Trump Administration Demands Information On Over A Million Visitors To Anti-Trump Website

DreamHost was hit by the demand after  the Justice Department filed a motion in late July in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.   According to the host’s filing, the resulting July 12th warrant demands “names, addresses, telephone numbers and other identifiers, e-mail addresses, business information, the length of service (including start date), means and source of payment for services (including any credit card or bank account number), and information about any domain name registration.”The company had a valid stated concern:

“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

156 thoughts on “Trump Administration Demands Information On Over A Million Visitors To Anti-Trump Website”

  1. Your snippet references multiple names which I presume are persons, while identifying only one name and its relevance to the snippet. Your snippet seemingly identifies various organizations, without further elaborating on who these organizations are or what their purported role in whatever offense the search warrant seeks evidence of. Do not assume everyone in the country takes their daily dose of Pravda Faux News; it’s actually only a small sliver of isolated folks who know no better. So whoever or whatever this snippet you’ve posted deals with is completely unknown to me, and I actually READ three newspapers each day. While I guess Hannity likely shills this garbage on a 15-minute cycle, that doesn’t make it breathlessly earth-shattering news to real people.

    This is to now-informed brownie

  2. More police state blunderbuss information collection. Intelligence insiders revealed that Main Core database has over 8 million American’s identified as possible threats. Most of the people on government databases have NO gang or terrorist affiliation (some were put on the MIAC database for Ron Paul for President bumper stickers!).

    I do not believe that James Fields, Jr’s license plate was issued randomly. GVF 1111, a clear indicia of it being tagged. He was being watched and possibly provoked:

  3. At a minimum, the demand appears wildly too broad and could easily chill political speech for those who oppose this Administration.


  4. This is troubling to me, but I will reserve judgement until I find out why they were requesting this data. It’s not the first time individuals in this case may have been targetted. We saw this happen in a much worse way under the Obama administration. That administration used the IRS to actually target Obama’s enemies. But we are talking about civil rights in boths cases and I stand up for what is right unlike the Liberal who only stands up for what matches his ideology saying to the hell with everyone else.

    1. I should have added the same question previously posted.

      “… a more important question is Google and its manipulation of its search engine to favor Google’s political beliefs.

      Darren, perhaps JT would like to comment on that or perhaps some attorney on the list might wish to comment.

      I was thinking Ollie’s Barbacue Supreme Court Case went against Ollie because of “stream of commerce” Are Google’s actions likewise involving the same issue and should action be taken against Google?”

    2. Didn’t the ACLU support the right of the Neo-Nazis to engage in peaceful demonstrations?

      1. Yes, doglover, but what does that have to do with the police not acting to prevent the violence?

  5. @enigmainblackcom

    You asked:

    “I wonder how many more posts Turley will make without mentioning Charlottesville? He mentions Venezuela as a contributing factor but forgets Nazis and White Supremacists? Maybe he missed it in the news?” (August 15, 2017 at 6:11 AM)

    Posted yesterday to “The Hill”, but not here on his blog (as you may already know):

    OPINION | With Charlottesville, Jeff Sessions boldly moves on terrorism


  6. I didn’t like it when the Obama administration did things like this and I don’t like it now!

  7. Highly troubling to whom and why? As I recall the the First Amendment it guarantees ‘peaceful assembly’ nothing is said about the use of both of that ideology’s nationalist and internationalist socialist organizations to guarantee the right of violent assembly. I visited that site and the investigators have my express pemission to look at the posts all they want.

    1. It’s peaceable assembly. Unfortunately, right wing bigots don’t understand English any more than they understand the Constitution.

      1. If you think BLM and Antifa are “peaceable”, then you are delusional. There is nothing “peaceable” about shutting down other peoples’ free speech rights. And many Democrats claim exactly that right – to shut down speech with which they disagree. An older liberal, J H Kunstler, wrote a very good piece yesterday, with this blurb:

        The “Antifa” movement would be funny if it wasn’t itself prone to violence, since it espouses exactly the same kind of despotism against free thought that it pretends to fight against. It wants to shut down and stamp out debate in the public arena and trample over principles that make it uncomfortable, for instance, the First Amendment asserting the right to free speech. It makes a mockery of the battle cry for “diversity” (diversity only for Antifa-approved ideas). That so many current college students subscribe to the movement ought to make thoughtful people very uneasy about the politics of the coming generation. In their black battle garb and masks, they resemble the very fascist mobs of the 1930s that the name “Antifa” supposedly evokes as its enemy.

