Cody Rutledge Wilson (born January 31, 1988) is an American gun-rights activist who describes himself as a crypto-anarchist,  and a  free-market anarchist. He is best known as a founder and director of  Defense Distributed, a non-profit organization that develops and publishes open source gun designs, so-called "wiki weapons", suitable for 3D printing and digital manufacture.  He is a co-founder of the Dark Wallet  bitcoin storage technology.  Defense Distributed gained international notoriety in 2013 when it published plans online for the Liberator, a functioning pistol that could be reproduced with a 3D printer.
Wired Magazine 's "Danger Room" named Wilson one of "The 15 Most Dangerous People in the World" in 2012.  In 2015 and 2017,  named Wilson one of the five most dangerous people on the Internet, Wired  and in 2019 named him one of the most dangerous people on the Internet of the decade. 
Early life and education [ edit ]
Little Rock, Arkansas, Wilson was student body president at Cabot High School in Cabot, Arkansas; he graduated in 2006.
Wilson graduated from the
University of Central Arkansas (UCA) with a bachelor's degree in English in 2010, where he had a scholarship. While at UCA, Wilson was a member of  Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and was elected president of UCA's Student Government Association. He traveled to China with UCA's study-abroad program.
In 2012, he studied at the
University of Texas School of Law, but left the university in 2013. 
Defense Distributed [ edit ]
In 2012, Wilson and associates at Defense Distributed started the
Wiki Weapon Project to raise funds for designing and releasing the files for a 3D printable gun. At the time Wilson was the project's only spokesperson; he called himself "co-founder" and "director." 
Learning of Defense Distributed's plans, manufacturer
Stratasys threatened legal action and demanded the return of a 3D printer it had leased to Wilson. On September 26, 2012, before the printer was assembled for use, Wilson received an email from Stratasys suggesting he was using the printer "for illegal purposes". Stratasys immediately canceled its lease with Wilson and sent a team to confiscate the printer. 
While visiting the office of the
ATF in Austin to inquire about legalities related to his project, Wilson was interrogated by the officers there. Six months later, he was issued a  Federal Firearms License (FFL) to manufacture and deal.
In May 2013, Wilson successfully test-fired a pistol called "the
Liberator" that reportedly was made using a Stratasys Dimension series 3D printer purchased on eBay. After test firing, Wilson released the blueprints of the gun's design online through a Defense Distributed website.  The State Department Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance demanded that Wilson remove the files, threatening prosecution for violations of the  International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).
In October 2014, Defense Distributed began selling to the public a miniature
CNC mill named Ghost Gunner for completing receivers for the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. 
On May 6, 2015, Defense Distributed and the  Second Amendment Foundation filed Defense Distributed v. U.S. Dept. of State, a constitutional challenge of the ITAR regime used to control their speech. On July 10, 2018, the State Department offered to settle this lawsuit and Wilson resumed work at  DEFCAD.
While under indictment for sexual assault in September 2018, Wilson briefly resigned from
Defense Distributed, again assuming the role of director in 2019. 
Dark Wallet [ edit ]
In 2013, Wilson, along with
Amir Taaki, began work on a Bitcoin cryptocurrency wallet called Dark Wallet,   a project by which he planned to help  anonymize financial transactions. He appeared on behalf of the Dark Wallet project at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas in 2014.
Bitcoin Foundation [ edit ]
U.S. election day, November 4, 2014, Wilson announced in an interview that he would stand for election to a seat on the Board of Directors of the Bitcoin Foundation, with "the sole purpose of destroying the Foundation." And Wilson stated: "I will run on a platform of the complete dissolution of the Bitcoin Foundation and will begin and end every single one of my public statements with that message."
Hatreon [ edit ]
Wilson launched a website in 2017 to provide crowdfunding and payment services for groups and individuals banned from platforms such as Kickstarter,
Patreon, PayPal, and Stripe. The site attracted notable alt-right and neo-Nazi figures, including Andrew Anglin and Richard B. Spencer. While Wilson said that Hatreon clients included "right-wing women, people of color, and transgender people," Bloomberg News reported that most donations went to white supremacists. According to Hannah Shearer, staff attorney at the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Hatreon users were inciting violence contrary to Hatreon's terms of service, which forbid illegal activity. 
The site claimed to have received about $25,000 a month in donations, an amount that was "doubling from month to month." Hatreon took a 5-percent cut of donations.
Within several months of Hatreon's launch,  Visa, the site's payments processor, suspended its financial services. Without the means to process payments, the site became inactive. 
