The federal government is requesting data from Apple and Google for users of a gun scope app, in an unprecedented power-grab that would violate the privacy rights of thousands of individuals as apart of a gun control crackdown by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Forbes broke the story earlier today. The DOJ filed an application for a court order on Thursday to obtain information regarding Obsidian 4, an app devised by American Technologies Network Corp (ATN) to modify gun scopes.
Obsidian 4 allows users to live stream, record video, and adjust their gun scope using an Android or IPhone device. It has over 10,000 users on Android, with the number of users being unknown on IPhone. The DOJ wants access to all of these records to investigate possible violations of federal weapons export rules.
Privacy rights advocates believe that this move is unconstitutional and would set a dangerous precedent that could be used to profile law-abiding citizens.
“Such orders need to be based on suspicion and be particularized—this is neither,” said Edin Omanovic, who runs Privacy International’s State Surveillance program, adding that the move is a sweep of “huge amounts of innocent people’s personal data.”
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is investigating multiple reports of illegal exports of the ATN’s scope and believes that having access to the data will allow them to see where it is being shipped. ICE is using their resources to enforce regulations under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), when those resources could be used to detain and deport illegal immigrants flooding across the U.S. southern border.
“This pattern of unlawful, attempted exports of this rifle scope in combination with the manner in which the ATN Obsidian 4 application is paired with this scope manufactured by Company A supports the conclusion that the information requested herein will assist the government in identifying networks engaged in the unlawful export of this rifle scope through identifying end users located in countries to which export of this item is restricted,” the DOJ order reads.
If the order is approved, Apple and Google would hand over users of the app and potentially their IP addresses and telephone numbers to authorities. While the DOJ and ICE may be well-intentioned, this type of infringement could be used to gain intelligence about lawful gun owners under a Democratic administration.
“The danger is the government will go on this fishing expedition, and they’ll see information unrelated to what they weren’t looking for and go after someone for something else,” attorney and privacy rights advocate Tor Ekeland said.
“There’s a more profound issue here with the government able to vacuum up a vast amount of data on people they have no reason to suspect have committed any crime. They don’t have any probable cause to investigate, but they’re getting access to data on them,” Ekeland added.
Liberal-dominated San Francisco has already declared the National Rifle Association (NRA) to be a terrorist organization in a resolution passed earlier this week.
“The National Rifle Association spreads propaganda that misinforms and aims to deceive the public about the dangers of gun violence,” the resolution reads.
The Trump administration may be opening up Pandora’s Box with this overreaching move to enforce federal gun control regulations.
“NFAC” Militia Leader Grand Master Jay Shows His Pitiful Knowledge of Firearms
This was laughable.
The leader of the black nationalist “Not F****** Around Coalition,” self-titled “Grand Master Jay,” (real name John Fitzgerald Johnson) demonstrates a poor knowledge of firearms in a new video of the militia leader.
The NFAC is a black militia group that actively supports secession from the United States, and has engaged in several armed protests for purposes of political intimidation. The group went viral for an armed march at Stone Mountain, Georgia, in which they hailed and hassled motorists.
Twitter user and firearms enthusiast @LouisvilleGun published the video of Grand Master Jay on Wednesday morning, in which he makes a series of false claims about an AR-15 style rifle.
Leader of the “Not F****** Aroind Coalition” shows off his firearms expertise. Remember, he’s a “highly trained shooter.” pic.twitter.com/bPUKdxPRRO
— Richard (@Wildman_AZ) July 29, 2020
First, the Grand Master makes the claim that the AR-15 rifle he’s holding is a “bullpup.” A bullpup rifle’s magazine is placed behind its trigger group in proximity to the shooter. An AR rifle is not a bullpup rifle.
Johnson calls the rifle an “XR-15 shorty,” and claims that he bought the gun in 1990 in Germany. Firearms imported from Germany aren’t unheard of in American civilian ownership, but the rifle looks much more like an American-made Colt AR rifle.
Jay then goes on to demonstrate closing the caught bolt of the rifle by applying force to the stock. But he falsely claims that such an action will fire a live round from the rifle, when in reality it’ll just place a round in the chamber. Only the trigger can fire the rifle. Johnson also says this form of negligent discharge can happen when the safety is activated.
Perhaps most strangely, the militia leader goes on to claim that recruits in basic training for the armed services accidentally kill themselves on the regular through setting off that exact form of impossible negligent discharge and shooting themselves in the head. There’s no reason to believe that has ever happened, and if it did, it would almost assuredly be a major scandal leading to scrutiny of the military’s training practices.
An armed protestor of the NFAC shot three of his own demonstrators through a negligent discharge at a recent Louisville, Kentucky event. Maybe Grand Master Jay should’ve taught him more fundamental gun safety instead of incorrectly teaching that you can fire an AR-15 merely by closing the bolt of the rifle with a loaded magazine.
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