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I think I read this short story online (and I think it was quitet short) around 2000. The main character has a friend who is enthusiastic about nanotechnology and has a copy of Drexler's Engines of Creation (or possibly the more technical Drexler work Nanosystems); the friend believes that whoever makes the first major breakthroughs in nanotech will have an unbeatable head start.

Then copies of the book become hard to find and the friend dies or disappears. The implication is that the head start has been achieved and the person in the lead is using nanotech to find and destroy copies of Drexler's work, and detecting trace DNA of people who have read the books, so they can be killed too.

I've checked the nanotech page at TVtropes but that doesn't list my story.

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