‘Free speech’ app Parler looking for hosting alternative to return online

'Free speech' app Parler looking for hosting alternative to return online
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Social network Parler is looking for a hosting alternative following its removal from Amazon Web Services more than a week ago.

Following the decision of Amazon to remove Parler from its Amazon Web Services (AWS) for violating its rules, the company is currently searching for a hosting alternative since it does not have the resources to host itself on its own servers.

In a court filing, Parler stated that it tried to seek services from at least six different potential providers but was declined. Parler chief executive officer (CEO) John Matze mentioned in the filing that the firm is incapable of hosting itself.

The filing is part of an ongoing lawsuit between Parler and Amazon.

Removal from Apple, Google and Amazon

Parler was removed by Amazon, Apple and Google from their platforms in a span of just over 24 hours.

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Google said the suspension of Parler is due to its failure to remove posts inciting violence.

Meanwhile, Apple mentioned that it will not lift the suspension as long as the network continued to spread posts that incite violence. The company said: “Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these treats to people’s safety.”

Amazon said it discovered 98 posts on the site encouraging violence.

In a letter to Parler’s Chief Policy Officer Amy Peikoff, Amazon’s AWS Trust and Safety team pointed out that the social network “does not have an effective process to comply with the AWS terms of service”.

The letter stated: “AWS provides technology and services to customers across the political spectrum, and we continue to respect Parler’s right to determine for itself what content it will allow on its site.”

“However we cannot provide services to a customer that is unable to effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others. Because Parler cannot comply with our terms of service and poses a very real risk to public safety, we plan to suspend Parler’s account,” the team added.

Federal case against Amazon

Parler filed a case with a federal judge to force Amazon to bring it back to the tech giant’s AWS cloud computing service.

In its complaint, Parler stated: “AWS’s decision to effectively terminate Parler’s account is apparently motivated by political animus. It is also apparently designed to reduce competition in the microblogging services market to the benefit of Twitter.”

In response to Parler’s allegations, Amazon said: “There is no merit to these claims.”

New Russian provider?

While Parler said potential providers have turned it down, its website suddenly reappeared online on Sunday with a message from Matze saying: “Hello world, is this thing on?”

Because of the website’s resurfacing, speculations on who is providing services to Parler have emerged, with people particularly taking interest in what company it may be using to defend itself from distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) since Amazon’s DDoS protections over Parler also stopped when it was removed from AWS.

Based on public records, Parler is currently using DDoS-guard, a company headquartered in Russia. DDoS-guard declined to specify which services it is providing to Parler and denied that it is hosting Parler’s website.

DDoS-guard said: “We do not provide hosting services to Parler.com. Any customer can access and use our services as long as his/her activities are not prohibited in the country and do not violate any laws… We do not want to be involved in the political scene in any countries around the world.”

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