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Topic: The Russian Company Protecting Parler From Cyberattack: We Don’t Endorse... (Read 145 times) previous topic - next topic

The Russian Company Protecting Parler From Cyberattack: We Don’t Endorse...

The Russian Company Protecting Parler From Cyberattack: We Don’t Endorse ‘Radical Organizations Or Extremism’

Late last week, social-networking app Parler put its website back online, after Amazon stopped hosting the app over its members’ promotion of violence in the Capitol Hill siege of January 6.

Onlookers noticed Parler had acquired the services of a company called DDoS-Guard. Heads turned when the news emerged that DDoS-Guard was Russian. Concerns abound that the Kremlin has long attempted to inflame America’s politics using social media, and the use of Parler amongst the mob in this month’s siege of Capitol Hill has caused enough concern to be investigated by the FBI.

Not that the Russian provider should have access to much Parler data, as it essentially acts as a kind of bouncer for customers. When a wave of traffic hits a customer site, as per a typical distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, the Russian firm sends the traffic to a number of servers so the main website server isn’t overloaded. DDoS-Guard then has to determine what’s legitimate traffic and what isn’t, allowing only legitimate connections. It’s a process known as “scrubbing.”

What’s worrying about DDoS-Guard helping Parler out? It’s largely down to politics and ethics. If one considers Parler to be a danger, a place where the more extreme members of the far right are allowed to incite violence, then DDoS-Guard could be seen as its bodyguard, stopping people who want to take it down by force and therefore an enabler. That it’s Russian will gall those who fear that the Kremlin and businesses under its influence are working to foment discord in the U.S. According to TAdviser, one of DDoS-Guard’s customers is the Russian Ministry of Defense. It also provided services to 8kun, a far-right website also associated with the organizing of the Capitol Hill riots, until it cut ties earlier this month.

On the other hand, if you see Parler as a place where free speech is king, DDoS-Guard is simply enabling that. American company CloudFlare, which also provides anti-DDoS services, has repeatedly had to confront this issue, having provided tools to the likes of the Daily Stormer and other extremist sites in the recent past, before choosing to cut them off in revulsion at their users’ posts.

Hence DDoS-Guard’s statement sent to Forbes today, in which it defended providing services to Parler so soon after the app lost the support of American providers following the Capitol Hill riots. “At this time, does not violate either our Acceptable Use Policy or the current U.S. law to the best of our knowledge,” the company wrote.

“DDoS-Guard remains respectful to the laws of the countries where the company services and by no means endorses any radical organizations, extremism, terrorism or illegal activities. The company also does not support any political movement. The only policy that is close to DDoS-Guard is that of net neutrality.

“DDoS-Guard responsibly keeps customer data without disclosing it to third parties. Moreover, the provider stores only information required for the service and explicitly provided by the customers.”

Parler remains down as a social network, even if is up. Currently, it’s running a message from CEO John Matze, saying Parler’s return is “inevitable.”