Web service provider DreamHost’s refusal to comply with a search warrant issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ) has garnered much attention in the technology world. The company hosts protest website disruptj20.org, which was used to organize protests during the inauguration of President Donald Trump. As part of an investigation into the protesters, the DOJ served DreamHost with a search warrant requesting a wide variety of digital information pertaining to the website.

The crux of DreamHost’s arguments for refusing to comply has to do with what it saw as the overly broad scope of the search warrant and its implications on the First and Fourth Amendment rights of those whose data would be turned over. At stake is not just a hotly contested political battle, but how search warrants should be designed and executed in the 21st century.

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