Washington, DC — In an unprecedented move, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has ordered Silicon Valley giants Google and Apple to turn over a list identifying more than ten thousand users who have downloaded a gun scope app called Obsidian 4.
The order was made public yesterday, September 5th.
The app is used in conjunction with gun scopes made by American Technologies Network Corp—a company that specializes in night vision and other optics.
When used in conjunction with one of their scopes, the Obsidian 4 app is a tool that can live stream to the gun owner, record video of shots taken with the scope, and be used to make live adjustments to the scope from their phone.
And the government isn’t just asking for a list of names, but also phone numbers and any identifying information collected by Google and Apple.
They specifically mentioned IP addresses, so they could get a physical location on users.
Think: they’re getting more than enough data to all but get them inside your front door.
The D.O.J order claims that they need access to this private information so they can track whether some of the guns are being trafficked across the border by illegal immigrants, or if the Taliban is using them overseas, etc.
They mentioned that ICE, specifically, thinks that gun export laws are being violated by illegal immigrants back to countries in South America.
That sounds plausible, and from a public relations perspective, is a genius way to phrase it.
After all, the fastest way to keep gun owners from being outraged at this gross overreach is to claim that ICE needs our help to track down violent illegal immigrants and to monitor the Taliban for trafficking guns.
But it’s not going to work.
A Government Fishing Trip:
Without looking for a specific name of a specific target, or even a specific crime to pinpoint, the DOJ is essentially on a fishing expedition.
And their prize catch will be the private information of tens of thousands of innocent people who haven’t been accused, much less tried or convicted, any crime.
If they can get this data on this flimsy of an excuse, it sets a terrible precedent.
The next time somebody uses ammo purchased online to commit a crime, the Federal Government can demand a list from Google of anybody who has purchased ammo online.
Google and Apple haven’t handed over the data as of this morning, but when you consider the openly anti-gun position these companies have taken in the past, it’s hard to imagine they’ll hold out.
Still, they may realize that this is an egregious violation of privacy.
If there was enough backlash on the privacy aspect alone, that could make them hesitate.
Either way, if you use Obsidian 4, best to assume that the government will shortly have your information.
If you plan to use your scope to do any work for the cartel in South America or to go volunteer to fight with the Taliban, you might want to delete your app.
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