3D printing is a massively disruptive technology. Sure, one can print a gun with this technology but one can build a gun if one really wants to from materials at a hardware store. “Zip guns” which are made from everyday industrial materials have been around since the gun was invented. But there is a much bigger issue in play here.
CISPA (the “cyber security bill” currently being kicked around Congress) is a dangerous piece of legislation. Like SOPA before it, which was defeated by the sheer deluge of opposition from the public, it seeks to hand ultimate control over important parts of the Internet to the federal government and would also allow the government to monitor whatever communication over the Internet that it wishes without a warrant or judicial oversight.
As I have written before the government is unlikely to stop seeking complete control over the Internet. SOPA and PIPA were stopped by people power. Now the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is moving through Congress and it will take individuals coming together again to defeat this new power grab.
The bill is broadly written and gives the government extensive power over private information online. The Electronic Frontier Foundation explains in detail what the Act will allow government to do.
“Under CISPA, private companies may spy on user communications, whether stored or in transit, and freely pass personal information to the government as long as they claim a vague ‘cybersecurity’ exception.”
And Ron Paul has sent out a call to his followers to strongly consider getting onboard with the #StopCISPA effort. He rightly fears that corporations, compelled by the government, under CISPA will become information agents for the state.
I think he’s right to fear this. Though I’ll bet that corporations likely don’t want to become government agents, if the force of law is brought to bear they will have to comply.
Disruptive technologies are just that – disruptive. Cars killed the buggy whip companies. But some of those companies probably started making auto accessories. I’ll bet even a few of them thrived. Change happens.
The point is disruption is a natural thing and one of the most important parts of a market economy. New technologies rise, and with them new leaders and new wealth, only to be replaced by newer technologies and newer leaders after that. The firms that can negotiate the transitions become legends. Those which do not become footnotes, for the most part.
American history is full of efforts by industry to protect itself from change, but dynamism in the economy need not be feared. With dynamism comes opportunity. The Motion Picture Association of America should remember this. The industry may have to change, sorry about that.
I wonder what the vaudeville lobby thought of movies back in the day? George Burns made it in both media. The geniuses in Hollywood should have no problem.