Google and Amazon have taken steps to
censor gun-related topics on their platforms, but they still make it
easy for would-be terrorists to find instructions for building pipe
Florida man Cesar Sayoc Jr. on Friday for sending explosive
devicesto a number of high-profile Democrats, including former
President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and
billionaire Democratic donor George
A packaged addressed to former CIA
Director John Brennan was also sent to CNN, though Brennan is actually
an MSNBC contributor. (RELATED:
Chuck Todd Says Mail Bombs ‘Could Be Some Sort Of Russian Operation)
Sayoc Jr. Photo: Broward Sheriff Office
Investigators believe the bomb-maker
got their designs from the internet, Reuters reported Thursday
evening, citing a law enforcement source. It’s also possible that
the bomb-maker drew from The Anarchist Cookbook, which includes
instructions for a variety of weapons and explosives, the source said.
In August, Amazon banned
the sale of a book that contained the code for a 3D-printed
gun, but the online retailer still sells copies of The Anarchist
And Google’s first page of search
results for pipe-bomb making instructions includes a text file with
instructions written by Columbine shooter Eric Harris.
“Pipe bombs are some of the easiest and
deadliest ways to kill a group of people,” Harris wrote. He recommended
using shrapnel “if you want to kill and injure a lot of people.”
YouTube, which is owned by Google,
announced in March that it would ban
videos with instructions for assembling guns.
A Google spokeswoman said the company
removes information from search only in certain circumstances, including
if a court has deemed it illegal. No court has ruled the Harris
instructions to be illegal, the spokeswoman pointed out.
Amazon did not return a request for
None of the explosive devices Sayoc
allegedly sent to high-profile figures exploded. It’s unclear if that
was by design or the result of shoddy workmanship.