Jeff Sessions’ Department of Justice is casting a wide net to find out just who’s protesting Donald Trump’s rule. Web hosting provider DreamHost is pushing back on a Justice Department request, backed by a search warrant, for information on people who visited a site about planned protests against Trump. According to DreamHost:
The request from the DOJ demands that DreamHost hand over 1.3 million visitor IP addresses — in addition to contact information, email content, and photos of thousands of people — in an effort to determine who simply visited the website. (Our customer has also been notified of the pending warrant on the account.)
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. That should be enough to set alarm bells off in anyone’s mind. [...]
As we do in all such cases where the improper collection of data is concerned, we challenged the Department of Justice on its warrant and attempted to quash its demands for this information through reason, logic, and legal process.
Instead of responding to our inquiries regarding the overbreadth of the warrant, the DOJ filed a motion (PDF) in the Washington, D.C. Superior Court, asking for an order to compel DreamHost to produce the records.
That means that if you even visited DisruptJ20.org, Jeff Sessions wants your information.
DreamHost is working with the Electronic Frontier Foundation as it resists the data grab; there’s a court hearing on Friday, August 18.