        Just hit the “Smoke and Fire” article.

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

  8. Speaking of which where is the IRS on it’s investigation of the Clilnton Foundation? Last I read the funds were transferred to Canada (no a proven fact) and the Foundation shut down but Hillary tried to the same move with some new foundatin to support left wing extremist candidates and got little response or is it just little coverage by the left stream media? The whole sequence is somewhat suspect and NOT looking into it would be very troubling.

    How’s Mueller doing? Any evidence of ha ha collusion yet? Does he even know it’s not a crime?

    1. Haha “the last [you] heard?” Any actual news story would be easy to locate in the real world. The fact that you have to go to some obscure website that’s only updated when its creator is back from work at the Piggly Wiggly might be a clue that it’s all fantasy.

      this is to “it was the Clintons ma!” aarethum

  9. Everyone is so ready to overlook the implications of this.

    Paul, Both what Mueller and Trump are doing is wrong.

    Sandra, yes Obama did all the things you said. Most of his supporters said absolutely nothing about it. They failed utterly to defend the rights of their fellow citizens. Now people who support Trump are failing the same task.

    We have an authoritarian govt. We have had one for a very long time. It didn’t start with Trump. It could end with Trump if enough people stopped playing party politics with the Constitution. If we don’t support the rights of our fellow citizens then we are as guilty as anyone for the loss of those rights for all people.

    The govt. divides us into those who will go along with the oligarchy and those who will obey. Most people are in the obey category whether they come from right or left. They want govt. and corporate power unlawfully used to suppress people who hold ideas with which they don’t agree.

    Yesterday, lefties started identifying people at the Charlottesville rally who were exercising their free speech rights. They tried to out them to their employer and get them fired. Today, the govt. is going after whole groups of people who where exercising their free speech rights. This can only end one way–with citizens who have the integrity to stand up for the Constitutional rights of every person even people they do not agree with. Please everyone, be that person.

    1. Free speech goes with rights to ‘peaceful assembly.’ I fail to see how that carefully planned episode qualifies inlcuding who the hell was stupid enough to sign off approved for the permit?

    2. Jill – a judge already approved Mueller’s fishing expedition, why shouldn’t a judge approve Trump’s? Two wrongs make a right, you know. 😉

      1. Paul,

        You are talking about this corporate/govt. I am talking about citizens justifying the taking of other citizens’ constitutional rights. The govt. is already involved in multiple illegalities both foreign and domestic. It is up to citizens to have the ethics and courage to support one another when the govt. is doing something illegal.

        Evidently, the idea that we need to support each other no matter what when it comes to Constitutional rights is not something people understand, nor do they have the courage to do so. That is what will bring the nation down completely. Ignorant, uncaring, unethical, obedient, slavish citizens will let anything happen as long as they think it won’t happen to them. That doesn’t speak well of people who will do this.

    3. Free speech is not violent. Right wing bigots can’t understand that. As soon as Trump is criticized they trot out “free speech” as if they had a clue what it means. In addition, he moment Trump or his henchmen are criticized the next words out of a Trump supporter’s mouth will be Obama and Clinton. They apparently can’t help themselves.

  10. There seems to be a lot misdirection in the comments. Look over there, see what they did/are doing. This request should not be allowed. As I write this I am thinking about the people on the list as white supremacists/Nazis. Same result. Arrest them for violent actions, not their speech.

    1. It’s exactly that a case of peaceful assembly was there ever any speeches? None reported. Given that both the National Socialist side and the International Socialist Side come from the same genesis the finger sure is pointing to ward that building on Capitol Street. 430 something like that. I know of no other place that has divided themselves into that kind of left and right wing and thinks the middle is the center of the nation.

      1. We need some new labels. How about a label for those that oppose a weaponized, administrative state? You know, those that support equal protection of life, liberty and property and the rule of law.

  11. Regardless of the reasoning behind Obama’s investigation of the IRS records; it would seem to some to be unconstitutional, this is far and beyond what Obama did. This is free speech and free speech only. Trump has complained about the witch hunt aspect of the opposition. This request is the first Hitlerian step. What’s next, breaking down doors in the middle of the night? The perversity of the Trump supporters is clear in their argument that if Obama did this then Trump can do anything. When will our leaders stand on doing the right thing and not this circus of errors.

    1. Actually, if you are an immigrant, maybe undocumented, maybe not, the breaking down of doors in the middle of the night is already happening.

