“Daily Stormer” Termination Haunts Cloudflare in Online Piracy Case

Megalith

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For years on end, Cloudflare has been asked to remove terrorist propaganda, pirate sites, and other controversial content. Each time, Cloudflare replied that it doesn’t take action without a court order. No exceptions—well, unless the CEO wakes up in a bad enough mood. Now, the repercussions for Matthew Prince’s statements are continuing to mount.

“Mr. Prince’s statement to the public that Cloudflare kicked neo-Nazis off the internet stand in sharp contrast to Cloudflare’s testimony in this case, where it claims it is powerless to remove content from the Internet,” ALS Scan writes. The above is part of a recent submission where both parties argue over whether Prince can be deposed or not. Cloudflare wants to prevent this from happening and claims it’s unnecessary, but the adult publisher disagrees.
 

alphadog

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There's a difference between closing one account outright and finding/filtering for, say, pirated material across all accounts.
 

Gigus Fire

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There's a difference between closing one account outright and finding/filtering for, say, pirated material across all accounts.
really? what's the difference?
You either have to claim a common carrier status and say nope, we can't do anything because we're not responsible for the content nor can we filter, or you have to moderate. can't go half in and claim you can't do the rest.
 

kinjo

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This is the same thing as every single time someone wants us to suspend the 4th and 5th Amendment just because it would help the police bust some Dbag pedophile or Drug dealer. Sure nailing that particular slime bag (or in this case group of slime bags) feels great but when it comes at the cost of subverting our constitution and the rights that it guarantees to our citizens it's never every worth it.

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Benjamin Franklin

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty, than those attending too small a degree of it." Thomas Jefferson
 

ChoGGi

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Would it have been that hard to put up a little "We don't support/endorse this website" message along with the captcha there Mr. Prince?

Should've stayed neutral Cloudflare...

really? what's the difference?
You either have to claim a common carrier status and say nope, we can't do anything because we're not responsible for the content nor can we filter, or you have to moderate. can't go half in and claim you can't do the rest.
Well they weren't responsible for hosting content, just managing the ongoing DDoS against stormfront no? I'm pretty sure they've never claimed common carrier status.
I'm sleepy, so I'm having some trouble figuring out what ALS Scan is asking for, they don't want to have to get a court order every time (obviously)? They just want to have Cloudflare stop doing their thing for any website they choose? It's not like the pirate website is going to go anywhere, they'll just switch DNS and call it a (slightly more host costs) day.
 

Jadawin

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Would it have been that hard to put up a little "We don't support/endorse this website" message along with the captcha there Mr. Prince?

Should've stayed neutral Cloudflare...
Why? Aren't Conservatives always saying that companies can select their customers? Or is this only vaild when a bakery refuses gay customers?
 

IdiotInCharge

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Why? Aren't Conservatives always saying that companies can select their customers? Or is this only vaild when a bakery refuses gay customers?
That argument, as I understand it, relates to sincerely held religious beliefs- which may be outdated, but is a solid legal concept, and in the case of a cake, requires producing a product specifically for an event, the action of which could be argued to be participation in said event which is contrary to the baker(s) sincerely held religious beliefs.*

With respect to a hosting company, the 'common carrier status' argument is something else entirely. They're not making something unique, they're making a service available that the customer then does what they will with, which the denial or termination of which without legal prompting (a warrant, etc.) could be argued to be illegal discrimination and/or limiting of free speech.

While both are obviously emotionally motivated and one is 'right' and the other 'wrong' based on prevailing US social mores, these are two different things.


[*Let me nip this in the bud: there's a difference between 'I won't make a cake with two male or two female figures on top that's otherwise the same as every other cake I make because I don't like homosexuality/other bigoted position' and 'I refuse to make a vagina/penis/otherwise offensive cake and then deliver it as a participant in a gay wedding'. I'd argue against a baker in the former, and for the baker in the latter, and would hope that the courts would do the same- and hope that an equitable legal distinction between the two could be found.]
 
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just think of every company being out there to profit. then every behavior is clear.
your small neighborhood store does not exist on the Internet anymore.
 

