January 19, 2021
After Amazon Web Services (AWS) Amazon Web Services (AWS) shut down the right-wing social network Parler, Parler CEO John Matze claimed Parler will be back with “many competing for our business.” Well. No. That didn’t turn out to be the case. But, a simple one-page Parler website is up and running on an Epik-hosted server.
Epik is a tiny, approximately 50 employees, domain registrar, and web hosting company based in Bellevue, Washington. It’s best known for hosting fake-news, far-right and neo-Nazi websites such as InfoWars, Gab, and The Daily Stormer.
Curiously, Epik officially denied having any “contact or discussions with Parler in any form regarding our organization becoming their registrar or hosting provider: on January 11, 2021. A whois search reveals, however, that on that same day, Epik became Parler’s internet domain registry.
In its statement, though, Epik also denounced the “kneejerk reaction” of major companies “deplatforming and terminating any relationship that on the surface looks problematic or controversial.” Besides AWS, Apple and Google removed the Parler smartphone client. As Matze himself has said on Fox News, no one wants to work with Parler after Amazon dropped the company. Matze concluded, bringing Parler back up is “basically impossible.”
Parler’sIP address itself is owned by DDoS-Guard. This Russian-owned company also hosts QAnon, 8chan, and the terrorist group Hamas. According to security expert Brian Krebs, “A review of the several thousand websites hosted by DDoS-Guard … includes a vast number of phishing sites and domains tied to cybercrime services or forums online.”
An image, purporting to show Parler’s server hardware requirements, shows the social network needs a minimum of 11,680 virtual CPUs; an internal network capable of dealing with at least 300 Gigabits per second (Gbps); and an internet connection that can handle 100 Gbps. That is well beyond Epik’s capabilities. To bring Parler back as it was would require the support of a major cloud provider.
Bringing up a one-page website, however, is trivial.
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