Who is DreamHost?
DreamHost is an online service provider, providing web hosting and cloud computing services to over 400,000 customers worldwide.
DreamHost is currently fighting a warrant from the Department of Justice requesting information about a customer's web site: disruptj20.org. These types of requests are not uncommon, and DreamHost (and other service providers) complies with them regularly.
What's unique about this case?
Instead of requesting information about the website's owner, the DOJ has gone one step farther and requested access to every scrap of data DreamHost has about the website and its visitors. Emails, photos, and even server logs containing 1.3 million visitor IP addresses are included in the wide-reaching scope of the warrant.
This is a highly untargeted search that stands to expose the identities of many thousands of visitors who are not the subject of criminal investigations themselves.
DreamHost believes this particular records request raises strong First and Fourth Amendment issues, and is a violation of privacy for many thousands of internet users.
What's at stake?
The decision that is made in this case will affect not just DreamHost, but all online service providers that host customer-created content.
It would change the landscape for investigators and allow them greater access to user data that may not be directly related to ongoing criminal investigations.
It would also chill associational rights under our Constitution, dissuading people from freely visiting websites of their choice.
What if you raise too much money?
Any funds that remain after this legal action is completed (as determined by DreamHost) will be donated to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The EFF has been an ally and a supportive professional resource for DreamHost throughout this challenge.
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