3D printed weapons put global security at risk?_PTJ Blog

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3D printed weapons put global security at risk?


The rapid development of 3D printing technology has to a certain extent enabled military opponents, violent extremists and even street criminals to easily obtain weapons, thereby putting global security at risk. They said that 3D printing technology is also vulnerable to hacker attacks, which may allow hackers to maliciously destroy 3D printer instructions and introduce defective instructions or algorithms to critical mission parts of the aircraft. Trevor Johnston, vice chairman and political scientist of the American research organization RAND Corporation, said: "When individuals prepare to use 3D printers, lone wolf attacks may become more deadly."

3D printed weapons put global security at risk

"Even in a country like the United States, gun control laws have almost no restrictions on the use of semi-automatic weapons, and additive manufacturing may increase the risk of violence and murder," Johnston said. From an economic point of view, individuals and companies that decentrally manufacture may choose to produce locally rather than import goods. Therefore, 3D printing may weaken the current international relations maintained by the complex multinational supply chain.

In turn, this may cause drastic changes in the labor market-and subsequent social conflicts. RAND's deputy economist Troy Smith said: "The unemployment of middle- and low-skilled laborers may be exacerbated by additive manufacturing, which may lead to social unrest in both developed and developing countries. The potential security impact of a large number of unemployed people is Huge.” Researchers believe that the relative risks and costs of future threats depend in part on the development and regulation of additive manufacturing hardware (printers), raw materials, and software (intellectual property). If the focus is on substance control, threat prevention will be more effective. By limiting the supply of rare or dangerous raw materials, regulators can at least ensure that some of the most destructive weapons (such as nuclear bombs) are not easily available.

By monitoring online communities, law enforcement agencies can reduce the digital communication of deadly creations to a certain extent. Unfortunately, domestic law enforcement efforts may be ineffective in this regard. Or, the law enforcement agency itself may crack the additive manufacturing software in order to undermine a potential attack or limit its destruction. Researchers warn that these precautions are likely not to prevent the spread of new risks associated with 3D printing. Supervision, export control, treaties, and law enforcement agencies can do very little to prevent a proactive, well-funded, and organized actor from finally acquiring new technology. Therefore, policymakers should pay special attention to measures to mitigate the potential impact and costs of these future threats. Although full of risks, policy makers should begin to address the severe safety issues posed by additive manufacturing.

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