“The request from the [Justice Department] 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. 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. That should be enough to set alarm bells off in anyone’s mind.”
The website helped coordinate demonstrations against President Trump in Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Day in January. Some of those protesters turned violent and have faced indictments. It is clear that the government has a right to investigate those individuals but the government also has a duty to tailor such demands in light of the powerful free speech interests involved in such demonstrations. I see no evidence of such tailoring in this demand and the court should give the warrant close scrutiny in light of its obvious impact on political speech.
A hearing is scheduled in Washington before District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Lynn Leibovitz on Friday about the information request.
Here is the company’s filing: DreamHost filing
the United States response to the filing: DreamHost/US filing