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Privacy United States Government The Courts The Internet

US Government Has 'No Right To Rummage' Through Anti-Trump Protest Website Logs, Says Judge (theregister.co.uk) 277

A Washington D.C. judge has told the U.S. Department of Justice it "does not have the right to rummage" through the files of an anti-Trump protest website -- and has ordered the dot-org site's hosting company to protect the identities of its users. The Register reports: Chief Judge Robert E. Morin issued the revised order [PDF] Tuesday following a high-profile back and forth between the site's hosting biz DreamHost and prosecutors over what details Uncle Sam was entitled to with respect to the disruptj20.org website. "As previously observed, courts around the country have acknowledged that, in searches for electronically stored information, evidence of criminal activity will likely be intermingled with communications and other records not within the scope of the search warrant," he noted in his ruling. "Because of the potential breadth of the government's review in this case, the warrant in its execution may implicate otherwise innocuous and constitutionally protected activity. As the Court has previously stated, while the government has the right to execute its Warrant, it does not have the right to rummage through the information contained on DreamHost's website and discover the identity of, or access communications by, individuals not participating in alleged criminal activity, particularly those persons who were engaging in protected First Amendment activities." The order then lists a series of protocols designed to protect netizens "to comply with First Amendment and Fourth Amendment considerations, and to prevent the government from obtaining any identifying information of innocent persons."
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US Government Has 'No Right To Rummage' Through Anti-Trump Protest Website Logs, Says Judge

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  • Log Files (Score:2, Insightful)

    If the website actually cared about privacy, they wouldn't have logged everything.
  • I am not in US. Looking from outside, I find the apparent general lack of faith in the ability of US judges to act with impartiality in respect of the law surprising. This is doubly so when you consider that, with few exceptions, decisions are subject to appeal and review by many others. Can someone in the US please explain whether my perception is skewed or there is a general distrust? If the latter, where does that stem from?
    • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2017 @09:12PM (#55353715) Journal
      Judges are an integral part of the very important checks and balances doctrine initially instituted by the founders of the Republic.

      Since the most influential of them are appointed by the party in power at the moment, the process is subject to gaming; yet, the nature of the voting public is fickle, and when the ruling party begins to leave a foul taste in their mouths, the voters generally have dismissed the party in power in favor of the ephemeral change.

      Though impartiality is a ruse, and the illusion of the change is little more than that, the balance of power between the right and left has kept the Republic safe.

    • Look at the process for confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee. It's about the most political thing that the US gov't does anymore. Both sides literally choose radical shills that vehemently espouse their tribe's proper dogma (with decades of decisions and case law to back their worldview) and then swear up and down that they'll be impartial. It's fucking insulting.

      Blame the process, and the two parties of tards that got us there over the past 30+ years.

    • The internet is skewing your view.

      Many people take to the internet because they are surrounded by people that despise their personal views. The reasonable people tend to not engage the extremists - on both sides.

      In fact, most Americans,have an excessively trusting view of the legal system, especially considering the fact that many judges are elected. Yes, that makes them politicians, and they are as corrupt as say Tim Murphy (claimed to be pro-life but pushed his lover to get an abortion).

      That said, it i

  • separation of power still works.
  • But I guess some judge will receive a threat to 'remove his license'

  • that there exists a small number of judges that are still willing to defy the Department of Justice. This was the correct ruling. DoJ needs a good swift kick in the balls as a reminder that, as much as it wants to, it cannot violate the constitution.

The gent who wakes up and finds himself a success hasn't been asleep.

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