      1. Live a couch potato life you get a couch potato life to live. Now do tell us about this midnight door breaking? When, Where, Who, What, How, and Why?

          1. Obama was successful in deporting undesirables who were in the country illegally and caught doing illegal stuff. Obama did a yeoman’s job of deporting those specific types that no one wants. Obama, however, identified those who were a positive addition to the country, jobs, children, paying taxes, etc and put them aside to deal with differently. Trump is simply lumping them all together to satisfy his rants and raves to the alt right. People who have been in this country for 15, 16, 17 + years are finding themselves uprooted and deported while their American citizen children are left behind or forced to follow. Obama at least made an effort to separate the good from the bad. To Trump, they are all deportable and serve only to make him sound tough on illegal immigration. Trump is a buffoon as well as a blithering idiot, who wields just one brush. Trump serves to assuage the frustration of that torment of insignificance which the mindless can’t help but use to target those not like them.

          2. Jill

            This article from the Guardian illustrates the interception of recent illegal immigrants who had begun flooding into the US from Central American countries. Among them were some valid candidates for political asylum but the majority were those looking for a better life and circumventing the process. They were dealt with as per the wishes of the majority of Americans. However, if you read carefully the stories of those who are now being uprooted after having lived here for almost a generation, you will find that the majority opinion is not for deportation. The inclusion of those who are established, those to whom Reagan gave amnesty, those who have and would continue to contribute to the country, is nothing more than a mindless gesture to present Trump as tough. Trump is doing more harm than Obama ever could do. Obama was at least attempting to be selective. There is a difference, even if you refuse to see it.

      2. Do you mean like when Bill Clinton and Janet Reno sent armed ICE officers to haul terrified Elian Gonzalez out of a closet with a rifle pointed at his little face?

        Do you mean like that?

    2. As usual the party line comes from Comrade Baconadian. There were no speeches but the right to peaceful assembly was certainly abridged by both the left and right wing of your ideology.

      Sorrry your redefining and reframing didn’t work …as usual.

      Besides what’s it got to do with a foreigner and a foreign ideology?

    3. Using the IRS to punish political oponents destroys the independence of the IRS

      Judicial Watch Obtains 695 Pages of Obama IRS Scandal Documents – Records Not Produced in Initial Congressional Investigation (take note that the Obama administration had no problem lying to Congress when Congress was doing its job.)
      APRIL 04, 2017

      First Batch of Records from 7,000-Page Cache Uncovered Last Month

      (Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released 695 pages of new documents from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that contain admissions by IRS officials that the agency used “inappropriate political labels” to screen the tax-exempt applications of conservative organizations. Other records reveal that the IRS was going to require 501(c)(4) nonprofit organizations to restrict their alleged political activities in exchange for “expedited consideration” of their tax-exempt applications.

      The documents were produced after a revelation by the IRS that it had located “an additional 6,924 documents of potentially responsive records” relating to a 2015 Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit about the Obama IRS targeting scandal. The FOIA lawsuit seeks records about the IRS’ selection of individuals and organizations for audits based upon applications requesting nonprofit tax status filed by Tea Party and other 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organizations (Judicial Watch v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:15-cv-00220)).

      Of the 695 pages of documents released by the IRS, 422 (61%) were withheld in their entirety. These newly identified records are not records that were contained in the “Congressional Database,” which the IRS created in 2013 to house records responsive to congressional inquiries into the IRS scandal.

      continued at

      1. It is easy to lie all the time, fortunately, else you would be totally useless. No IRS scandal occurred no matter how often you lie about it. Obama’s tenure was corruption-free but keep trying.

        1. Ynot, Here is a March update on the IRS Scandal. Go to judicial watch and read official documents, emails and testimony. Check Lois Lerners need to plead the 5th amendment. Check the near impeachment of the head of the IRS. Hopefully the Trump administration will pursue all the people involved and throw them all in jail.

          Obama IRS Scandal Continues – JW Forces IRS to Disclose New Documents

          We have no intention to allow the extra-legal activities of President Obama’s administration to fade into the sunset now that he is out of office. Particularly egregious was his using the might of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to target groups that disagreed with his political views.

          And heel dragging at the IRS continues.

          This week Judicial Watch reported that the agency informed the U.S. District Court that it located “an additional 6,924 documents of potentially responsive records” relating to our 2015 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit regarding the Obama IRS targeting scandal.

