Authorities are Asking for IP Addresses of Visitors to Trump Protest Site


The US Justice Department is demanding a web hosting provider to hand over all of the information it has on a website that helps organize protests against President Trump.

DreamHost says the department issued them a search warrant that demands the IP addresses, emails and physical addresses of the website owners, as well as similar information about the site's users.

The warrant would grant the Justice Department's request for records from Disrupt20.org "involving the individuals who participated, planed [sic], organized, or incited the January 20 riot," violent protests that occurred in Washington on Inauguration Day.

DreamHost wrote in a blog post about the department's demands:

"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.

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. This is, in our opinion, a strong example of investigatory overreach and a clear abuse of government authority."

The hosting site has filed arguments opposing the order, arguing the government hasn't "provided enough particularity on the information that would be seized and fails to describe how information irrelevant to the government's case or cases would be treated."


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