Thursday, August 17, 2017

  • Thursday, August 17, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

Cloudflare is a web proxy service that protects websites from being taken down by distributed denial of service attacks. They have always been proud of the fact that they never took down a site for political reasons, no matter how odious.

But now they took down The Daily Stormer neo-Nazi site after it made headlines in the wake of Charlottesville.

We have followed Cloudflare for a while. They provide protection for jihadist websites that support murdering Jews, like Hamas and Islamic Jihad. I believe that Cloudflare is breaking US law by providing this protection.

In fact, Cloudflare claimed that they refused to provide services to ISIS because it is against the law - yet Hamas and Islamic Jihad and the PFLP and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades are also US-designated terror groups, and providing services to them is just as illegal.

But Cloudflare came up with a completely different explanation for dropping the neo-Nazi site, and one not involving hiding behind the law:

Our terms of service reserve the right for us to terminate users of our network at our sole discretion. The tipping point for us making this decision was that the team behind Daily Stormer made the claim that we were secretly supporters of their ideology.
Our team has been thorough and have had thoughtful discussions for years about what the right policy was on censoring. Like a lot of people, we’ve felt angry at these hateful people for a long time but we have followed the law and remained content neutral as a network. We could not remain neutral after these claims of secret support by Cloudflare.
Gizmodo quotes it slightly differently:
 [Cloudflare CEO Matthew] Prince explained in an internal email to staffers that he doesn’t think CEOs of internet companies should be in the position of policing content on their networks—he told Gizmodo he thinks that’s a job that should ultimately be left up to law enforcement if the content violates the law—but felt pushed to act because the operators of the Daily Stormer are “assholes.”
“I realized there was no way we were going to have that conversation with people calling us Nazis,” Prince said. “The Daily Stormer site was bragging on their bulletin boards about how Cloudflare was one of them and that is the opposite of everything we believe. That was the tipping point for me.”
That's the reason? Because some neo-Nazi sissies claimed Cloudflare shared their ideology and they were worried that people would believe them? I call bullshit.

While I don't doubt that some Nazi jerk might have made this claim on a bulletin board somewhere, no one in the world would have plausibly believed that Cloudflare is sympathetic to Nazis, just as it is obviously does not support the aims of jihadists. I cannot find a single news report saying that neo-Nazis claimed this.  No one would have even heard of such a claim if Cloudflare's CEO hadn't himself said it to the media.

Cloudflare supports only one thing, and that's making money. That's why it built its reputation on providing services to unsavory organizations to begin with - and that's why it is dropping its service to the Daily Stormer. The neo-Nazis suddenly became too toxic for GoDaddy and Google and Cloudflare couldn't take the pressure from the media and the tweeters and the angry, angry people.

The jihadists may want to kill or subjugate all the Jews and Christians in the Middle East - but they don't wave swastikas.

Hamas and the other antisemitic jihadist groups are just as morally reprehensible as the neo-Nazis. They have also murdered a lot more people in the past couple of decades than any neo-Nazis have. Cloudflare is simply looking for an excuse to get out of the business of helping the far-Right after Charlottesville - but the lack of outrage over its support for Islamist hate sites is the reason it retains them as clients.

In the end, I still believe that there is a solid legal case to be made against Cloudflare'a aupport of terrorist sites. By protecting websites for terror groups, Cloudflare is providing "material support" to terror groups by the definition of the Patriot Act as I have shown.

I am not going to rely on their CEO's decision that neo-Nazis are assholes but Islamist terrorists aren't. His refusal to support ISIS and The Daily Stormer proves that he does make these decisions for financial reasons which includes fear of being fined by the government. Free speech and morality have nothing to do with it. Cloudflare's CEO is not moral - he is opportunistic.

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