Political and economic views [ edit ]
Wilson claims an array of influences from
anti-state and libertarian political thinkers, including  left-wing market anarchists such as mutualist theorist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon,   paleolibertarian anarcho-capitalists such as Austrian School economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe, and classical liberals such as Frederic Bastiat.  His political thought has been compared to the "  conservative revolutionary" ideas of Ernst Jünger. Jacob Siegel wrote that "Cody Wilson arrives at a place where left, right—and democracy—disappear" and that he oscillates "somewhere between anarch and anarchist."
Wilson is an avowed
crypto-anarchist, and has discussed his work in relation to the cypherpunks and Timothy May's vision. He frequently cites the work of  post-Marxist thinkers in public comments, especially that of  Jean Baudrillard, whom he has claimed as his "master." 
Asked during an interview with
if the Popular Science Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting affected his thinking or plans in any way, Wilson responded, "... understanding that rights and civil liberties are something that we protect is also understanding that they have consequences that are also protected, or tolerated. The exercise of civil liberties is antithetical to the idea of a completely totalizing state. That's just the way it is."
Cody Wilson discussing 3D printed guns at Liberty Forum 2014
Wilson is generally opposed to
intellectual property rights. He has indicated that although his primary goal is the subversion of state-structures, he also hopes that his contributions may help to dismantle the existing system of capitalist property relations. 
In a January 2013 interview with
Glenn Beck on the nature of and motivations behind his effort to develop and share gun 3D printable files Wilson said, "That's a real political act, giving you a magazine, telling you that it will never be taken away. ... That's real politics. That's radical equality. That's what I believe in. ... I'm just resisting. What am I resisting? I don't know, the collectivization of manufacture? The institutionalization of the human psyche? I'm not sure. But I can tell you one thing: this is a symbol of irreversibility. They can never eradicate the gun from the earth."
Underage sex charge, deportation, and sex offender registration [ edit ]
On December 28, 2018, Wilson was formally indicted for sexual assault after an encounter with a minor he met on SugarDaddyMeet, a website that matches older men with younger women.
He was accused of committing a second-degree  felony by paying a 16-year old girl $500 for sex in a hotel room in Austin, Texas in August 2018.
When the police issued a warrant for his arrest, Wilson was overseas in
Taipei, Taiwan. Wilson was deported by the Taiwanese National Immigration Agency (NIA), charged with an immigration violation, and his passport was revoked by the U.S. government.  After he was returned to the U.S. by the  United States Marshals Service on September 23, 2018, he was released on $150,000 bond from Harris County Jail in Houston, Texas. 
On August 9, 2019, Wilson pleaded guilty to one third-degree felony charge of injury to a child. He was sentenced to seven years of
probation, and required to register as a sex offender and attend sex offender therapy. The court also ordered him to complete 475 hours of community service, and pay a $1,200 fine and $4,840 in restitution. 
Bibliography [ edit ]
Come and Take It: The Gun Printer's Guide to Thinking Free (2016) Simon & Schuster, ISBN 9781476778266
Filmography [ edit ]
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
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Fallenstein, Daniel (December 27, 2012). "All markets become black". Blink. Archived from the original on January 15, 2013 . Retrieved . January 14, 2013
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Brown, Rich (September 7, 2012). "You don't bring a 3D printer to a gun fight - yet". News.yahoo.com. Archived from the original on September 24, 2012 . Retrieved . October 6, 2012
"Exclusive: How Dark Wallet's Cody Wilson hopes to use democracy to undo the Bitcoin Foundation". Upstart Business Journal. November 4, 2014. Archived from the original on November 12, 2014 . Retrieved . November 12, 2014
Morelle, Rebecca (May 6, 2013). "Working gun made with 3D printer". BBC News . Retrieved . December 7, 2020
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"The Most Dangerous People on the Internet Right Now". Wired. January 1, 2015. Archived from the original on January 9, 2015 . Retrieved . January 8, 2015
"The Most Dangerous People on the Internet in 2017". Wired. December 28, 2017. Archived from the original on July 2, 2018 . Retrieved . July 2, 2018
"The Most Dangerous People on the Internet This Decade". Wired. December 31, 2019 . Retrieved . March 3, 2020
