CRIMINAL THREATS OF 3D-PRINTING (DARK SIDE OF HI-TECH)
3D-printing is an emerging technology that allows to turn information into objects of the physical world. Variety of materials for three-dimensional printing (plastic, metal, wood, ceramics, molecules, living cells, etc.) creates almost unlimited opportunities for its application, and the Internet makes it accessible for a wide range of persons. Criminal law issues of 3D-printing arise in connection with its use, in particular, in the illegal manufacturing of firearms and its main parts, drugs, other controlled substances, and production of counterfeit products. For example, 3D-printed weapons cannot be detected with a metal detector, which opens up great opportunities for terrorists and increases threats to public security. Moreover, the three-dimensional bioprinting is capable to put biological weapons - "printed" pathogenic germs - into the hands of terrorists. Such concerns, combined with other ethical issues of potential use of bioprinting achievements, require special attention. In a number of foreign countries laws are already being passed that regulate the use of three-dimensional printing, establish requirements for products made with it, for example, for medical devices, prohibit manufacturing of weapons, if it or any of its parts cannot be detected with a metal detector, introduce criminal liability for the possession of digital 'blueprints' for 3D-printing of firearms. The Criminal Code of the Russian Federation is able to respond to crimes that can be committed using three-dimensional printing. In turn, criminal justice officials should be able to handle these offences correctly, based also on the knowledge of legal rules from other legal fields, such as intellectual property law, laws on weapons, narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. Others criminal law issues applicable for 3D-printing, as well as legal policy in this area in general, need to be discussed by various legal experts, including representatives of criminal law doctrine as the technology matures and spreads in Russia.