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CCIA Stands Against DOJ Anti-Trump Site Info Demand

Computer companies are standing with a web hosting company that is facing a search warrant obtained by the Department of Justice to 1.3 million IP addresses of an anti-Trump protest web site.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association, whose members include Amazon, Facebook, Google, and eBay, came to the company's defense.

“CCIA supports DreamHost and calls on DOJ to revise this request, and reassess its search warrant practices to respect the First and Fourth Amendments," said CCIA President Ed Black. “U.S. tech companies are often compelled to resist sweeping dragnets aimed at political dissent from foreign regimes. The U.S. government itself has criticized countries that target political dissent with criminal process. We would urge DOJ to consider the consequences of such requests both in terms of emboldening countries like China and in the message this sends to democratic allies.”

"At the center of the requests is, a website that organized participants of political protests against the current United States administration," DreamHost blogged this week. "While we have no insight into the affidavit for the search warrant (those records are sealed), the DOJ has recently asked DreamHost to provide all information available to us about this website, its owner, and, more importantly, its visitors."

In addition to the addresses, says DreamHost, Justice wants 'contact information, email content, and photos of thousands of people" who simply visited the site. DreamHost challenged the warrant, and DOJ has now sought a court order to compel it to produce the information, says the company.

(Photo via Rock1997Image taken on Jan. 18, 2017 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 16x9 aspect ratio.)

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.