Cody Rutledge Wilson (born January 31, 1988) is an American crypto-anarchist, , and activist, best known as a founder/director of , a organization that develops and publishes open source gun designs, so-called “wiki weapons”, suitable for . He is a co-founder of the Dark Wallet bitcoin storage technology.
gained international notoriety in 2013 when it published plans online for the , a functioning pistol that could be reproduced with a 3D printer. Wilson is regarded as one of America’s most influential gun rights advocates, and ‘s “Danger Room” named him one of “The 15 Most Dangerous People in the World” in 2012. In 2015, named Wilson the fifth most dangerous person on the Internet.
Early life and education
Originally from , Wilson was at in ; he graduated in 2006.
Wilson graduated from the (UCA) with a in in 2010, where he had a . While at UCA, Wilson was a member of and was elected president of UCA’s . He also traveled to China with UCA’s study-abroad program.
He is a former student
In 2012, Wilson and associates at Defense Distributed initiated the Wiki Weapon Project to raise funds for designing and releasing the files for a 3D printable gun. Wilson is, to date, the only spokesperson on behalf of the organization, of which he describes himself as “co-founder” and “director”.
Learning of his organization’s plans, manufacturer threatened legal action and demanded the return of a 3D printer it had leased to Wilson. Stratasys immediately cancelled its lease with Wilson and sent a team to confiscate the printer the next day.
While visiting the enforcement office in Austin to inquire about legalities related to his project, Wilson was subsequently interrogated by the officers there.
In May 2013, Wilson successfully test-fired a pistol, called “the “, reportedly made by a Stratasys Dimension series 3D printer bought on . The State Department Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance then demanded that he remove it, threatening prosecution. They claimed he was violating regulations against the international export of unapproved arms.
On May 6, 2015, Defense Distributed and the gun rights group the filed a lawsuit against the State Department claiming a violation of their first amendment rights to free speech.
In 2013, Wilson, along with Amir Taaki, began work on a Bitcoin cryptocurrency wallet called ‘Dark Wallet’, a project by which he plans to help anonymize financial transactions. He appeared in support of the ‘Dark Wallet’ project at the in in 2014, speaking to publications such as .
On , 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.”
In 2017, Wilson launched , a crowdfunding site similar to . It is notable for featuring controversial personalities and .
Political and economic views
Wilson claims an array of influences from and political thinkers, including leftist like the scholar , such as the scholar , and including .
On American gun politics
Asked during an interview with if the had affected his thinking or plans in any way, Wilson responded:<blockquote>“… 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.”</blockquote>
Journalist of described Wilson as “more than just a gun guy”, adding that Wilson may be “right about how it has to end: the people will have the power.”
- Come and Take It: The Gun Printer’s Guide to Thinking Free (2016) Simon & Schuster
- After Newtown: Guns in America (2013)
- Deep Web (2015)
- No Control (2015)
- The New Radical (2017)