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DoJ Encourages Google and Apple to Identify 10,000 Users of Gun Range Application



The application in question is Obsidian 4, which controls the range of guns from American Technologies Network (ATN) Corp. There are over 10,000 downloads on Google Play and it is unknown how many times it has been downloaded through the App Store. As Forbes explains, the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is investigating the illegal export of ATN coverage. In theory, figuring out where the application is used may indicate where the hardware was delivered.

But confidentiality experts note that many innocent people could initially receive their data as part of this request. Information such as telephone numbers and IPs can be used to find users and it is difficult to say how the government can use that information. This can also set a chilling precedent for data requests from other types of applications, such as dating and health applications. Because the request is so wide, Apple and Google may struggle with it, but the fact that ICE even asked for it is a bit disconcerting.


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