          The lawsuit at issue sought records about the IRS selection of individuals and organizations for audits based upon applications requesting non-profit tax status filed by Tea Party and other 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organizations (Judicial Watch v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:15-cv-00220)).

          These newly identified records are presumably not the records contained in the so-called “Congressional Database,” which the IRS created in 2013 to house records responsive to congressional inquiries into the IRS scandal.

          The IRS informed JW today that it is producing an additional 694 pages of documents and expects to produce an additional batch by March 24, 2017. However, at this time, the Service still has not provided an estimate regarding when it will complete its review of the potentially responsive documents.

          The corruption at the IRS is astounding. Our attorneys knew that there were more records to be searched, but the Obama IRS ignored this issue for years.

          Remember that in July 2015 we released Obama IRS documents confirming that the agency used donor lists of tax-exempt organizations to target those donors for audits. The documents also show that IRS officials specifically highlighted how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce may come under “high scrutiny” from the IRS.

          In September 2014 another JW FOIA lawsuit forced the release of documents detailing that the IRS sought, obtained and maintained the names of donors to Tea Party and other conservative groups. IRS officials acknowledged in these documents that “such information was not needed.” The documents also show that the donor names were being used for a “secret research project.”

          The Obama IRS scandal continues and President Trump needs to clean house at the IRS as quickly as possible.

        2. Ynot – Obama’s time in office was corruption free or scandal free? And you are able to say this with a straight face?

  12. This is not a difficult case. The correct legal and judicial response is “no.”

  13. Highly troubling to whom and why? As I recall the the First Amendment it guarantees ‘peaceful assembly’ nothing is said about the use of both of that ideology’s nationalist and internationalist socialist organizations to guarantee the right of violent assembly.

  14. (music- to Green Door, What’s That Secret You’re Keepin)

    What’s that secret you’re keeping?
    Walkin, till the morning comes peeping.
    Dreamhost! What’s that secret you’re keeping.

    Well I call Tom Dooley and I asked out loud bout the Green Door.
    And Tom boy told me that it was Trumpy wise beyind the Dream Host.


    A Trump rally IS a Nazi rally
    When you support a Zionist Nazi, you are a Zionist Nazi

    American Whores, Traitors turned by Zionist Nazi Israel
    The Zionist Nazis have infiltrated, manipulated the following organizations for decades with bribes & extortion or duped them by their own greed, ignorance, stupidity & cowardice;

    Congress, White House, Hollywood, Wall Street, Local & National Mainstream Media, U.S. Governments, Justice Department, Political System, Republican & DemocraticParties, Corporations, Court System, Federal Reserve System, CIA, FBI, Military, Colleges & Universities, Churches, Health Care, CDC, Pharmaceuticals, etc.

    1. Shite job of diverting, reframing and redefining you must not have studied Yoda’s hand book for leftist activitists carefully enough ….either that or your programmer is an idiot.

    2. Only Nazi in that garbage was the author. Seig Me No Heils Adolf you are no patriot and we do not serve the Party. Raus!

    3. A nut is a nut, no matter what type of shell it has.

      This reaffirms that there are bunch of crazy lunatics that live in an alternate univers where women can be stoned to death.

    1. Good thought. Was the story even true? Looking at the site I would not call it a candidate for a First Amendment pass but a site of interest for the opposite conclusion.

  16. “The demand would covered [sic] 1.3 millions IP addresses and raises highly troubling free speech and associational concerns.”
    Isn’t that exactly what the Obama IRS did? Demanding conservative donor information and effectively shutting down conservative speech, conservative association, conservative groups.
    And where are we with that “investigation”, anyway?
    Didn’t the IRS purge documents after they were subpoenaed?
    Didn’t the Inspector General establish malfeasance?
    Didn’t Lois Lerner take the Fifth?
    As for DreamHost, it seems that it’s being used as a forum and platform to organize violent protests that have resulted in criminal offenses against persons and property, and in civil offenses against the right to free speech and and the right of thousands to hear speech.

    1. Isn’t that exactly what the Obama IRS did? Demanding conservative donor information and effectively shutting down conservative speech, conservative association, conservative groups.

      Not quite. The conservative groups were not using their non-profits to organize violent protests. If this request is not to aid in an active investigation, then it should be denied.

    2. “As for DreamHost, it seems that it’s being used as a forum and platform to organize violent protests that have resulted in criminal offenses against persons and property, ”

      If true, then what the government is doing is correct. Free speech isn’t a Constitutional right when its attempt is to formote violence.

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