Web-hosting company Dreamhost revealed this week that it was locked in a legal battle with the US Department of Justice over a protest site — and the DoJ wants all the information it can get on the site’s visitors — all 1.3 million of them.
The DoJ served Dreamhost with the warrant in July, but Dreamhost wrote a blog post about the suit yesterday, titled “We Fight for the Users” (I like anyone who can throw in an apropos Tron reference). According to the post, it filed legal arguments in opposition to the warrant this week. It said that such requests are not uncommon, and are frequently challenged by their legal team, but this one was especially galling:
Chris Ghazarian, our General Counsel, has taken issue with this particular search warrant for being a highly untargeted demand that chills free association and the right of free speech afforded by the Constitution.
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The site in question, distruptj20.org, was allegedly used by anti-Trump protesters to coordinate inauguration day protests. The Department of Justice seeks to obtain the information of over 1 million people who merely visited the website.
Dreamhost is steadily resisting the demand, though it did provide the government with some information about the site’s owner when it was originally served the subpoena.