U.s. department demands information about visitors anti-Trump-website
Photo: Hollandse Hoogte
The U.s. department of Justice has a web hoster ordered to share information about the administrators and visitors of a website which protests against president Donald Trump organizes.
The company Dreamhost received a zoekbevel (pdf) to view information about the site disruptj20.org is requested.
In the zoekbevel will be prompted for information about the administrators of the site, but also about connections that in the past with the website are created. In a blog post writes Dreamhost that the site from over 1.3 million different ip addresses visited. Such ip-addresses could be traced to individual visitors.
The ministry does not specify exactly why the information is requested. Further information about the research is secret. The zoekbevel seems to have to deal with the demonstrations during the inauguration of president Trump, in which about 200 people were arrested.
Disruptj20.org was one of the greatest organizers of those protests. Several detainees are suspected of vandalism. On the website it seems only to be called for peaceful protest.
Dreamhost says he doesn’t want to join in the request for information. “This is in our opinion a good example of a false deployment of investigative powers and a clear abuse of state authority.” The company is now embroiled in a lawsuit against the ministry of Justice, where judgment needs to be done.
Lawyer Ken White writes in the legal blog Popehat that it zoekbevel very far. “The government has no effort been made to keep the injunction to limit it to actual evidence of a particular crime. If you like the site, if you have a message left, they want to know who you are – even if you looked in the inauguration on tv.”
In a document that is filed with a court in Washington D. C., the ministry argued that DreamHost is not a good reason to zoekbevel to fight. The web hoster can not rely on privacy laws, says the public prosecutor.