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Related commentary: Emerging military and security technologies

3D-printable guns and why export controls on technical data matter

New developments in the 3D-printable gun case have revived the debate on the dangers of 3D-printing of firearms and the sharing of their electronic blueprints online. While these developments may only have a limited immediate impact on the proliferation of small arms, this approach has the potential to undermine controls on 3D printing and export controls on technical data more broadly.

Russia’s anti-satellite test should lead to a multilateral ban

On 15 November, Russia conducted a direct-ascent anti-satellite (DA-ASAT) test, destroying one of its own space objects, a defunct satellite, in low-earth orbit. The test captured international attention and was quickly and widely condemned as threatening and irresponsible—not least for the cloud of lethal, uncontrollable debris it created, which will endanger both space assets and human spaceflight for years to come.