Judge Limits U.S. Warrant for Info on Anti-Trump Site

The federal government had sought a sweeping warrant for records from web hosting firm DreamHost of all visitors to the website, DisruptJ20.org, even those not suspected of committing a crime. Judge Robert Morin said prosecutors do “not have the right to rummage through the information contained on DreamHost’s website…”

A Washington, D.C., judge significantly narrowed the Justice Department’s warrant for data on a website used to plan anti-Trump protests during the Inauguration, reports NPR. The government had sought a sweeping warrant for records from web hosting firm DreamHost of all visitors to a customer’s website, DisruptJ20.org — even those not suspected of committing a crime. DreamHost resisted complying, says the warrant was overly broad and endangered privacy and free speech. Judge Robert Morin said prosecutors do “not have the right to rummage through the information contained on DreamHost’s website and discover the identity of, or access communications by, individuals not participating in alleged criminal activity, particularly those persons who were engaging in protected First Amendment activities.”

The government is gathering evidence for cases against nearly 200 people charged with rioting on Jan. 20. DreamHost considered the judge’s ruling a significant victory. “The new order is a far cry from the original warrant we received in July,” said general counsel Christopher Ghazarian. “Absent a finding by the Court that probable cause of criminal activity exists, the government will not be able to uncover the identities of these users. There are also quite a few modifications that further reduce the government’s ability to review unrelated data. This is another huge win not just for DreamHost, but for internet users around the world.”

from https://thecrimereport.org