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"Document: Cody Wilson: troll, genius, patriot, provocateur, anarchist, attention whore, gun nut or Second Amendment champion?". Cqrcengage.com. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014 . Retrieved . July 12, 2014
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Del Castillo, Michael (September 24, 2013). "Dark Wallet: A Radical Way to Bitcoin". . Archived from The New Yorker the original on September 25, 2013 . Retrieved . September 25, 2013
^ a b
Dillow, Clay (December 21, 2012). "Q+A: Cody Wilson Of The Wiki Weapon Project On The 3-D Printed Future of Firearms". Popular Science. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013 . Retrieved . January 14, 2013
Greenberg, Andy (August 23, 2012). ". 'Wiki Weapon Project' Aims To Create A Gun Anyone Can 3D-Print At Home" . Forbes Archived from the original on January 21, 2013 . Retrieved . January 14, 2013
Hotz, Alexander (November 25, 2012). "3D 'Wiki Weapon' guns could go into testing by end of year, maker claims". The Guardian. Archived from the original on October 30, 2013 . Retrieved . January 14, 2013
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Beckhusen, Robert (October 1, 2012). "3-D Printer Company Seizes Machine From Desktop Gunsmith". Wired News. Archived from the original on October 3, 2012 . Retrieved . October 4, 2012
Coldewey, Devin (October 2, 2012). "3-D printed gun project derailed by legal woes". NBC News. Archived from the original on October 2, 2012 . Retrieved . December 15, 2012
Farivar, Cyrus (March 17, 2013). "3D-printed gun maker now has federal firearms license to manufacture, deal guns". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on May 3, 2013 . Retrieved . May 7, 2013
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Rayner, Alex (May 6, 2013). "3D-printable guns are just the start, says Cody Wilson". . The Guardian Archived from the original on July 31, 2013 . Retrieved . May 6, 2013
Brown, Steven Rex (May 13, 2013). "Man who used 3-D printer to create gun hopes efforts can 'destroy the spirit of gun control itself. '" . Daily News Archived from the original on May 13, 2013 . Retrieved . May 21, 2013
Andy Greenberg (May 9, 2013). "State Department Demands Takedown Of 3D-Printable Gun Files For Possible Export Control Violations". Forbes. Archived from the original on May 19, 2013 . Retrieved . August 25, 2017
Greenberg, Andy (October 1, 2015). "The $1,200 Machine That Lets Anyone Make a Metal Gun at Home". Wired. Archived from the original on August 27, 2015 . Retrieved . September 2, 2015
Greenberg, Andy (June 3, 2015). "I Made an Untraceable AR-15 'Ghost Gun' in My Office—And It Was Easy". Wired. Archived from the original on October 20, 2016 . Retrieved . March 3, 2020
"3-D Printed Gun Lawsuit Starts the War Between Arms Control and Free Speech". WIRED. May 6, 2015. Archived from the original on August 28, 2015 . Retrieved . March 6, 2017
Greenberg, Andy (July 10, 2018). "A Landmark Legal Shift Opens Pandora's Box for DIY Guns". . Wired ISSN 1059-1028. Archived from the original on July 10, 2018 . Retrieved . July 19, 2018
"Defense Distributed's new era—Cody Wilson resigns, former arts professional steps in". Ars Technica. September 25, 2018. Archived from the original on September 25, 2018 . Retrieved . September 25, 2018
Stephens, Alain (November 20, 2019). "Despite His Criminal Record, Cody Wilson Is Back in the 3D-Printed Gun Business". The Trace . Retrieved . March 3, 2020
Greenberg, Andy (October 31, 2013). "Dark Wallet Aims To Be The Anarchist's Bitcoin App Of Choice". . Forbes Archived from the original on January 1, 2014 . Retrieved . December 31, 2013
Feuer, Alan (December 14, 2013). "The Bitcoin Ideology". . The New York Times Archived from the original on December 15, 2013 . Retrieved . December 31, 2012
"Cody Wilson: Happiness is a 3-D Printed Gun". ReasonTV - Youtube.com. April 18, 2014. Archived from the original on May 9, 2014 . Retrieved . April 19, 2014
del Castillo, Michael (November 4, 2014). "Exclusive: Cody Wilson to run for Bitcoin Foundation board, plans its destruction". American City Business Journals. Archived from the original on November 12, 2014 . Retrieved . November 12, 2014
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Popescu, Adam (December 4, 2017). "This Crowdfunding Site Runs on Hate". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on December 19, 2017 . Retrieved . December 18, 2017
Hicks, William. "MEET HATREON, THE NEW FAVORITE WEBSITE OF THE ALT-RIGHT". Newsweek. Archived from the original on October 14, 2017 . Retrieved . October 15, 2017
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"Cody Rutledge Wilson". Southern Poverty Law Center. Archived from the original on March 3, 2019 . Retrieved . February 17, 2019 Hatreon processing was suspended by Visa in November.
