This is just one more example of the genius and prescience of the founders. Just where would be without the Bill of Rights?
from the Federalist:
DOJ Lawsuit Demands Names Of All People Who Use This App For Their Gun
Creeping government control is nothing new, but the DOJ’s recent disregard for the Second and Fourth Amendments shows old protections against abuses of power will wear thin without public vigilance.
The Bill of Rights was written for a reason. As the government attempts to violate the rights protected in it in new and different ways, it gives us more reasons to be thankful for its authors’ wisdom.
Last week, we saw another example of this as the Department of Justice (DOJ) tried to violate the Fourth Amendment while stepping on the Second Amendment by demanding that the manufacturer of a rifle scope give the department the names of everyone who downloaded an app connected with the product. Correctly, the manufacturer has refused to do so.
The story almost did not make it into the news: DOJ’s order was supposed to have been sealed, but Thomas Brewster, a cybersecurity reporter for Forbes, was able to view a copy before it was concealed. His story on the DOJ request shed some light on the heavy-handed tactics the government uses in secret to violate the people’s constitutionally protected civil rights. That the order was almost kept hidden from the public also raises the question of how often this has happened before and how many companies have given the feds what they’ve demanded.
The DOJ Is Violating the Bill of Rights
The company in question, American Technologies Network (ATN), manufactures scopes and has developed the Obsidian 4 app. The app allows users to connect the scopes to their phone to better calibrate them. It also allows them to record video and to livestream the view.
Nothing about this violates any federal or state law, and the product is popular. It had more than 10,000 downloads when the story broke last week, and according to the reviews on Google Play, many more people have since downloaded it in protest.
The government’s interest in the app comes because of its investigation into the suspected exporting of the scope to foreign countries. Under the Arms Export Control Act of 1976, the government requires licenses to export arms, which presumably includes accessory items such as scopes. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the State and Commerce Departments have some overlapping jurisdiction, depending on the type of weapon. Immigration and Customs Enforcement seems to be the lead agency on this particular action, as a part of its larger “Project Shield America” initiative.