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abuse of power

The DOJ is trying to track people who visited a Trump protest site

The Department of Justice has requested an extensive data set on people who visited a website organizing a protest against President Trump's inaugural festivities, web hosting service DreamHost said Monday in a blog post detailing the company's response to the warrant.

"At the center of the requests is disruptj20.org," DreamHost said, and "the DOJ has recently asked DreamHost to provide all information available to us about this website, its owner, and, more importantly, its visitors," including "1.3 million visitor IP addresses — in addition to contact information, email content, and photos of thousands of people." The DOJ's warrant also seeks payment information such as bank account or credit card numbers as a means of identifying site visitors.

"The government has made no effort whatsoever to limit the warrant to actual evidence of any particular crime," notes legal analyst Ken White in a critique of the case. "This is chilling, particularly when it comes from an administration that has expressed so much overt hostility to protesters, so relentlessly conflated all protesters with those who break the law, and so deliberately framed America as being at war with the administration's domestic enemies."

DreamHost is challenging the request on constitutional grounds and has a hearing in court Friday. The DOJ referred a request for comment from The Hill to the U.S. district attorney's office in Washington, D.C. The office did not comment but did offer some documents pertaining to the case.