TriggerFinger


Judge rules against free speech


View from North Central Idaho quoting an injunction against 3d printed gun design distributionThe private defendants raise the more substantive argument that a preliminary injunction will impair their First Amendment rights, a loss which, “for even minimal periods of time, unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury.” Elrod v. Burns, 427 U.S. 347, 373-74 (1976). The First Amendment argument raises a number of challenging issues. Is computer code speech? If yes, is it protected under the First Amendment? To answer those questions, one would have to determine what the nature of the files at issue here is: are they written and designed to interact solely with a computer in the absence of the intercession of the mind or will of the recipient or is it an expressive means for the exchange of information regarding computer programming and/or weapons manufacturing? Are the export controls of the ITAR a prior restraint giving rise to a presumption that they are unconstitutional? Is the AECA a general regulatory statute not intended to control the content of speech but only incidentally limiting its unfettered exercise? Or is the government attempting to regulate distribution of the CAD files because of the message they convey? Depending on which level of scrutiny applies, does the regulation advance important governmental interests unrelated to the suppression of free speech and avoid burdening more speech than necessary or is the regulation narrowly tailored to promote a compelling Government interest?

The judge does not seem to be aware of the PGP cases which settled the issues he raises.

This entry was published Tue Aug 28 10:22:12 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2018-08-27 23:58:34.0. [Tweet]

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