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Parler's New Site Is Hosted By Russian-Owned Company That Supports QAnon Conspiracy Site And Russian Government Sites

Parler s New Site Is Hosted By Russian Owned Company That Supports QAnon Conspiracy Site And Russian Government Sites
Date Posted: Tuesday, January 19th, 2021

*Parler vanished from the internet when dropped by Amazon Inc's hosting arm

*It was dropped for poor moderation after users called for violence

*Some users had also glorified the 9 January attack on the US Capitol building

*Parler's website was reachable again yesterday accompanied by a message

Parler, a social media website and app popular with the American far-right, has partially returned online with the help of a Russian-owned technology company that supports a QAnon conspiracy site and sites linked to the Kremlin.

Parler vanished from the internet when dropped by Amazon Inc's hosting arm and other partners for poor moderation after its users called for violence and posted videos glorifying the 6 January attack on the US Capitol.

On Monday, Parler's website was reachable again, though only with a message from its chief executive saying he was working to restore functionality.

'Our return is inevitable due to hard work, and persistence against all odds,' the message from CEO John Matze reads. 'Despite the threats and harassment, not one Parler employee has quit. We are becoming closer and stronger as a team.'

The internet protocol address it used is owned by DDos-Guard, which is controlled by two Russian men and provides services including protection from distributed denial of service attacks, infrastructure expert Ronald Guilmette told Reuters.

If the website is fully restored, Parler users would be able to see and post comments. Most users prefer the app, however, which remains banned from the official Apple Inc and Google stores.

Matze and representatives of DDoS-Guard did not reply to requests for comment.

DDoS-Guard has worked with other racist, rightist, and conspiracy sites that have been used by mass murderers to share messages, including 8kun. It has also supported Russian government sites.

DDoS-Guard's website lists an address in Scotland under the company name Cognitive Cloud LP, but that is owned by two men in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Guilmette said. One of them told the Guardian recently that he was not aware of all of the content the company facilitates.

Parler critics said it was a potential security risk for it to depend on a Russian company, as well as an odd choice for a site popular with self-described patriots.

Russian propaganda has stoked political divisions in the United States, supporting outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump and amplifying false narratives about election fraud but also protests against police brutality.

Speaking to Fox News yesterday, Matze said he was 'confident' the site would be online by the 'end of the month'.

He said Parler registered its domain with right-wing web hosting firm Epik last week in one of the first steps to getting back online.

'Every day it changes wildly, but I feel confident now,' Matze said.

'We're making significant progress. When you go into Parler.com it doesn't go into the void now, it hits a server and it returns just one piece of information.'

His comments came soon after Parler's website suddenly re-emerged with a message from Matze on Sunday.

'Hello world, is this thing on?' Matze wrote in the message, dated January 16, accompanied by an image of an egg-timer and a 'technical difficulties' banner.

'Now seems like the right time to remind you all - both lovers and haters - why we started this platform.

'We believe privacy is paramount and free speech essential, especially on social media. Our aim has always been to provide a nonpartisan public square where individuals can enjoy and exercise their rights to both.

'We will resolve any challenge before us and plan to welcome all of you back soon. We will not let civil discourse perish!'

While Parler's website showed limited signs of life, its app remains completely offline.

'We're going to be putting periodic updates there,' Matze told Fox. 'We're going to try to get an update out every day… so that people can stay up to date with the site.

Addressing the criticism the company has faced over the last week, Matze said: 'Despite all of this, we haven't even had one employee quit.

'Not one, even with them being harassed and threatened, no one has quit… we've got such a strong team, this has just made them believe in us more.'

Parler, which disclosed it has over 12 million users, sued Amazon last Monday after the eCommerce giant and cloud services provider cut off service, citing poor moderation of calls to violence.

In an update on Monday, Parler.com linked to a Fox News interview in which Matze said he was 'confident' Parler would return at the end of January.

Source: Ryan Fahey/Dailymail.co.uk

Date Posted: Tuesday, January 19th, 2021 , Total Page Views: 341

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