[Rushtalk] Under New Plan, Big Tech Would Help Determine If You're Eligible To Own a Gun

Carl Spitzer {C Juno} cwsiv at juno.com
Fri Sep 20 13:49:02 MDT 2019


Under New Plan, Big Tech Would Help Determine If You're Eligible To Own
a Gun

×
By Cade Almond 
Published September 4, 2019 at 3:01pm 
The Trump administration is considering a proposal that would allow
large technology companies to collect data on users that would help
determine whether they should be considered mentally fit to own a
firearm, according to The Washington Post.

Essentially, the proposal would have the federal government collecting
information from Google, Amazon and Apple related to users’ mental
health.

It is part of a push to create a Health Advanced Research Projects
Agency, which would be a part of the Health and Human Services
Department, The Post reported. Modeled after the Pentagon’s innovative
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, HARPA would have its own
budget, and the director would be a presidential appointee.
 

The idea of instituting HARPA is not necessarily new, as it was first
floated in 2017. Recent mass shootings and the discussion around mental
health and guns, however, have thrust it back into the realm of
possibility.

The specific, technology-related proposal came from the Suzanne Wright
Foundation. The organization — founded by Bob Wright, a friend of Donald
Trump’s — approached the president with a desire to include a project
called Stopping Aberrant Fatal Events by Helping Overcome Mental
Extremes, or SAFE HOME.
 

Under the plan, HARPA would develop “breakthrough technologies with high
specificity and sensitivity for early diagnosis of neuropsychiatric
violence. A multi-modality solution, along with real-time data
analytics, is needed to achieve such an accurate diagnosis.”

Among the potential technologies that could be used to collect data are
Google Home and Amazon Echo “smart speakers,” Apple Watches and Fitbit
activity trackers.
 


In short, the federal government would be using liberal big tech
companies to collect information that would help determine whether or
not individuals should own a gun.

While keeping guns out of the hands of those who would commit such
violence is a worthy goal, this is definitely not the way to accomplish
it. In fact, the proposal is wrong in two distinct ways.

Do you think this proposal is a good idea?

Yes No 

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2% (11 Votes)
98% (501 Votes)
First, adding a new regulatory agency that increases the reach of the
federal government is a terrible idea. This would make the government
even bigger in size, which is more expensive, and influence, which is
more intrusive.

The federal government has no business listening in to private
conversations at all, especially when the revocation of constitutional
rights is involved.

Second, Big Tech isn’t exactly viewpoint neutral when it comes to
politics. It’s not a stretch to assume that almost all of those involved
with such a program at Google, Amazon or Apple think we already have too
many people that own guns.
 

The next thing you know, they’ll be flagging people whose Echos catch
them raising their voice in their own home.

That might be an exaggeration of the SAFE HOME project as it currently
stands, but there’s no denying that the slope is slippery. We can’t go
down this path.

RELATED: Facebook Created Over 100 Pro-ISIS Pages, Meantime Censoring
Conservatives

White House sources told The Post that Trump reacted “very positively”
to the proposal to create HARPA, though it was unclear whether he had
learned about the SAFE HOME project.

The electorate voted in Donald Trump with the hope that he would govern
conservatively, especially on issues such as the size of government and
gun control.
 

So far, he has done pretty well in that regard, but that must continue.
Big tech companies have shown they’re incapable of playing the role of
neutral arbiter, and trusting their data to determine who can buy a gun
would be a terrible mistake.

President Trump, please don’t make that mistake.








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