The Department of Justice has requested data on visitors to a website used to organize protests against President Donald Trump, the Los Angeles-based company Dreamhost said in a blog post published on Monday.
The Department of Justice is demanding more than one million IP addresses from a resistance website against President Trump.
The hosting provider for http://www.disruptj20.org/ posted a blog Monday saying it’s been working with the DOJ for several months, but it claims the search warrant for the IP addresses, contact information, e-mail content, and photos of visitors has gone too far.
In the warrant the DOJ cites authorities can obtain any information on those who break a D.C. code governing riots, which they are relating to protests on inauguration day.
The hosting provider is challenging the request, and a hearing is scheduled for Friday. (Related: AG Jeff Sessions Orders Look into Obama Holder ‘DOJ Slush Fund’ Payments to Leftists Organization)
Dreamhost, a web hosting provider, said that it has been working with the Department of Justice for several months on the request, which believes goes too far under the Constitution.
DreamHost claimed that the complying with the request from the Justice Department would amount to handing over roughly 1.3 million visitor IP addresses to the government, in addition to contact information, email content and photos of thousands of visitors to the website, which was involved in organizing protests against Trump on Inauguration Day.
“That 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,” DreamHost wrote in the blog post on Monday. “That should be enough to set alarm bells off in anyone’s mind.”
When contacted, the Justice Department directed The Hill to the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C. The U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment but provided the filings related to the case.
The company is currently challenging the request. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Friday in Washington.
“In essence, the Search Warrant not only aims to identify the political dissidents of the current administration, but attempts to identify and understand what content each of these dissidents viewed on the website,” the company’s general counsel, Chris Ghazarian, said in a legal argument opposing the request.
The web provider published a search warrant issued by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia that asks for records and information related to the website and its owner, along with information that could be used to identify subscribers of the website. (Related: REPORT: DOJ Has Offered Hillary Clinton A Plea Deal)
This includes “names, addresses, telephone numbers and other identifiers, e-mail addresses, business information, the length of service (including start date), means and source of payment for services (including any credit card or bank account number), and information about any domain name registration.”
The warrant, dated July 12, says that authorities will seize any information constituting violations of D.C. code governing riots that involve individuals connected to the protests on Inauguration Day.
More than 200 people were indicted on felony rioting charges in connection with the protests in Washington on Jan. 20.
H/T The Hill