August 15, 2017 6:20 pm
Updated: August 15, 2017 6:26 pm

B.C. civil liberty advocates concerned over U.S. warrant for Anti-Trump site

In this photo taken Aug. 14, 2017, President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington.

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Canadian civil liberties organizations are raising red flags over a move by the U.S. government to get the personal details of visitors to an anti-Trump website.

The U.S. Department of Justice has served a warrant to an American website-hosting company asking for the IP addresses of 1.3 million visitors to the site.

LISTEN: Simi Sara discusses the warrant issued by the Department of Justice

This has civil liberty advocates in B.C. concerned it could open the floodgates for other websites to be targeted.

The U.S. government is also looking for names, email addresses, telephone numbers and how long people were on the site for, among other things.

READ MORE: B.C. human rights group wants third party oversight of Canadian Border Services Agency

Micheal Vonn from the BC Civil Liberties Association said the move raises alarm bells for Canadians wanting to go to the U.S.

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“It does not inspire confidence in relation to things like crossing the border etc., that one’s political views – which frankly U.S. border officials can always ask you about – could be potentially augmented by this kind of information gathering and sharing.”

Vonn said that just by publicly wanting this information the government can intimidate people into not going to websites they have every legal right to.

READ MORE: Canada should suspend Safe Third Country agreement with the U.S. says B.C. group

A digital rights advocacy group in B.C. also shared Vonn’s concerns.

“We don’t necessarily know how all that information is used but potentially one of the ways it is popping back up is when Canadians are attempting to visit the U.S., and that can have an impact on their lives,” said Meghan Sali with Open Media.

She said it also leaves the door open for the U.S. to possibly share information with the Canadian government, which it might not otherwise have access to.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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