On July 12th, for unstated reasons, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a warrant to DreamHost, a website hosting service for DisruptJ20.org. Its goal was to obtain information about people who visited the site, which is known to have been used to make plans to protest at President Trump’s inauguration. Surprisingly, the warrant was phrased in such a way as to suggest that the DoJ was demanding an extremely broad range of information that would have included the IP addresses of 1.3 million people.
When DreamHost voiced its objections to the warrant, the DoJ dropped it in favor of one with narrower parameters. Attempting to explain what happened, a U.S. attorney for the DoJ insists that the unspecific language of the warrant was written by mistake and in ignorance of what DreamHost was capable of providing. DreamHost—alarmed by the request to release information on citizens who were exercising their right to free speech—has already put its own attorney on the case, unwilling to comply without exploring other options and determined to continue fighting the request.