The federal government could soon be accessing the private information of the thousands of people who downloaded Obsidian 4, a mobile smartphone app that pairs with rifle scopes.
According to Forbes, Google and Apple are both being ordered by the Federal government to supply user data. The demand comes as part of an investigation into illegal rifle scope purchases abroad. Forbes obtained a copy of the government order before it was hidden from public view.
“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 states.
News of the order has raised the alarm for both Second Amendment and privacy advocates who are critical of Silicon Valley. There are suspicions that, if Google and Apple comply, unrelated user data could be compromised.
“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,” privacy lawyer Tor Ekeland told Forbes. “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.”
Obsidian 4, built by ATN, pairs with a rifle scope on a mobile device, allowing users to calibrate their scope with a smartphone.
“This application connects your smart phone, or tablet, to your ATN device via Wifi,” the app’s description reads. “This connection allows you to watch a live video stream of your hunt on your smart phone or tablet. The Obsidian 4 app lets you to adjust/change the various settings on your ATN Smart scope, and review the images and videos stored on your scopes microSD card.”
Here’s Fox Optic on YouTube reviewing the app with his own rifle and scope.