Jun 29, 2017 | By Tess

In a recent address to the United Nations Security Council, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu spoke about the potential threats that new technologies, such as 3D printing, unmanned aerial vehicles, and the dark web, could have in enabling terrorist organizations and groups to access and obtain weapons of mass destruction.

In the speech, Nakamitsu called for stronger cooperation within the international community and for nations to “step up” their prevention efforts.

“The possibility of non-State actors, including terrorists, acquiring weapons of mass destruction remains a significant threat to global security, and the international community must step up its efforts to ensure that the disastrous scenario of WMD terrorism is avoided,” she explained.

While no explicit dangers of 3D printing were brought up, Nakamitsu was more generally suggesting that accessible technologies such as additive manufacturing and drones are part of a broader globalization trend that generally favors economic growth and development but also increases mobility of materials, technologies, and scientific research—any of which could end up in the wrong hands.

"While there are still significant technical hurdles that terrorist groups need to overcome to effectively use weapons of mass destruction, a growing number of emerging technologies could make this barrier easier to cross," Nakamitsu added. ”Several new areas of concern emerged, such as the use unmanned aerial vehicles, 3D printers, and the exploitation of the so-called dark web.”

The way to combat these threats, she said, will be to open up an international dialogue between governments and industry as well as to increase cooperation and information-sharing between the security organizations of various countries. A real global effort, in other words.

Authorities around the globe have become increasingly wary of 3D printing, as people have used the technology to create makeshift firearms (as we’ve seen in Sweden and Australia, for instance). And while there doesn’t seem to be conclusive evidence that a fully 3D printed gun could actually function, the fact that people are trying to create unregistered firearms is seen as worrying by some.

That being said, the UN address was more specifically talking about the increased access to weapons of mass destruction, for which 3D printing would appear to be far less useful. Still, and this is speculation, 3D printers could feasibly be used to create specific parts for weapons that might be difficult to obtain.

Ultimately, we suppose it is more the combination of 3D printing, UAVs, and the dark web that could pose a threat, as the latter could give terrorists the means to access equipment and materials necessary for creating WMDs.

Nakamitsu’s presentation was part of a UN Security Council meeting on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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SpyerSecol wrote at 7/3/2017 8:35:25 AM:

More fear mongering and finger pointing knee-jerk reactions from less informed people in the government who are incapable or unwilling to actually learn about what they are talking about. Do you know that some people in the government think that a Magazine (for holding bullets in a firearm) magically goes away when it is emptied? That is why they think that the ban on high capacity magazines will make us all safer. These are the people you put in charge. VOTE THEM OUT!

Mike wrote at 7/1/2017 11:29:00 AM:

True, new technology is scary. I remember some officials proposed to ban the Ford T, because you could commit a crime and getaway really fast :)

kr_ wrote at 6/29/2017 10:17:03 PM:

Bhouuu the mass destruction shadow is on you! you shall spend billions more on defense to help us messing up the planet some more... Seriously what's this news doing here? And the very matching plastic printer picture lol

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