Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Federal Government Continues to Prove it Can’t be Trusted with Gun Owner Data

Monday, August 30, 2021

Federal Government Continues to Prove it Can’t be Trusted with Gun Owner Data

The federal government has rarely made a habit of covering itself in glory, but in recent weeks it seems determined to engender mistrust among the American public. In only the last month, three fresh examples of the federal governments inability to secure sensitive data have come to light. These examples of official incompetence have once again made clear that the federal government cannot be trusted with gun owner data.

Federal bureaucrats and gun control advocates have made clear that they want the government to maintain more information on firearms and firearm owners. ATF routinely whines about how the out-of-business dealer records (4473s) housed at the National Tracing Center have not been converted into a digitized searchable format. ATF director nominee and paid gun control lobbyist David Chipman has called for the federal registration of tens of millions of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms.

Gun rights advocates understand that collection of gun and gun owner data facilitates firearm confiscation. In addition to several notable instances in foreign countries, registration records were used to confiscate firearms in New York City in 1991 and 2013. Prominent U.S. politicians such as President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) have all called for gun confiscation. National Council to Control Handguns (now Brady) Chairman Nelson Pete” Shields acknowledged registration as a prerequisite to handgun confiscation.

However, the ever-present threat of confiscation is not the only compelling argument against the government collecting data on guns and gun owners. The federal governments impotence in safeguarding data is a constant threat to gun owner privacy.

In June, NRA-ILA directed gun owner attention to an Internal Revenue Service leak of the private tax returns of several wealthy Americans. The incident proved that political actors within the federal government will break the law by leaking sensitive information in order to advance an ideological goal. Given the political debate surrounding firearm ownership, gun owners could expect similar malicious treatment were the government empowered to collect firearm data.

The latter half of summer has only bolstered this thesis.

On August 16, a security researcher posted an item to Linkedin.com in which he explained how he discovered a terrorist watchlist containing 1.9 million records online without a password or any other authentication required to access it.”

According to the researcher,

The watchlist came from the Terrorist Screening Center, a multi-agency group administered by the FBI. The TSC maintains the country's no-fly list, which is a subset of the larger watchlist. A typical record in the list contains a full name, citizenship, gender, date of birth, passport number, no-fly indicator, and more.

As NRA-ILA and the American Civil Liberties Union have repeatedly pointed out, the terrorist watchlist is rife with inaccuracies and inclusion on the list occurs without due process and bears little relation to the threat an individual might pose. Expressing a similar understanding, the security researcher noted, The terrorist watchlist is made up of people who are suspected of terrorism but who have not necessarily been charged with any crime. In the wrong hands, this list could be used to oppress, harass, or persecute people on the list and their families.”

On August 21, Fox News reported that the State Department was hit by a cyber attack. According to the news outlets source, The State Department is the latest to fall victim to a cyber-attack and notifications of a possible serious breach were made by the Department of Defense Cyber Command.”

Fox News was not provided information on the extent of the breach. However, Fox reported that news of the breach comes just weeks after a Senate Homeland Security Committee report rated the departments overall information security program as a "D" – the lowest possible rating within the federal governments model.

Also in mid-August, reports began to surface that during the U.S. pullout of Afghanistan sensitive data may have fallen into the Talibans hands. Some fear that included in this potential data trove is information that would help the Taliban identify and retaliate against individuals who assisted U.S. and Coalition forces.

Reuters reported,

Thousands of Afghans struggling to ensure the physical safety of their families after the Taliban took control of the country have an additional worry: that biometric databases and their own digital history can be used to track and target them.

The news outlet went on to explain,

After years of a push to digitise databases in the country, and introduce digital identity cards and biometrics for voting, activists warn these technologies can be used to target and attack vulnerable groups.

“We understand that the Taliban is now likely to have access to various biometric databases and equipment in Afghanistan,” the Human Rights First group wrote on Twitter on Monday.

“This technology is likely to include access to a database with fingerprints and iris scans, and include facial recognition technology,” the group added.

In an item titled The Taliban Have Seized U.S. Military Biometric Devices,” journalists from The Intercept reported a similarly dire scenario. The outlet noted,

The Taliban have seized U.S. military biometrics devices that could aid in the identification of Afghans who assisted coalition forces, current and former military officials have told The Intercept.

The devices, known as HIIDE, for Handheld Interagency Identity Detection Equipment, were seized last week during the Taliban’s offensive, according to a Joint Special Operations Command official and three former U.S. military personnel, all of whom worried that sensitive data they contain could be used by the Taliban. HIIDE devices contain identifying biometric data such as iris scans and fingerprints, as well as biographical information, and are used to access large centralized databases.

