Trump’s DOJ Battles Web Host For Private Information On 1.3 Million Resistance Members

Department of Justice Orders DreamHost To Fork Over Data On 1.3 Million Resistance Members

Popular web hosting company DreamHost is currently embroiled in a feud with the Department of Justice in an effort to protect not only one of their customers, but all of the people who visited a website belonging to that customer. And if you think this has something to do with the Charlottesville terror attack, like it should, think again.

The DOJ’s real target: Resistance members. Particularly 1.3 million people who’ve visited DisruptJ20.org, a website that helps organize protests against the Trump administration and offers legal advice and legal aid to protesters who are arrested while taking a stand against Trump.

Related: The Face of the Resistance: Maxine Waters Leads Battle Towards Impeachment of Trump

In an open letter published by DreamHost on Monday, the company explains that the Justice Department approached them with an overreaching warrant demanding personal information on 1.3 million DisruptJ20 visitors, including IP addresses, contact information, photos, and emails.

“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.

“[…] 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. That should be enough to set alarm bells off in anyone’s mind.

“This is, in our opinion, a strong example of investigatory overreach and a clear abuse of government authority.”

DreamHost contested the DOJ’s request, citing the first amendment rights of their customer, as well as all of their customer’s visitors. The DOJ responded by filing a motion in the Washington DC Superior Court, requesting an order to compel DreamHost into compliance. A court hearing has been scheduled for Friday, August 18th regarding the legal fight.

DOJ Concerned With Resistance, Turns A Blind Eye Toward Right-Wing White Nationalist Websites

While the Department of Justice expends resources investigating (mostly) nonviolent Resistance members, what are they doing to counteract the hate crime-themed terror attack in Charlottesville that took place this past weekend and claimed someone’s life?

The Daily Stormer, a site which billed itself as “The world’s most genocidal Republican website,” is offline today — or at least, relegated to the Dark Web — after both GoDaddy and Google dropped the hate-mongering radical right wing website from their domain hosting services. But was the DOJ attempting to investigate them in relation to the Charlottesville terror attack? If they were, neither GoDaddy nor Google were fighting any public requests, and neither company has publicly commented on any such investigations.

We don’t know whether or not the DOJ was previously or is currently investigating these sorts of right-wing hate-spewing Nazi websites. But if they are, they certainly aren’t taking any steps to reassure the public that they’re taking action. And if they aren’t investigating those sites, and are instead concerning themselves with an investigation into the Resistance movement (a movement that DOESN’T have a body count), that would make this gross overstep by the DOJ — possibly at the behest of Donald Trump — all the more alarming… and entirely disgusting.

The US Constitution protects our freedom of speech and our freedom to peacefully assemble. Do you know what the Constitution never mentions? Giving an egotistical wannabe tyrant the legal authority to investigate those American citizens courageous enough to stand up to a bully and oppose his reign. Trump loves to throw around labels. He thinks of those who oppose him as “enemies” and doesn’t comprehend the rather simple notion that you can disagree with someone without being at war with them. As if Donald Trump needed any more negative qualities that prove to us each and every day how non-presidential he is.

Featured image courtesy of Spencer Platt/ Getty Images

Matt Terzi is a political satirist and essayist from Binghamton, New York, who has written for some of the most prominent satire publications in the country. He's now moving into more "serious" subject matter, without losing touch with his comedic roots