Justice Department Drops Request for IP Addresses of 1.3 Million Visitors to Anti-Trump Site

The US Department of Justice is rescinding its request for IP logs that will have revealed guests to a web site used to plan a protest throughout Donald Trump’s inauguration.

DreamHost, the website hosting supplier that was hit with the request, has been preventing again in opposition to what it characterised as an over-broad warrant that will have pressured the corporate to hand over “all information available to us about this website, its owner, and, more importantly, its visitors.” DreamHost stated the warrant would’ve required it to reveal 1.3 million IP addresses that visited the location,

“That information could be used to identify any individuals who used this site to exercise and express political speech protected under the Constitution’s First Amendment. That should be enough to set alarm bells off in anyone’s mind,” DreamHost wrote in a blog post.

In a reply brief filed as we speak, US Attorney Channing Phillips wrote, “The government has no interest in records relating to the 1.3 million IP addresses that are mentioned in DreamHost’s numerous press releases and Opposition brief.”

Phillips argues that the federal government didn’t imply for its warrant to be so broad however didn’t have any approach of understanding how a lot info DreamHost had—together with the thousands and thousands of IP logs, in addition to draft weblog posts and electronic mail messages of the location homeowners—till the corporate spoke up and complained concerning the over-broadness of the warrant.

“To re-iterate: these additional facts were unknown to the government at the time it applied for and obtained the Warrant; consequently, the government could not exclude from the scope of the Warrant what it did not know existed,” Phillips wrote.

The DoJ is now asking the court docket to slender the information coated by its warrant to exclude customer IP logs and unpublished drafts and pictures.

Gizmodo contacted DreamHost and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is aiding DreamHost with its case, and can replace this submit once we hear again.

Update 6:40 p.m. ET: “I am not surprised, to be perfectly honest. This is exactly what I expected them to do initially after DreamHost approached them about narrowing the warrant,” EFF senior employees lawyer Mark Rumold advised Gizmodo.

Even although the Justice Department has dropped its request for expansive IP logs, Rumold says the warrant nonetheless looks as if a misguided try to collect details about the planning of the protest. “Before it was more or less a dragnet and a witch hunt and now it’s just a witch hunt,” he stated. “It’s substantially narrower but they’re still after a substantial amount of content.”

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