as a First Amendment, arguing they have a Constitutional right to publish the material.
On Wednesday, after be live on the internet for more than 12 hours, Amazon cut the plug.
“In order to comply with the temporary restraining order, the reported content must be taken down immediately,” according to the complaint filed with the web service.
The grammatical errors are cringeworthy. It’s as if they don’t have an editor. Beyond that, Amazon did not cut the plug. And the last line begs the question: What temporary restraining order? As FPC stated in its tweet (and multiple legal pundits have said), the order doesn’t enjoin any third parties.
“He said they are currently scrambling to find other web hosts.”
No, that is literally not what he said. He said they were already in the process of moving the information to different servers and service providers when they received the email from Amazon.
So, what do you think? Was this sloppy reporting or promoting an agenda?