A petition to stop President Trump’s administration from gaining access to the personal data of those who visited an anti-Trump website has reached hundreds of thousands of people.
A warrant from the Department of Justice (DOJ) is seeking to reveal every person who visited an anti-Trump website. On the 17th July, the DOJ served a website hosting company, DreamHost with a search warrant for information which relates to a website which was used to coordinate protests during Donald Trump’s inauguration event back in January.
The DOJ reports to the United States Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, who was appointed by the President of the United States.
The warrant includes a search on data about the website’s owners and over 1.3 million people who visited that site.
The petition, which is hosted by the Avaaz petitioning site, is calling the request by the US Administration an investigatory overreach and threatens to violate the privacy and safety of millions of internet users.
The petition reads,
To Judge Morin and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia:
We call on you to rule in favour of DreamHost in the matter of the search of www.disruptj20.org.
The request for citizens’ data by the Trump administration is investigatory overreach and violates the privacy and compromises the safety of millions of people inside the US and around the world.
The search warrant requested is an outrageous abuse of government authority by the Department of Justice and should be denied by the court.
The website in question is www.disruptj20.org, which was used to organise demonstrations and protests on the 20th January during Trump’s inauguration.
Dreamhost which hosts the site said it was going to challenge the request in court.
“DreamHost, like many online service providers, is approached by law enforcement regularly to provide information about customers who may be the subject of criminal investigations.
“These types of requests are not uncommon; our legal department reviews and scrutinizes each request and, when necessary, rejects and challenges vague or faulty orders
“You would be shocked to see just how many of these challenges we’re obligatedto mount every year!
“Chris Ghazarian, our General Counsel, has taken issue with this particular search warrant for being a highly untargeted demand that chills free association and the right of free speech afforded by the Constitution”.