Yoshitomo Imura Ethical Issues

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A specific case of a user applying the technology in a less than ethical and certainly illegal fashion occurred in Japan recently. It was heavily covered by the Xinhua News Agency when Yoshitomo Imura, a 27 college employee living near Tokyo, was found to have five plastic guns in his home that were created through three-dimensional printing. Two of these guns were capable of firing lethal bullets (Xinhua News Agency). The case of Yoshitomo Imura in particular violated the firearm laws established in Japan, and it may only be a short matter of time before the United States and other countries around the world start seeing similar cases emerging. Legal expert Janet Gilger-Vanderzanden concludes that in the United States, it is actually legal…show more content…
A step that can be taken to begin to safeguard people against the more malicious users of the technology is to require three-dimensional printers to be registered in a database for law enforcement to use. This could give law enforcement agencies a place to start looking when three-dimensionally printed weaponry, drugs, and other paraphernalia surface. A law like this would also give similar power to those seeking to limit the power of copyright infringing printers, including those who would use the technology to print money. An alternative to this law is to have the download, modification, and utilization of computer-assisted design files monitored. For example, if a user prints two or three three-dimensionally printed guns, that user may only be trying to obtain a cheap, reliable way to protect their home. However, if a user were to print a dozen of those guns, they are more likely seeking to traffic firearms, and a red flag could be sent to law enforcement to further investigate and potentially prevent a violent, untraceable crime. The downside to this is apparent though. New files for download could be created daily. It would be extremely difficult to catch every

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