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Judge orders DreamHost to hand over anti-Trump website records to Justice Department

After a dispute over the scope of a warrant, a judge today ordered hosting service DreamHost to turn over records related to an anti-Trump website.

The legal fight started last week, when DreamHost said it had received a warrant from the Justice Department for records on the website “disruptj20.org,” which organized protests related to Trump’s inauguration. The warrant was so vaguely worded, and seemingly so broad, DreamHost argued, that it was effectively demanding information like IP addresses, which could identify visitors to the website.

After controversy, the government backed down somewhat, clarifying that it would not ask for IP addresses. The Justice Department said it was only looking for records on how the website was allegedly used “to organize, to plan, and to effect a criminal act — that is, a riot.”

In today’s ruling, a DC Superior Court judge ordered DreamHost to comply with the amended warrant, although the court will oversee how the data is searched, DreamHost said in a blog post.

DreamHost said it would comply with the warrant but cast the court’s decision as, ultimately, a win. “The de-scoping of the original warrant, combined with the court’s additional restrictions on the use of, and access to, that data, is a clear victory for user privacy,” the company said.


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