The news organization also explained,

the U.S. didn’t only collect information about criminals and terrorists; the government appears to also have been collecting biometrics from Afghans assisting diplomatic efforts, in addition to those working with the military.

The federal government has collected biometric data from Afghans despite knowing the risks entailed by maintaining large databases of personal information, especially given recent cyberattacks on government agencies and private companies.

The federal government has consistently proven itself incompetent in securing confidential data. The only way to ensure that gun owners do not fall victim to this malice or ineptitude is to continue to restrict the federal governments ability to collect and compile gun owner information.

IN THIS ARTICLE
Privacy confidentiality
TRENDING NOW
Anti-Gun Democrats’ (Yet Again) Unable to Hide Their Contempt for Ordinary Americans

News  

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Anti-Gun Democrats’ (Yet Again) Unable to Hide Their Contempt for Ordinary Americans

It has become a tradition in recent elections for anti-gun Democrats to condescendingly refer to opposition voters as too stupid and bigoted to act in their own best interests. 

Bob Barr Elected NRA President, Doug Hamlin Elected to Serve as NRA Executive Vice President & CEO

News  

Monday, May 20, 2024

Bob Barr Elected NRA President, Doug Hamlin Elected to Serve as NRA Executive Vice President & CEO

Today, the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association of America elected former U.S. Congressman Bob Barr as President of the NRA and Doug Hamlin as NRA Executive Vice President & CEO. The meeting ...

NRA Scores Legal Victory Against ATF; “Pistol Brace Rule” Enjoined From Going Into Effect Against NRA Members

Monday, April 1, 2024

NRA Scores Legal Victory Against ATF; “Pistol Brace Rule” Enjoined From Going Into Effect Against NRA Members

NRA Members Among the Largest Class Protected from Draconian Rule

NRA-ILA Announces Lawsuit Challenging Delaware’s New Permit-to-Purchase Law

Sunday, May 19, 2024

NRA-ILA Announces Lawsuit Challenging Delaware’s New Permit-to-Purchase Law

Fairfax, Virginia – May 19, 2024…Today, NRA-ILA announced a lawsuit challenging Delaware’s new permit-to-purchase law.

New York: Senate Majority Democrats Moving More Gun Control in Albany This Week

Monday, May 20, 2024

New York: Senate Majority Democrats Moving More Gun Control in Albany This Week

Although New York has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, anti-gun politicians continue to come up with more bad ideas. 

Law Enforcement Officers and the “Freedom to be Safe” in Biden’s America

News  

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Law Enforcement Officers and the “Freedom to be Safe” in Biden’s America

A proclamation issued by President Joe Biden on May 10 to mark “Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Officer Week” included a recital of measures to support police officers and “keep law enforcement on the beat and ...

NRA Files Amicus Brief with U.S. Supreme Court Supporting American Firearms Manufacturers in Lawsuit Brought by Mexico

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

NRA Files Amicus Brief with U.S. Supreme Court Supporting American Firearms Manufacturers in Lawsuit Brought by Mexico

Fairfax, Virginia – Today, NRA filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court in Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. v. Estados Unidos Mexicanos.

With a Stroke of the Pen, Biden ATF Criminalizes Tens of Thousands of Private Firearm Sellers

News  

Friday, April 12, 2024

With a Stroke of the Pen, Biden ATF Criminalizes Tens of Thousands of Private Firearm Sellers

We have long been warning of the rule the Biden ATF has been preparing to redefine who is considered a firearm “dealer” under U.S. law.  The administration’s explicit objective was to move as close to so-called “universal background ...

NRA’s Political Victory Fund Endorses President Donald J. Trump

News  

Saturday, May 18, 2024

NRA’s Political Victory Fund Endorses President Donald J. Trump

Today, the National Rifle Association's Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) is honored to announce its full endorsement of President Donald J. Trump for re-election to a second term as President of the United States of America. ...

The Passing of a U.S. Veteran and Frontlines Activist Leader, Steven King

Take Action  

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The Passing of a U.S. Veteran and Frontlines Activist Leader, Steven King

Recently, NRA-ILA and many other groups and individuals within the Second Amendment community, were saddened to hear of the passing of U.S. Army Veteran and NRA-ILA Frontlines Activist Leader, Steven King, of Lee’s Summit, Missouri

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.