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DOJ Demands Info on 1.3 Million Users of Anti-Trump Website

Image: DOJ Demands Info on 1.3 Million Users of Anti-Trump Website
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By    |   Tuesday, 15 August 2017 02:15 PM

The Department of Justice is demanding that web host provider Dreamhost turn over information on more than 1.3 million visitors to a website it hosts that is used to organize protests against President Donald Trump, The Hill reported on Tuesday.

The website, part of the DisruptJ20 political organization, helped plan a protest for Trump's inauguration in January, at which several purported members of the group were arrested for alleged violence, ZDNet reported.

Dreamhost wrote in a blog that it is "approached by law enforcement regularly to provide information about customers who may be the subject of criminal investigations," but in this request the "information could be used to identify any individuals who used this site to exercise and express political speech protected under the Constitution's First Amendment, [which] should be enough to set alarm bells off in anyone's mind."

Unable to reach an agreement with the DOJ, Dreamhost filed its opposition to the order late last month.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy group which represents Dreamhost, said in a statement that the Justice Deptartment's order was unconstitutional.

"No plausible explanation exists for a search warrant of this breadth, other than to cast a digital dragnet as broadly as possible," said attorney Mark Rumold. "But the Fourth Amendment was designed to prohibit fishing expeditions like this. Those concerns are especially relevant here, where [the Department of Justice] is investigating a website that served as a hub for the planning and exercise of First Amendment-protected activities."

A hearing is scheduled in a Washington D.C. court on Friday.

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The Department of Justice is demanding that web host provider Dreamhost turn over information on more than 1.3 million visitors to a website it hosts that is used to organize protests against President Donald Trump, The Hill reported on Tuesday.
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Tuesday, 15 August 2017 02:15 PM
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