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U.S. Government Orders Apple and Google to Identify Users of a Gun Scope App
Posted by: hal
Date: September 06, 2019 05:18PM
I find this disturbing news...

The U.S. government has ordered Apple and Google to disclose the names, phone numbers, and other information for "at least" 10,000 users of a gun scope app, reports Forbes.

An order filed from the Department of Justice requests info on people who use Obsidian 4, an app that controls rifle scopes made by American Technologies Network Corp. The app is designed to let gun owners get a live stream, take video, and calibrate their gun scope using a smartphone.

Apple, Google, and scope maker ATN did not respond to Forbes' request for comment. The government is seeking the names and IP addresses of anyone who downloaded the scope app from August 1, 2017 to the current date.

Apple hasn't received a similar request in the United States before, but an unnamed government previously requested data on 58 million users of a single app in a terrorist investigation, and Apple declined to provide the data. It's not yet clear if Apple and Google will comply with the request in this case.



Oh and I suppose it could be used to record your mass murder spree too...

[www.macrumors.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/06/2019 09:11PM by hal.
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Re: U.S. Government Orders Apple and Google to Identify Users of a Gun Scope App
Posted by: deckeda
Date: September 06, 2019 05:34PM
I didn't read this story but it doesn't seem plausible the feds are looking to "learn" something about [would-be killers?].

Seems more likely a trial ballon over something "seemingly reasonable" in order to make an easier request for some other type of personal info, later.
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Re: U.S. Government Orders Apple and Google to Identify Users of a Gun Scope App
Posted by: timg
Date: September 06, 2019 07:23PM
got link?



Skill without imagination is craftsmanship. Imagination without skill is Modern Art.
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Re: U.S. Government Orders Apple and Google to Identify Users of a Gun Scope App
Posted by: hal
Date: September 06, 2019 09:11PM
Quote
timg
got link?

sorry - forgot...

[www.macrumors.com]
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Re: U.S. Government Orders Apple and Google to Identify Users of a Gun Scope App
Posted by: Blankity Blank
Date: September 07, 2019 08:17AM
So, according to AppleInsider, this is purportedly part of a specific investigation, not just an arbitrary fishing expedition.

”The DOJ is issuing the order to assist in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigation of illegal exports of ATN scopes. According to the filing, which has since been sealed, investigators hope to use app user data to determine where the hardware was shipped, including to countries that lack proper International Traffic in Arms Regulation licenses.

ATN is not under investigation, meaning a third party is responsible the illegal export activity.

"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 order reads.


Noteworthy, for sure, but this may be a tough call to make from the outside looking in. To say that there is no shortage of examples of government overreach is an exercise in understatement, but I do have a small post-it on my box of red flags that reminds me that not every single action taken is part of that proclivity.

This is one where I’ll need more information or may even be content to let the can get kicked a little further down the road and see what shakes out as investigators, attorneys on both sides and watchdogs do their respective things.
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Re: U.S. Government Orders Apple and Google to Identify Users of a Gun Scope App
Posted by: deckeda
Date: September 07, 2019 12:00PM
And finding owner info from the maker of the hardware and/or distributors is harder to do than from a software store. This is low hanging fruit (except for the pesky privacy issue) since legislators won’t let there be clear and reliable ownership data about who buys arms.

Investigation “assist” is correct: it’s a fishing exercise brought on by a lack of getting the paper trail upfront.
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