Investigating the Opposition

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This is most definitely not the sort of story Americans should want to see:

The Department of Justice has requested information on visitors to a website used to organize protests against President Trump, the Los Angeles-based Dreamhost said in a blog post published on Monday.

Dreamhost, a web hosting provider, said that it has been working with the Department of Justice for several months on the request, which believes goes too far under the Constitution.

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Maybe there are legitimate reasons that the federal government would want this list, but any action that government takes that appears to target domestic opposition, or could ease the way for a future government that does so, ought to be viewed with the highest suspicion.

This goes for Rhode Island government, too.  The anti-gun bills set to come back for consideration in a few weeks when the General Assembly reconvenes (H5510 and S0405) have been sold as only limiting the Second Amendment rights of those with restraining orders against them, but it also would confiscate the weapons of Americans who have misdemeanor convictions for a broad variety of crimes, including, for example, cyberstalking, which is vague, and disorderly conduct involving the use of force.

In other words, a person who protests government action in a peaceful but forceful way, with something tagged as the “use of force” (say, linking arms and “using force” not to be pulled apart) would give the government pretense to remove his or her constitutional rights.  Keep in mind, too, the slippery slope initiated by some progressives’ insistence that “hate speech” isn’t covered by “free speech”; the First Amendment is only one step removed from the Second.

Those on the political Left who fear the Trump administration’s access to Internet data should not be comforted by the fact that the political winds in Rhode Island tend to blow their way at this moment in time.

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