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Are they coming for you? Maybe…if you own a rifle and a gun scope, and use the scope control app called Obsidian 4, the federal government wants to know who you are and where you live.


Apple and Google have been ordered by Big Brother the government to hand over personal data including names, phone numbers and other personal data on anyone who has downloaded the Obsidian 4 app made by night vision specialist American Technologies Network Corp  (ATN), as you may know (because you already use it), allows you to get a live stream, take video and calibrate your gun scope from the app on your phone.

The order would affect thousands of users who have downloaded the app for Android and Apple phones. The number of users could be at least 10,000 and probably more. Like you, we’re wondering why the heck the Feds need to know this.

According to, “The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) department is seeking information as part of a broad investigation into possible breaches of weapons export regulations. It’s looking into illegal exports of ATN’s scope, though the company itself isn’t under investigation, according to the order. As part of that, investigators are looking for a quick way to find out where the app is in use, as that will likely indicate where the hardware has been shipped.”


The order was supposed to have been kept sealed – i.e. secret from unsuspecting, innocent gun enthusiasts, but it was obtained by Forbes (thank you) before it could be hidden.


The order says in part, “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.”


It’s not clear from the order exactly who is being investigated, and no public charges have been made. They’re keeping it vewy vewy quiet. And it was meant to stay that way.


“Apple and Google have been told to hand over not just the names of anyone who downloaded the scope app from August 1, 2017 to the current date, but their telephone numbers and IP addresses too, which could be used to determine the location of the user. The government also wants to know when users were operating the app.”

The problem is, while there MAY be bad guys who have used the app and attempted to export the rifle scope, thousands of the app users are completely innocent.

It’s chilling to think Google and Apple could be forced to hand over ‑ in secret — all of your personal data and usage habits simply because you downloaded a cool app for your new scope.


Of course, it begs the question what ELSE has the government been snooping on that we never know about?


That aside, the current question is will the tech giants cave on this one? We strongly doubt they have much interest in protecting the interest of long gun owners — or any gun owners in general. The order is unprecedented, and will certainly set a terrible precedent if carried out.


So far, neither Google nor Apple has responded. We shall see.


You think “universal background checks” are troubling? Hoo-boy.




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