Michel, Casey (March 13, 2018). "White supremacists' favorite fundraising site may be imploding". . ThinkProgress Archived from the original on March 3, 2019 . Retrieved . February 17, 2019
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Steele, Chandra (May 9, 2013). "Dismantle the State: Q&A With 3D Gun Printer Cody Wilson". PC Magazine. Archived from the original on May 10, 2013 . Retrieved . May 15, 2013
Ostroff, Joshua (March 12, 2013). ". 'Wiki Weapons' Maker Cody Wilson Says 3D Printed Guns 'Are Going To Be Possible Forever '" Huffington Post. Archived from the original on May 20, 2013 . Retrieved . May 15, 2013
Siegel, Jacob (May 1, 2018). "Send Anarchists, Guns, and Money". The Baffler. Archived from the original on July 30, 2018 . Retrieved . July 7, 2018
"How This 'Crypto-Anarchist' Could Completely Destroy Gun Control". The Daily Wire. October 16, 2017. Archived from the original on July 11, 2018 . Retrieved . July 10, 2018
Moretti, Eddy (April 9, 2013). "Cody Wilson on 3D Printed Guns". VICE MEETS. Season 1. VICE. Archived from the original on July 21, 2018 . Retrieved . July 7, 2018
"Cody Wilson Wants to Destroy Your World". Wired. March 11, 2015. Archived from the original on July 8, 2018 . Retrieved . July 7, 2018
Sackur, Stephen (March 11, 2014). "Cody Wilson". BBC HARDtalk. Season 17. BBC. Archived from the original on October 14, 2018 . Retrieved . July 7, 2018
"Barack Obama Is A Grocery Clerk! A Fraud And A Salesman Used To Sell You Something On TV". . March 12, 2014. BBC Archived from the original on March 18, 2014 . Retrieved . April 12, 2014
Wilson (January 18, 2013). "Wiki Weapons Founder: "They can never eradicate the gun from the Earth. "" Glenn Beck. Archived from the original on January 5, 2019 . Retrieved . February 17, 2019
Nathan Mattise (January 3, 2019). "Texas indicts Cody Wilson on multiple counts of sexual assault of a minor". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on September 2, 2019 . Retrieved . July 6, 2019
Hsu, Tiffany (September 19, 2018). "3-D Printed Gun Promoter, Cody Wilson, Is Charged With Sexual Assault of Child". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 17, 2019 . Retrieved . December 3, 2018
Matisse, Nathan (September 21, 2018). "Taiwanese authorities arrest Cody Wilson, intend to deport him". . Ars Technica Archived from the original on September 21, 2018 . Retrieved . January 18, 2021
Lee, Yimou (September 23, 2018). "Texan running 3-D printed guns company sent back to U.S. by Taiwan authorities". Reuters. Archived from the original on January 31, 2019 . Retrieved . January 18, 2021
"3-D printed gun advocate Cody Wilson bonds out of jail in Houston after arrest in Taiwan". Houston Chronicle. September 23, 2018. Archived from the original on September 24, 2018 . Retrieved . September 24, 2018
"3D-printed gun activist Cody Wilson released from Harris County Jail". Fox 26 Houston. Archived from the original on September 24, 2018 . Retrieved . September 24, 2018
Mattise, Nathan (August 9, 2019). "Cody Wilson pleads guilty to lesser charge, will register as sex offender". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on August 12, 2019 . Retrieved . January 18, 2021
Mattise, Nathan (September 12, 2019). "Judge accepts Cody Wilson plea deal despite "sufficient evidence" of guilt". Ars Technica . Retrieved . January 31, 2021
Dickson, E. J. (May 4, 2020). ". 'TFW No GF' Is a Deeply Uncomfortable Portrayal of Incel Culture" Rolling Stone. While acknowledging that Wilson helped secure her access to some of her sources, Moyer [the director] downplays his involvement with the film...
External links [ edit ]
Click. Print. Gun." Motherboard ( VICE Media.) (March 25, 2013) (Video broadcast) "
Cody Wilson" TheBlaze.com (January 17, 2013) (Video broadcast) "
Cody Wilson: troll, genius, patriot, provocateur, anarchist, attention whore, gun nut or Second Amendment champion?" (January 9, 2014) Arkansas Times " Free Guns For Everyone! The Printable Gun with Cody Wilson." Anarchy Gumbo Podcast (One-hour audio interview, Cody's first interview, done before the printable gun existed) (August 9, 2012)