Users of an alternative social media site, Parler, were left without an online home when Amazon Web Services – their web hosting service – pulled the plug on their site. Citing violent content and numerous posts that supported violence, the site was suddenly offline with no apparent means of access.
To make matters worse, security researchers then released some 70 TB of Parler user data to the general public – including various videos and messages. At least a portion of these messages were directly pertaining to the attacks on the U.S. Capitol Building that took place in early January.
Amazon originally issued a statement regarding the matter, which read, in part: "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."
It's also important to note that Parler was never hacked – at least not according to the conventional meaning of the term. Security researchers were able to gain access to user data simply because of the poor design and lack of security seen within the site itself. Experts also insist that personal data, like email addresses, phone numbers and credit card numbers, were never jeopardized.
Many view the act of releasing this data as nothing more than a form of preservation. Since it might contain information that is valuable to the investigations of law enforcement personnel in the U.S., this ensures that the data remains available if it's ever needed. This includes many incriminating posts that discuss in-person meetings and even various strategies for gaining entry into the U.S. Capitol.
Making a Comeback
Despite the setbacks, Parler managed to come back online – more than a month after it was originally dropped by AWS. This time, however, they were backed by a company known as SkySilk.
SkySilk released a statement saying: "Skysilk does not advocate nor condone hate, rather, it advocates the right to private judgment and rejects the role of being the judge, jury, and executioner. Unfortunately, too many of our fellow technology providers seem to differ in their position on this subject. SkySilk will support Parler in their efforts to be a nonpartisan Public Square."
Parler's recent return isn't without some controversy of its own, however. Not only does the site sport a newly designed logo, but it also highlights a brand new set of community guidelines for its users. According to these guidelines, Parler "will not knowingly allow itself to be used as a tool for crime, civil torts, or other unlawful acts."''
Their comeback also raises several serious security concerns about their other infrastructure providers, including a security company known as DDoS-guard. Although it remains up and running at the time of this writing, nearly anything could happen with the site in the coming weeks, months and years.
Parler Restores Site with SkySilk Cloud Provider
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