Feds Move Faster Than Defense Distributed. First BitCoin Money Laundering Case?

The Department of Homeland security have seized the defensedistributed.com and defcad.org domains because several individuals behind the site have been indicted by a grand jury for the violation of the Arms Export Control Act, violation of the Undetectable Firearms Act and conspiracy to commit money laundering and copyright infringement.

On March 16 I shared a number of concerns with the founder of Defense Distributed regarding thier new 3D printing model sharing website DefCad.org. In one email to me Cody Wilson said …

Someone gets tagged with a lawsuit perhaps, but there are many mirrors of the site running. And many lawsuits will be evaded by taking safe harbor in jurisdictions outside the US where DOJ can’t just swoop in and squelch our DNS.

Cody must have thought that the feds would move slower than they did.

The Defense Distributed and Def Cad projects were being funded with anonymous Bitcoin donations. BitCoin is an online semi-anonymous currency that has been soaring in value these past few weeks. The only money laundering that Defense Distributed might have been directly or indirectly involved in would have involved BitCoins. I can’t help but think this is all going to head in a landmark trial … which is exactly what Mr Wilson wants.

UPDATE: I just checked the DNS servers hosting the side, it looks like it is being hosted by CloudFlare, which makes me think this is an April 1 hoax.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • G

    ask the feds why Eric Holder isn’t in Jail for facilitating actions that killed Officers. Funny most government is do what we say not what we do.

    • Anonymoose

      There should be a lot more people locked up than just Holder…

  • mk32

    Note the date…..

    • noob

      April 1st?

      It’s a pretty convincing one if Mr Wilson is pulling our legs. Both sites have that logo up.

      hmm. I wonder if Cody Wilson registered a Namecoin Domain Name?

      Namecoin allows you to cryptographically secure your domain name using the same immutable blockchain technology that Bitcoin uses.

      Crypto and guns… Why does ITAR part 121 seek to regulate all the good things in life?

  • Spencer

    Lol. Now the anonymous “legion” might actually take up a right wing issue for once in their lives. Politics makes for strange bedfellows.

    • Anonymoose

      Welcome to /k/. Now git out.

  • foo

    It’s spelled “Bitcoin”. Lower case c.

  • whubbard

    April fools!

    • noob

      I really hope Mr Wilson is doing this to us. Or that it’s some kind of Homeland Security April Fools.

  • ShadowHatesYou

    This is April Fools. If you hexedit(or check EXIF) on the JPG, you’ll see:

    Adobe Photoshop 7.0.2013:04:01 00:08:33

    So, this image was made 8 minutes and 33 seconds (GMT) into April 1st.

    They’re also still behind cloudflares CDN, and not DOJ:

    > dig +short defensedistributed.com ns

  • You don’t think the feds have PhotoShop and use the same image over and over again?

    • ShadowHatesYou

      I don’t think they make the image 8 minutes and 33 seconds into April Fools, while simultaneously organizing a services takeover and lockout from Cloudflare without changing registrars/migrating the domain(which means they could just change their NS records to *not* point to cloudflare, bypassing the supposed injunction).

  • > I just checked the DNS servers hosting the side, it looks like it is being hosted by CloudFlare, which makes me think this is an April 1 hoax.


  • april fools joke but it does illustrate their need for the community to mirrior the project incase something like this happens.

    While their content is not illegal it could be possible in the future they are infiltrated by shady setup guys and get entrapped/setup

    • totenglocke

      Exactly. Every time that they update their files, they need to upload them as a torrent on sites like The Pirate Bay so that they can live on (essentially) forever. Having offsite storage for backups would be smart too.

  • B.

    Cody Wilson does have the proper license needed to manufacture and sell 3d printed firearms. http://www.theverge.com/2013/3/17/4115652/defense-distributed-gets-federal-firearms-license

  • While I think this is probably an aprils Fool’s day prank the DNS and Whois listings don’t prove/disprove anything. Many of the seized domains during the 2011 IP crackdown still list the same whois info and nameservers as they did preseizure, and still show the DOJ artwork. (http://torrentfreak.com/feds-seize-130-domain-names-in-mass-crackdown-111125/)

    Also, even if Defense Distributed (and DefCad) do go down, the files are all available on ThePirateBay.se in the “Physibles” section.

  • Seriously, the April fools jokes on firearms sites need to stop. We are in the fight of our lifetimes… not much time to spread around disinformation. This kind of thing just keeps circulating the net and will be the subject of 30 emails I will get next week from different lists.

    • n0truscotsman

      Most of the stuff being introduced or coming down the pipeline is worse than a april fools joke. I completely agree.

      These are bad times.

    • Jeffersonian

      Yeah ditto. Can’t tell the bloody difference anymore.

  • Mike Knox

    Those damn epileptic trees again..

  • Wish they would move this fast working on the economy

    • futboller04

      you’ve proven your ignorance by thinking they can fix it

  • T.

    Take nothing seriously on April 1st. My mother could call telling me that a refrigerator fell on her and I wouldn’t lift a finger until she called again April 2nd.

  • L

    Just checked the national PACER database of federal cases (paywall); no indications of any case filed against Cody. I call April Fools on this.

  • David Hinerman

    As expected, the “takedown” didn’t last long. Both sites are accessible now.