Justice Demands 1.3M IP Addresses Related to Trump Resistance Site

The Justice Department has requested information of visitors to a webpage used to plan protests against President Donald Trump, according to a blog post by the Los Angeles-based DreamHost.

Web hosting provider DreamHost said it has been cooperating with the Justice Department for several months on the request, and believes that it goes too far under the Constitution. DreamHost said that abiding by the request from the Department of Justice would mean the company will have to hand over approximately 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 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.

DreamHost published a search warrant issued by the District of Columbia Superior Court that demands records and information related to the website and its owner, as well as information that could be useful in identifying subscribers of the website.

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 January 20.

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