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Feds drop demand for 1.3 million IP addresses that visited anti-Trump site

Police officers wearing tactical gear form a barrier with riot shields to prevent the movement of protestors after the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017 in Washington D.C.  Hundreds of thousands of people combined to celebrate and protest.
Enlarge / Police officers carrying tactical gear type a barrier with riot shields to stop the motion of protestors after the inauguration of Donald Trump because the forty fifth President of the United States on January 20, 2017 in Washington D.C. Hundreds of 1000’s of individuals mixed to have fun and protest.

Mark Makela/Getty Images

The US Department of Justice is backing down on its request to Web internet hosting service DreamHost to disclose the 1.3 million IP addresses that visited a Trump resistance site. The request was a part of the federal government’s investigation into Inauguration Day rioting, which has already resulted within the indictment of 200 people. More are possible.

“The authorities has little interest in information regarding the 1.3 million IP addresses that are talked about in DreamHost’s quite a few press releases and Opposition temporary,” federal prosecutors said in a brand new courtroom submitting regarding its investigation of the disruptj20.org site.

The authorities, within the courtroom doc, stated it didn’t notice that its original warrant, (PDF) which is a part of a federal grand jury investigation into Inauguration Day rioting, was so grand in scope.

“What the federal government didn’t know when it obtained the Warrant—what it couldn’t have fairly identified—was the extent of customer information maintained by DreamHost that extends past the federal government’s singular focus on this case of investigating the planning, group, and participation within the January 20, 2017 riot,” the authorities stated.

The authorities added that it was solely involved with “a small and centered group of people” linked to the disruptj20.org site.

“The web site was not only a means to publicly disseminate info (as many web sites are designed to do), however was additionally used to coordinate and to privately talk amongst a centered group of individuals whose intent included deliberate violence,” the federal government wrote in a courtroom submitting. The authorities added that “the site was even used to confirm the identification of individuals in closely-held conferences that weren’t open to the media or public, the place organizers required attendees to log-in to the web site to show their credentials.”

Los Angeles-based DreamHost claimed victory in its bid to beat again the federal government’s request for a lot person information.

“We see this as an enormous win for Internet privateness, and we completely recognize the DOJ’s willingness to take a look at and rethink each the scope and the depth of their unique request for information. That’s all we requested them to do within the first place, actually,” DreamHost said in a weblog submit.

Paul Alan Levy, a lawyer for Public Citizen, is not so certain. He represented site guests who wished to maintain their on-line browsing nameless, and he doubts the Justice Department’s sincerity that it did not need information of everyone who visited the site. The original warrant (PDF) expressly calls for “HTTP request and error logs.”

“Either they’re incompetent or they’re disingenuous,” Levy stated in a phone interview.

The protest site is registered to a gaggle calling itself “The Movement” in Washington, DC. It didn’t instantly reply for remark.

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