Web hosting provider Dreamhost is pushing back against a Department of Justice search warrant demanding the company turn over 1.3 million IP addresses connected to an anti-Trump site.
The DOJ is looking for Dreamhost to share information from visitors to disruptj20.org — a site that has organized protests against Donald Trump, including his presidential inauguration. In its search warrant, the DOJ calls for Dreamhost to provide emails connected to the site, as well as subscriber information and “names, physical addresses, telephone numbers, and other identifiers.”
Dreamhost’s general counsel, Chris Ghazarian, said in a blog post that he’s taken issue with the search warrant for being “a highly untargeted demand that chills free association and the right of free speech afforded by the Constitution.”
The blog post continued, “Internet users have a reasonable expectation that they will not get swept up in criminal investigations simply by exercising their right to political speech against the government.”
The Los-Angeles based service said it has worked with the DOJ on the request for months, but its possible infringements on web users’ First Amendment rights “should be enough to set alarm bells off in anyone’s mind.” Dreamhost has challenged the DOJ’s request, and a hearing is scheduled for Friday in Washington.
Disruptj20.org hasn’t been active since February. Its name refers to J20, or Jan. 20 — the day President Trump was sworn in as commander-in-chief.
“A diversity of tactics is vital to accomplish a vibrant disruption of the inauguration,” reads one update from the site earlier this year. “We support the right of all attendees to feel safe and empowered while expressing their opposition to the Trump regime and the fascism it represents.”
The site provided maps, “organizing resources,” and an “organizing fund” for its visitors to use for its protests.
Both the DOJ and Disruptj20.org did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.