The Department of Justice’s interest in the website in question, disruptj20.org, was due to a small number of people who participated in “a premeditated riot,” according to US Attorney Channing Phillips. Dreamhost opposed the initial, extremely broad warrant, which asked for the personal information of every visitor to the site, as well as unpublished draft blog posts. The DoJ then narrowed the scope of their inquiry, asking for information only between certain dates and removing the request for draft articles. A judge ordered Dreamhost to comply with this new warrant.
Dreamhost appealed this ruling, and now Chief Judge Morin of the Washington, DC, Superior Court has issued his final ruling. He says in the decision, “While the government has a right to execute its Warrant, it does not have the right to rummage through the information contained on DreamHost’s website and discover the identity of, or access communications by, individuals not participating in alleged criminal activity, particularly those persons who were engaging in First Amendment activities.”