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Justice Department takes ISP to court over protestor information

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Justice Department takes ISP to court over protestor information

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

DreamHost, an internet service provider, will meet the US Department of Justice in D.C.’s Superior Court today. The provider will challenge the constitutionality of the department’s demands for the IP addresses of all 1.3 million visitor logs on the website disruptj20.org.

The site was used to plan protests on President Trump’s inauguration day. The demonstrations turned violent, and over 200 people were charged with either assault or property damage.

While the department argues that the information is crucial in prosecuting those involved in January’s unlawful riots, DreamHost contends that the sweeping request violates their fourth amendment protection against unlawful search and seizure and dissuades people from practising their first amendment rights to free speech.

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As such, the lawsuit could weaken the US’ position in championing internet freedom and privacy around the world and condemning countries, like Iran and China, that use the internet to extensively collect their citizens’ personal data. This action is in line with other threats proposed by the Trump administration to stifle media that is damaging to its image.

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