A Nightmare For DreamHost And People.

DreamHost is an Internet Service Provider (ISP) that sells hosting of websites, domain registrations, cloud services, etc. When we started to look at hosting companies for Raised on Hoecakes, DreamHost was certainly on our short list of companies. We decided to go with Hostwinds, but we know of sites that are on DreamHost and speak highly of the company.

DreamHost has announced that they are fighting the Department of Justice over the DOj’s demand that DreamHost turn over information concerning a site they host.

For the past several months, DreamHost has been working with the Department of Justice to comply with legal process, including a Search Warrant (PDF) seeking information about one of our customers’ websites.

At the center of the requests is, a website that organized participants of political protests against the current United States administration. 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.

While DreamHost is saying that the warrant if for all information concerning the site and its users, that doesn’t appear to be the case. The government is looking specifically at:

All information described above in Section I that constitutes fruits, evidence and instrumentalities of violations of D.C. Code § 22-1322 involving the individuals who participated, planed, organized, or incited the January 20 riot, relating to the development, publishing, advertisement, access, use, administration or maintenance of any website enumerated in Attachment A, including:

In case you have forgotten, January 20 was the date of the Trump inauguration during which there were not just protests but what appeared to be planned riots which caused injuries and property damage.

Still, to us, the warrant seems rather broad and overreaching. If the DOJ wants to look at individuals and whether they came to that particular site because they committed a crime, that’s one thing. However all people who visited that site may not have violated any law or were simply people who heard about the site and were curious about it or the planned protests.

In many ways, we understand looking for criminals but including everyone seems a bit of a reach.

A scary reach.

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