Scott Michelman, who is a senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said that justice department demanding Facebook to turn over information about certain user accounts was "gross invasion of privacy". The organization said on Thursday that the Department of Justice (DOJ) have search warrants to go after three Facebook accounts that were used to organize protests against Donald Trump on inauguration day. The latest effort is a continuation of an investigation conducted by the department over protesters who the DOJ says had broken laws during their anti-Trump inauguration protest.

DOJ goes after activists, claim they're after lawbreakers

It was reported in August that the US Attorney's Office in Washington D.C was pursuing charges against protesters by serving a warrant against web-hosting service DreamHost. The web-hosting company hosted the site DisruptJ20. The warrant was already approved by a judge who agreed that there was probable cause. At the time, the DOJ wanted to obtain information about those who registered for the site. That pursuit alone was controversial enough. But it was also reported by various media outlets that the Justice Department also wanted to get the IP addresses for others who visited the site.

On January 20 during the inauguration, in an article titled: "Violence flares in Washington during Trump inauguration", Reuters reported that "black-clad activists" clashed with police officers while Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony was taking place nearby.

They reported that activists threw rocks and bottles at officers. They also reported that an object had been hurled through a van window which "sped away in reverse" to keep its distance from protesters. It also reported that in other moments, windows of a Bank of America and a McDonald's had been smashed by chunks of pavement and baseball bats.

Trump's admin going after anti-Trump voices

The web-hosting company, DreamHost, argued that the warrant served to them for information on registered users and visitors violated their user's rights to free speech, constitutional protections, and privacy laws. The general counsel for DreamHost, Christopher Ghazarian said that turning over that information would allow the government to identify people by their political affiliation, even though they didn't have anything to do with the site they were hosting.

This also appears to be the case with Trump's Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which sent out requests to each state asking that they turn over voter rolls. Their request was for detailed information on voters, including social security numbers, that showed a history of who Americans had voted from since 2006. The request was viewed as a way for the administration to track those who voted against him. The ACLU was also in the process of suing that commission questioning their existence as they were created under Trump's unproven claims that millions had committed voter fraud to vote against him.

Anti-Trump Facebook users

An article by NBC titled, "Justice Department wants records on visitors to Trump protest site" referred to an associate professor at the American University Washington College of Law, Jennifer Daskal, who worked on national security issues with the justice department under the Obama administration.

Daskal said that the government was looking to build a map of everyone who was present at the protests.

This would certainly appear to be the case with President Trump who has already shown some interest in jailing protesters. Such was the case with the latest requests of Facebook accounts, which the NBC report says could force the social media giant to release the account names of 6,000 users who liked the DisruptJ20 Facebook page between November 2016 - February 2017. The new warrants reportedly include demands for the social media company to turn over private messages and other information about anti-Trump activists.