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DreamHost claimed that the complying with the request from the Justice Department would amount to handing over roughly 1.3 million visitor IP addresses to the government, in addition to contact information, email content and photos of thousands of visitors to the website, which was involved in organizing protests against Trump on Inauguration Day.
“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,” DreamHost wrote in the blog post on Monday. “That should be enough to set alarm bells off in anyone’s mind.”
White supremacist and ‘Unite the Right’ leader, Jason Kessler, was once reportedly a supporter a former President Obama and the Occupy movement.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (an organization that is certainly no friend to Conservatives), Kessler revealed his political transformation around November 2016, the same month then candidate Donald Trump won the presidential election.
DreamHost, like many online service providers, is approached by law enforcement regularly to provide information about customers who may be the subject of criminal investigations. These types of requests are not uncommon; our legal department reviews and scrutinizes each request and, when necessary, rejects and challenges vague or faulty orders.
You would be shocked to see just how many of these challenges we’re obligated to mount every year!
A District of Columbia Federal Judge has approved a government warrant seeking information about users and subscribers to an anti-Trump website which has been linked to rioting during the presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C., but he added protections to safeguard "innocent users."
Chief Judge Robert Morin ruled that DreamHost, an LA-based web-hosting company, must turn over data about visitors to the website disruptj20.org, which is a home to political activists who organized protests at the time of Donald Trump's inauguration as U.S. president in January, many of whom have since morphed into the controversial "antifa" movement.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière claimed the website helped incite the violence in Hamburg and warned of “serious consequences” of left-wing radicalism, the New York Times reported.
“The prelude to the G-20 summit in Hamburg was not the only time that violent actions and attacks on infrastructural facilities were mobilized on linksunten.indymedia,” the minister said, identifying the website.
He also said the site tried to “legitimize violence against police officers,” which he described as an “expression of an attitude that tramples human dignity.”
“This is absolutely unacceptable and incompatible with our liberal democratic order,” he added.