US government requests IP addresses of visitors to anti-Trump protests website

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DreamHost, a Los Angeles-based hosting company, has announced that it had been requested by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) to provide information about one of the company’s customers’ websites. The website in case was used to organise participants of political protests against the current US administration, and DreamHost has been asked to provide all information available to the company about the website, its owner, and its visitors. As explained by DreamHost, the request involves ‘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’. DreamHost challenged the DoJ on its warrant, arguing that rights such as privacy and freedom of expression are at stake. In reaction, the DoJ has filed a motion in the Washington DC Superior Court asking for an order to compel DreamHost to provide the required information. The company has filed legal arguments in opposition of the DoJ request, and a court hearing on the matter will be held on 24 August. [Update] The DoJ modified its request for information and stated it was not interested in IP addresses.

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