- On Thursday, web hosting company DreamHost LLC was ordered to comply with a government warrant requesting details about its subscribers, according to Bloomberg.
- DreamHost hosted disruptj20.org, an anti-Trump website that was allegedly used to encourage riots during the presidential inauguration last January. The rioting caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, Bloomberg reports.
- Chief Judge of the D.C. Superior Court Robert Morin said he would ensure the government only receives data on people linked to the riots, protecting the identities of the other 1.3 million people that visited the site.
This is an issue Microsoft, Google and other tech companies have recently dealt with as well. Are web giants required to turn over subscriber information when served with a warrant in a law enforcement case?
The DreamHost decision stands in contrast to a suit Microsoft dealt with. In January, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said it would not reconsider a decision preventing the Department of Justice from forcing Microsoft to turn over customer emails stored outside the U.S.
In that case, the DOJ held Microsoft in contempt of court for not complying with a 2013 warrant mandating the company release a drug trafficking case suspect’s email account data stored on a server in Ireland.
These contentious issues may continue to arise as tech companies seek to protect users’ privacy while law enforcement agencies seek justice.