August 17, 2017
I have become the first person to be banned from not only from Godaddy and Google registrars for political speech, but also the first person to be banned from Cloudflare for political speech.
Although according to Cloudflare CEO Michael Prince, it was not for political speech, but because he personally thinks I’m an asshole.
Here is his staff memo as leaked to Gizmodo.
Earlier today Cloudflare terminated the account of the Daily Stormer. We’ve stopped proxying their traffic and stopped answering DNS requests for their sites. We’ve taken measures to ensure that they cannot sign up for Cloudflare’s services again.
This was my decision. Our terms of service reserve the right for us to terminate users of our network at our sole discretion. My rationale for making this decision was simple: the people behind the Daily Stormer are assholes and I’d had enough.
Let me be clear: this was an arbitrary decision. It was different than what I’d talked talked with our senior team about yesterday. I woke up this morning in a bad mood and decided to kick them off the Internet. I called our legal team and told them what we were going to do. I called our Trust & Safety team and had them stop the service. It was a decision I could make because I’m the CEO of a major Internet infrastructure company.
Having made that decision we now need to talk about why it is so dangerous. I’ll be posting something on our blog later today. Literally, I woke up in a bad mood and decided someone shouldn’t be allowed on the Internet. No one should have that power.
[Cloudflare employee’s name redacted] asked after I told him what we were going to do: “Is this the day the Internet dies?” He was half joking, but I actually think it’s an important question. It’s important that what we did today not set a precedent. The right answer is for us to be consistently content neutral. But we need to have a conversation about who and how the content online is controlled. We couldn’t have that conversation while the Daily Stormer site was using us. Now, hopefully, we can.
I’ll be publishing a blog post with all our thoughts on this issue in a few hours. Until then, I’d ask that you not talk about this externally.
Co-founder & CEO
How could you not have set a precedent with you emotional decision and belief that Andrew Anglin is an asshole?
Andrew Anglin is not an asshole, by the way. Andrew Anglin is a very nice person.
Andrew Anglin, in the midst of all of this madness, took a stray cat to the hospital.
Prince’s bizarre damage control article is on the Cloudflare blog here.
He says that I said he was a secret Nazi. I have never said this. He is just lying to try and justify the fact that he exercised a power that he admits no man should have in order to ban me from the internet for being an “asshole.”
This is outrageous. And absolute proof that these companies that control critical infrastructure must be regulated by the government.
By the way, it wasn’t because he thinks I’m an asshole. It was because he was pressured. That’s why he leaked this memo. Probably, if he actually believes what he’s saying he believes, he wants his and other critical infrastructure companies to be regulated by the government.
Prince gave an interview to Business Insider, basically saying he shouldn’t have done it but was feeling so emotional he just couldn’t resist.
Until this week, Cloudflare had never dropped a customer because of political pressure.
It’s this fact that the company’s CEO, Matthew Prince, says makes him so “deeply uncomfortable” with his decision early Wednesday to stop providing paid services to The Daily Stormer, including protecting its website from attackers.
As it turns out, attackers took down the neo-Nazi site as soon as Cloudflare stopped protecting it, Prince told Business Insider. Daily Stormer remained offline on Wednesday evening.
Prince made clear that he found the website’s content “vile.” But he regrets that he alone was able to decide its fate.
I’m ready to accept a heartfelt apology.
Or you know, no apology and a resuming of services.
I also have no idea why you have the power of a god to decide what people should and shouldn’t be allowed to think, and it disgusts me that you used your power in the way that you did.
“The ability of somebody to single-handedly choose to knock content offline doesn’t align with core ideas of due process or justice,” Prince told Business Insider on Wednesday. “Whether that’s a national government launching attacks or an individual launching attacks.”
Cloudflare provides a sort of buffer between visitors and websites that seeks to protect sites from denial-of-service attacks. It does this in part by obfuscating the identity of the websites’ hosts. Before this week, that service was protecting The Daily Stormer.
“The size and scale of the attacks that can now easily be launched online make it such that if you don’t have a network like Cloudflare in front of your content, and you upset anyone, you will be knocked offline,” Prince wrote in a blog post Wednesday. “In fact, in the case of the Daily Stormer, the initial requests we received to terminate their service came from hackers who literally said: ‘Get out of the way so we can DDoS this site off the Internet.'”
Cloudflare says it handles 10% of all internet requests. So while this is the first time Cloudflare has stopped working with a website for political reasons, Prince said his company had faced plenty of external and international government pressure.
“There are human rights organizations that are criticizing the Chinese government that we continuously get pressured to restrict,” he said. “There are LGBT organizations in the Middle East. Often times it’s things covering abuses by government that governments would rather not have online.”
This is not the first time, though, that Cloudflare has dropped support for a site. It has ended service to other websites in response to illegal activity, such as child pornography. And in 2015, a court ordered Cloudflare to block websites associated with the music-streaming service Grooveshark, which was in trouble over copyright violations.
In this case, though, Cloudflare dropped The Daily Stormer because the neo-Nazis claimed the company supported their cause.
“The tipping point for us making this decision,” Prince wrote in the blog, “was that the team behind Daily Stormer made the claim that we were secretly supporters of their ideology.”
And that, is absolute fucking bullshit.
It is simply a lie.
Which is why he didn’t provide a source for the claim. I have never said that, weev has never said that, no one on my team has ever said that.
Even if it was true, what does that have to do with anything?
This is the end of internet freedom. As he just said.
This whole situation with turning me into an unperson represents the death of the entire concept behind the internet.
It is the end of the internet.
Even if they wait awhile before they start doing it to others – and I doubt they are going to wait very long, with all that is going down – the internet is dead.
The only way that it can be resurrected is by bringing in the government to regulate all of these companies in the same way that they regulate other public utilities and critical infrastructure.
Dear Silicon Valley,
You better be paying attention to this. This is everything that you worked for, everything that you built, being flushed down the drain by a bunch of weak-willed people cracking to the demands of an extremist leftist mob.
This all has to be reversed.
This no longer has anything at all to do with me or my ideas. This has to do with the basic principles of allowing people to freely speak their minds on the internet, and the fact that a situation has been created where private companies have the ability to stop that from happening.