This is how they really show their dictatorial bent.
Web hosting provider DreamHost announced Monday that is is engaged in an ongoing legal battle with the United States Justice Department over its demand to see records of visitors to an anti-Trump website.
At the center of the conflict is disruptj20.org, a website run by a group of activists who were attempting to build “the framework needed for mass protests to shut down the inauguration of Donald Trump and planning widespread direct actions to make that happen.”
The U.S. Justice Department, currently headed by Attorney General Sessions, has demanded DreamHost—the company currently hosting disruptj20.org—to provide all information available about the website, it’s owner and its visitors.
On July 12, a search warrant was issued by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia that required DreamHost disclose a significant amount of information that would be stored on the company’s servers. The warrant included a request for all files associated with the site, email accounts the contents of those accounts associated with the site and contact and billing information of the person who registered the site.
The warrant also demanded DreamHost disclose any information it had about people who simply visited the website. The Justice Department asked for the IP addresses of visitors, which would generally provides information about a visitor’s location and other potentially identifiable information, as well as contact information of people who used the site.
DreamHost was required to comply with the search warrant within 10 days of it being issued but has been fighting the broad demands the Justice Department has made. The company filed an opposition motion in response to the warrant, objecting to its requests.
“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.
As anyone who has watched re-runs of “Law & Order” will tell you — not to mention anyone who paid attention in high school civics — you need probable cause to obtain a search warrant. In other words, compelling evidence of a crime will be obtained by violating someone’s privacy and digging through their personal effects.
The Justice Department is going to have to explain exactly what crime they thought was being committed through this website other than being mean to Trump.
Marching and chanting Nazi slogans is one thing. Trashing the Fourth and Fifth Amendments is something else entirely.