US govt demand for info on 1.3mn visitors to anti-Trump site is ‘abuse of authority’ – hosting firm

US govt demand for info on 1.3mn visitors to anti-Trump site is ‘abuse of authority’ – hosting firm
The Superior Court of DC has requested DreamHost to provide “all” information available to them about disruptj20.org, the website for organized protests against Trump’s inauguration on January 20. The company says the demand amounts to "investigatory overreach".

A search warrant issued by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia requests DreamHost to provide “all” information available to them about disruptj20.org, the page for organized protests against Trump’s inauguration on January 20. The warrant, dated July 12, was made public on Monday.

It would involve the host handing over 1.3 million IP addresses – in addition to contact information, email content, and photos of thousands of people, DreamHost said.

The hosting company is attempting to fight the DOJ’s “highly untargeted demand,” saying that it views the warrant as “a strong example of investigatory overreach and a clear abuse of government authority.”

“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 filing challenging the request.

Inauguration day saw massive protests in Washington, DC. In places, the protests spilled into violence and riots.

Over 200 were indicted on rioting charges in connection with the protests, including five journalists who were covering the events. One of the journalists arrested was RT America’s Alexander Rubinstein.

He was in the crowd filming, when police encircled a group of masked protesters that vandalized a building.

Charges against Rubinstein and three other reporters were later dropped. However, Aaron Cantu, a freelance writer who now works at the Santa Fe Reporter, still faces charges in connection with the protests. If convicted, he could face up to 75 years in prison.