It’s easy to get people riled up and ticked off if you tell them that their rights are being taken away. Let’s face it, there’s a reason that not many people are migrating to North Korea; we want to retain our rights. However, it’s pretty standard that when you break the law, some of those rights are taken away. For instance; we have (and hold dear) our second amendment rights firearms, however, if you’ve committed a felony you’re no longer allowed to have them. You start out with the same rights as everyone else and it’s up to you to not screw it up.
Logic, law, and precedent not withstanding, one Los Angeles web hosting company has people in an uproar because they say that the Department of Justice is taking away their customer’s right to privacy. This stems from a warrant that the company received, demanding the names and all other information of those who were involved in an illegal riot that took place in D.C. in January. There were plenty of illegal activities, and many were even arrested, however, the DOJ is still in the middle of sorting out the peaceful protestors from the rioters.
Via Dennis Micheal Lynch:
“A Los Angeles based web hosting provider claims the Department of Justice is requesting information about the visitors to a website used to organize protests against President Donald J. Trump. According to a blog post published Monday, web provider DreamHost said it’s been working with the Department of Justice for several months regarding the site.
DreamHost complains that if they comply with the Department Of Justice’s request, they will need to hand over roughly 1.3 million visitor IP addresses to the government. Additionally, they’ll have to provide contact information, email content and photos of thousands of visitors to disruptj20.org, a website involved in organizing protests against Donald J. Trump on Inauguration Day.
‘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,’ DreamHost wrote in the blog. ‘That should be enough to set alarm bells off in anyone’s mind.’”
OK, here in lies the rub; yes it sets off alarm bells anytime a government agency starts gather names and addresses, that’s a given. However, since it’s their job to protect Americans and prevent crimes, they obviously believe that there were crimes committed (the illegal rioting) and that the justice system needs to hand out punishment. The individuals who chose to attend an illegal event forfeited their right to privacy when they took part in said event. Just like those who gather with terrorist organizations do and just like you and I would if we chose to break the law and were caught.
Carrying on . . .
(DML) DreamHost is challenging the request, gearing up for a hearing on the matter Friday in Washington DC. They published a purported search warrant, issued by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, requesting records and information related to the website and its owner.
According to the document, the information includes ‘names, addresses, telephone numbers and other identifiers, e-mail addresses, business information, the length of service (including start date), means and source of payment for services (including any credit card or bank account number), and information about any domain name registration.’
Dated July 12, the warrant states the “seizure” consists of all information that constitutes ‘fruits, evidence and instrumentalities of violations of D.C. Code § 22-1322 involving the individuals who participated, planed [sic], organized, or incited the January 20 riot, relating to the development, publishing, advertisement, access, use, administration or maintenance of [www.disruptj20.com] . . . .’
‘In essence, the Search Warrant not only aims to identify the political dissidents of the current administration, but attempts to identify and understand what content each of these dissidents viewed on the website,’ the company’s general counsel, Chris Ghazarian, said in a legal argument opposing the request.
On the day of Donald J. Trump’s inauguration, hundreds were indicted on felony rioting charges. During the event, protesters smashed windows and started fires. Police officers said the riot started around 10 a.m. the morning of the inauguration, when one group of protesters were seen tearing trash cans and newspaper boxes off of sidewalks, then dragging them into the center of the street and lighting them on fire.
The Department of Justice directed DreamHost to the United States attorney’s office in Washington D.C. for comments about the request.”
Dream Host seems to be getting more and more irate, the more specific the information that the Department of Justice is asking for. It seems like they’d have cause to be more upset if they were just making blanket asks for information with no cause. These specifics are going to lead prosecutors to an understanding of who was an active participant and who ended up on the site out of curiosity and just clicked around a little.
While on the surface it might seem admirable that Dream Host is attempting to keep the identity of their users safe, the fact of the matter is that if Dream Host had cooperated with the warrant already and the DOJ’s had been able to do their job already, we might be able to avoid events like the one that took place over the weekend in Charlotteville. We’re not allowed to know what they’re looking for specifically because it would be harmful to national security. So sorry if that cramps your style, but no need to whip the nation into a panic because you want to protect law breakers.
(Source: Dennis Micheal Lynch)
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