A request by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) for the details of 1.3 million people who visited a website linked with violent anti-Trump protests has been withdrawn.
As reported last week, the DoJ had filed a legal demand for the website's logs of anyone that visited the disruptj20.org website, which coordinated protests around the inauguration of President Trump in January this year.
While the DoJ request was legitimately linked to finding troublemakers, it was widely believed that its request was excessive.
Its excuse was that it didn't know that the website had had as many as 1.3 million visitors - the majority of whom would probably have not been involved in any of the protests, let alone have broken the law.
"The government values and respects the First Amendment right of all Americans to participate in peaceful political protests and to read protected political expression online. This Warrant has nothing to do with that right," claimed the DoJ in a statement.
It continued: "The Warrant is focused on evidence of the planning, coordination and participation in a criminal act - that is, a premeditated riot. The First Amendment does not protect violent, criminal conduct such as this."
The US media reports that in fact, only 217 miscreants were arrested during disturbances, a figure that equates to 5,991 identities requested for every one person arrested - arguably overkill
It adds that the majority of the information it requested actually predated the events it was investigating.
The DoJ is still asking for the website's content and activities from 1 July 2016 up until the day of the inauguration and there won't be a need for revealing metadata or images, HTTP requests or error logs.
Dreamhost has agreed that it will comply with any order, under court seal, so it cannot be leaked any further.
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