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(AUSTIN, Texas) — The owner of a Texas company that sells plans to make untraceable 3-D printed guns was back in the U.S. Sunday after being arrested in Taiwan, where police say he flew after learning he was being investigated for allegedly having sex with an underage girl.
The U.S. Marshals Service said 30-year-old Cody Wilson was booked into Harris County Jail in Houston early Sunday and was being held on $150,000 bond. It wasn’t immediately clear if he had an attorney yet.
He was arrested Friday at a hotel in Taiwan by local police. He is facing sexual assault charges in Austin, according to a statement from the U.S. Marshals service.
Authorities say Wilson met the girl through the website SugardDaddyMeet.com. According to an affidavit, the girl said they met in the parking lot of an Austin coffee shop in August and then drove to a hotel. The girl told investigators that Wilson paid her $500 after they had sex and then dropped her off at a Whataburger restaurant.
Wilson is the owner of Austin-based Defense Distributed. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia had sued the Trump administration to dissolve a settlement it reached with the company over allowing it to disseminate its designs for making a 3D-printable gun. The lawsuit by mostly Democratic state attorneys general argued that such weapons could be used by criminals or terrorists.
A federal court last month barred Wilson from posting the designs online for free. He then began selling them for any amount of money to U.S. customers through his website.
Wilson, a self-described “crypto-anarchist,” has said “governments should live in fear of their citizenry.”
Law enforcement officials worry the guns are easy to conceal and are untraceable since there’s no requirement for the firearms to have serial numbers. Gun industry experts have said the printed guns are a modern method of legally assembling a firearm at home without serial numbers.
The Federal Communications Commission has obstinately hidden information concerning its system for gathering public input about its unpopular plan to kill net neutrality amid signs of Russian manipulation of the comment procedure, according to a New York Times lawsuit.
Freedom of Information Act requests by the newspaper concerning the comment system were turned down repeatedly by the FCC as the Times attempted to investigate possible influence by Russia after huge numbers of comments were linked to Russian emails.
Stonewalling by the FCC has made the American public the “victim of an orchestrated campaign by the Russians to corrupt the notice-and-comment process and undermine an important step in the democratic process of rule-making,” states the Times’ lawsuit, which was filed Thursday in U.S.District Court in the Southern District of New York.
The agency also ignored similar demands — at least nine times — from the New York attorney general last year as that office investigated millions of suspicious comments.
The FCC voted last year to end net neutrality, upending the American internet system. The change allows internet service providers to block, slow down, or charge extra for certain content.
The FCC’s bungled comment procedure has long been the target of criticism. As many as 2 million comments were fraudulently submitted in other people’s names without their knowledge, and the system was overrun with bots, a favorite tool of the Russians. The system also crashed for a period of time as the FCC was overwhelmed by a massive number of comments supporting net neutrality.
FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel revealed in an Op-Ed after the comment debacle that the commission received half a million comments from Russian email addresses, and nearly 8 million comments from email domains associated with FakeMailGenerator.com — all with nearly the exact same wording.
A cyber-security company in July issued a report linking FCC comment emails to Russian email addresses named in indictments of Russians and Russian companies as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into foreign interference in the 2016 presidential election, according to the Times’ suit.
The Times initially filed a request in June 2017 for FCC server logs linked to the system for accepting public comments. The request, the Times stated in the lawsuit, “involves records that will shed light on the extent to which Russian nationals and agents of the Russian government have interfered with the agency notice-and-comment process about a topic of extensive public interest.”
The FCC refused, saying that fulfilling such a request would breach the privacy of people sending comments, would put security practices at risk and would be overly burdensome.
Public comments are open to public review — or identifying information can easily be redacted, the Times argued. It also pared back its request — a number of times — to reduce any security risk and the burden of fulfilling the request.
The paper finally filed suit after being stonewalled by the FCC for over a year.
“We are disappointed that The New York Times has filed suit to collect the commission’s internal web server logs — logs whose disclosure would put at jeopardy the commission’s ... security practices for its Electronic Comment Filing System,” an FCC representative told Ars Technica.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
During an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” the Senate Judiciary Committee member said he needed more evidence to believe Blasey’s allegation that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and groped her during a high school party in the 1980s.
“What do you expect me to do? What am I supposed to do? Go ahead and ruin this guy’s life? I don’t know when it happened, I don’t where it happened, and everybody being named in regard to being there said it didn’t happen,” Graham said when asked if he’s keeping an open mind about Kavanaugh’s nomination.
“Unless there’s something more, no, I’m not going to ruin Judge Kavanaugh’s life over this,” the South Carolina Republican added. “But she should come forward, she should have her say, she will be respectfully treated.”
After days of negotiations and uncertainty, the Senate Judiciary Committee and Blasey’s attorneys on Saturday reached a tentative agreement for the California psychology professor to publicly testify at a hearing on Thursday. The committee’s staff is expected to continue negotiating details of the hearing with Blasey’s legal team on Sunday. Republicans, however, have so far resisted her demands to allow the questioning of additional alleged witnesses at the hearing.
Four people Blasey initially cited to have attended the party in question have issued statements saying they don’t have any recollection of the alleged incident. On Saturday, a lawyer for a longtime friend of Blasey’s named Leland Keyser said she “does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present.”
Before she went public with her allegation, however, Blasey told The Washington Post she did not think Keyser would remember the party because nothing remarkable had happened there, as far as Keyser was aware.
“It’s no surprise, if another person was … in the house that night and had no occurrence like the one that was stated by Dr. Ford, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t even remember that party scene 36 years ago,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”
Mark Judge, a friend of Kavanaugh’s who Blasey said was also in the room when the alleged incident took place, also said he had “no memory” of it.
Democrats said that dismissive statements like the one from Graham on Sunday illustrated the need for an FBI investigation into the alleged incident.
“That’s the way the Senate Republicans have set this up: Do you believe her or do you believe him? That is exactly why we’ve been pressing for an FBI investigation,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
The Washington senator noted that the Senate Judiciary Committee allowed additional witnesses and an FBI investigation during the 1991 hearing focusing on Anita Hill’s accusations of sexual harassment by then-nominee Clarence Thomas, who now sits on the Supreme Court.
“The Senate Republicans have predetermined the outcome ... that this will be a he said, she says, by taking that away,” Murray added.
Last week, Graham suggested proceeding to a vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination “as soon as possible” because a longer process would be “not about finding the truth, but delaying the process till after the midterm elections.”
As of now, Republicans are still planning on holding a committee vote to send the nomination to the full Senate later this month.
This story has been updated with comments from Sen. Dick Durbin.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.