Parler Finds a Reprieve in Russia—but Not a Solution
After the Capitol riots on January 6, a large number of leading tech companies decided to pull support for Parler, a social network that aims to provide free speech and communication. Parler was the preferred social media for many far-right conservatives, as the site was more relaxed in terms of hateful speech policies and other similar codes. Apple and Google have removed the app from their online stores, meanwhile, Amazon Web Services cut the platform’s hosting services. Although the site is now partially back up, a large portion of it remains disbanded. To even be able to host a portion of the site, Parler had to hire a Russian digital infrastructure company, DDoS Gaurd, to help it manage cyberthreats and mitigate cyberattacks.
DDoS Gaurd stated that they are not hosting the social media platform’s site, and are just providing defense against denial of service attacks. If Parler were to relaunch in full with DDoS Gaurd, it could be exposing its users to Russian surveillance given Russia’s efforts to isolate the country’s internet and access all user data. Parler is allegedly seeking US-based providers, however, they have been shunned by the US’s biggest tech names and have too many users for small hosts, making domestic provider options hard to find.