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Government The Internet Communications Network The Courts

Justice Department Demands 1.3 Million IP Addresses Related To Anti-Trump Website (theverge.com) 392

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: In a blog post today, online web hosting provider DreamHost disclosed that it has been involved in a months-long legal battle with the Justice Department over records on visitors to an anti-Trump website. The dispute focuses on a Justice Department demand for information on data related to disruptj20.org, which describes itself as a group of activists "building the framework needed for mass protests to shut down the inauguration of Donald Trump and planning widespread direct actions to make that happen." DreamHost is taking issue with a warrant issued by the department for "all files" related to the website, which DreamHost says would compel them to turn over electronic data like visitor logs. That would include IP addresses and other information that could be used to identify anyone who visited the site. "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," the company said in its blog post. The warrant, DreamHost argues, would also require it to hand over any communications that are even tangentially related to the website.

"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 said in a legal filing arguing against the warrant. A hearing on the situation is set for Friday in Washington, DC Superior Court.

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Justice Department Demands 1.3 Million IP Addresses Related To Anti-Trump Website

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  • by sp4ni3l ( 1417195 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2017 @08:07AM (#55016209)
    However: Would like a little bit more background here. Too much conspiracy theory going on now..
    • Does DreamHost use Linux? Otherwise, why are we talking about the Lard Ass and Chief?
  • by wbr1 ( 2538558 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2017 @08:08AM (#55016213)
    On its face this warrant seems overly broad. If you are looking for bad actors who actually threatened or cause physical harm/disruption - then use regular police work to fid that out.

    Simply sniffing out all who disagree with the current administration (raises hand), and would protest it (raises other hand), stinks of police state tactics.
    Now, why are both my hands in the air again?

    • Trump is merely looking for proof of his massive inauguration crowd size.

    • On its face this warrant seems overly broad.

      Well, yes, but this is perfectly normal - like oh-so-much else that is wrong with this administration.

      There are men who have been not just in prison, but in solitary confinement, for decades. There's a citizen who have been detained by ICE, imprisoned for three years without a lawyer, won $80k in damages, and just had the award thrown out on appeal because the statute of limitations on the "false imprisonment" charge expired while he was imprisoned. Last year

      • That was a disgusting decision which I predict will have bad consequences for future prosecution of criminals. It was short-sighted for the government to push that argument.

    • by Junta ( 36770 )

      Now, why are both my hands in the air again?

      Like you just don't care?

      I don't want to know how you are typing with both your hands in the air.

    • If you are looking for bad actors who actually threatened or cause physical harm/disruption - then use regular police work to fid that out.

      This is regular police work. This is no different from going through all people mentioned in a suspect's rolodex/phonebook of old, for example.

      Simply sniffing out all who disagree with the current administration

      Contrary to the title, this is not about an "anti-Trump" web-site, such are a dime-a-dozen. This is about a "pro-riot" web-site, which indicates its purpose

    • By now Trump has demonstrated repeatedly and clearly that he thinks the Constitution and the law doesn't apply to him because he sits in the Oval Office. Consider this move in conjuction with wanting ALL the voter records of people who voted against him. If no one was around to rein him in we'd be living in a full-on dictatorship.
    • If you haven't done anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about
  • Yeah... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kierthos ( 225954 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2017 @08:13AM (#55016255) Homepage

    This clearly isn't an incredibly broad overreach by an administration that shows that it hates being questioned or criticized at all.

    Oh shit, did I have sarcasm enabled?

  • by kenh ( 9056 )

    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," the company said in its blog post.

    As the web hosting company for the (suspected) criminal website for the group 'Resistance' where are they going to get visitor's pictures?

    I think dreamhost is trying to fan the flames around this issue. If this were a suspected white supremacist group, or a suspected child porn ring, would they mount the same principled court battle? The Feds have reason to believe the site was used to plan violence at numerous public events, which is a crime.

    • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      As the web hosting company for the (suspected) criminal website for the group 'Resistance' where are they going to get visitor's pictures?

      They uploaded them, so they could recognize each other. Which of course borders on just fucking brilliant of course. One of the reasons why clearance rates for crimes are going up, stupid people.

    • by Hydrian ( 183536 )

      The question is that was the content on the website illegal? Hate crime and hate speech are illegal in the US. Organizing protests and objecting to a president's actions or speech is not illegal.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Mashiki ( 184564 )

        I think you mean hate speech is legal in the US. Organizing protests, and objecting are also legal. Using a website however to plan a riot or commit any crime? That's illegal, and that's why they want the info.

      • Hate crime and hate speech are illegal in the US

        Hmm...you might need to brush up on your civics classes.

        Not only is there no laws against "hate speech"...but in fact, it is very much protected speech under the constitution.

        • "Hate speech" is understood to be evidence that a violent crime is (for instance) racially motivated. It can result in a more severe penalty.
    • AFAIK, seeking out child porn is a crime in and of itself. If so, this case is not comparable. Everyone visiting a child porn site is breaking the law. I doubt 1.3 million people rioted at the inauguration, though that would explain his obsession over the crowd size.

      The FBI should scrape the public site, determine who was planning violence, and subpoena those IP addresses so they can track them down in meatspace. Y'know, actually investigate.

      This overly-broad request for information is becoming a pattern. H

  • Some Progress (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Drethon ( 1445051 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2017 @08:33AM (#55016415)

    At least sometimes now, when the justice department trounces on our rights, we hear about it.

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2017 @08:37AM (#55016437) Journal

    The Trump administration is collecting the names of these people so he can finally prove there were actually 1,3 million people at his inauguration.

    • The Trump administration is collecting the names of these people so he can finally prove there were actually 1,3 million people at his inauguration.

      1.3 million protesters?

      • Protesters, attendees -- one doesn't exclude the other. Perhaps ol' Agent Orange was right after all and it *was* the most attended inauguration ever.

  • More USAPATRIOTACT Fallout.

    Perhaps the gummint would like to issue us all mandated, always-on bodycams...

  • The website self-describes as "protests to shut down the inauguration of Donald Trump and planning widespread direct actions to make that happen." What comprises a "direct action"? What is the intention of a person who visits that website? What about a person who signs up for a newsletter? What should you assume about a person who indicates that s/he will attend future events sponsored by this group?

    I'm still amazed at the cognitive dissonance of Trump Derangement Syndrome sufferers. Just because public dea

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