Pyro411

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Free speech is doomed.
As I see it, it's not an attack on free speech, basically Cloudflare said...
"Well that's enough, I'm not taking the punches for you anymore, take your soapbox off my front lawn and go somewhere else"
If it was an attack on free speech they would have turned over logs on Admin & Visitor access to the authorities for prosecution under the laws of country X.

I can see this one instance turn into a major tipping point decision when it comes to what can be hosted on the internet and what protections they may or may not have. -- For better or worse we're in for a VERY bumpy ride.
 

Romale23

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Why? Aren't Conservatives always saying that companies can select their customers? Or is this only vaild when a bakery refuses gay customers?
I stand on the companies should be able to do whatever they want with their property, that being said that isn't what this is about. Those arguments are not even about the same thing. What cloud flare did is said we will not moderate our customers in anyway and shouldn't incur legal liability for anything they do with our companies property to actually moderating their customers, so now it will be argued they do incur liability.
 

Jagger100

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Why? Aren't Conservatives always saying that companies can select their customers? Or is this only vaild when a bakery refuses gay customers?
Analogy fail.
To be analogous the bakery would have had to said yes, then a few days before, decided they wouldn't do it when it was too late to be replaced. Anyone I talked to pretty much would have made an exception if the bakery was the only game in town and definitely wouldn't have supported an irrecoverable last second pull out.
 

Biznatch

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Free speech is doomed.
Really? I must have missed the part where the white trash is being prosecuted by the government.... Because that's the only thing the first amendment protects, not your right to say stupid shit on the internet and not get banned from a private hosting company.
 
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mope54

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could be argued to be illegal discrimination and/or limiting of free speech
could only be argued by someone who doesn't understand the law

only certain classes are protected from discrimination and private businesses aren't obligated to allow "free speech."
 

Liger88

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People stood against censorship and overstepping even when the feds tried to pull the pedo card because people knew they were taking something grotesque and trying to warp it into something much bigger. To have fallen for something so stupid is beyond comprehension when you think about it. I think the people claiming to defend the internet have their priorities messed up these days.
 

IdiotInCharge

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could only be argued by someone who doesn't understand the law

only certain classes are protected from discrimination and private businesses aren't obligated to allow "free speech."
Don't leave out the 'common carrier' qualification, thanks.
 

AltreineirialX

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These crazy ass liberals censor the domain internet and then they commit the biggest mass shooting
in US history. makes sense.
 
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Really? I must have missed the part where the white trash is being prosecuted by the government.... Because that's the only thing the first amendment protects, not your right to say stupid shit on the internet and not get banned from a private hosting company.
Yes, but a company that stated that it would be completely neutral in such matters and take no sides; their sudden 180 undoubtedly will set a precedent moving forward. The more that buckle, the less that support and as one falls, others are more likely to follow.
 
D

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really? what's the difference?
You either have to claim a common carrier status and say nope, we can't do anything because we're not responsible for the content nor can we filter, or you have to moderate. can't go half in and claim you can't do the rest.
As a devil's advocate: The daily stormer promoted 100% hate material. So it's easy to say "Yes we will cut you off as you serve no valid purpose other than to spread hate." With a number of other websites, legal and illegal can easily be mixed and it's impossible to tell the difference.

The problem with this is it makes them judge jury and executioner. That said, as there is a limited number of domain registrars, cloud flare should be denied from issuing domains if they can selectively forbid websites they disagree with. You need to be impartial or other countries might start protesting domains like "ReligionSucks.com" or "WomenDeserveEqualRights.org"
 

Jagger100

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could only be argued by someone who doesn't understand the law

only certain classes are protected from discrimination and private businesses aren't obligated to allow "free speech."
Ironically this is an appropriate analogy to the Gay Wedding Cake issue. Just find it interesting that "oppressed groups" have special privileges other people don't have. Not mere reassurance they the same rights everyone else has. Btw, that's not oppression that's called this: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/supremacy
 

Romale23

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Ironically this is an appropriate analogy to the Gay Wedding Cake issue. Just find it interesting that "oppressed groups" have special privileges other people don't have. Not mere reassurance they the same rights everyone else has. Btw, that's not oppression that's called this: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/supremacy
No its not, the wedding cake analogy is you must sell a good at point of gun, the dailyidiot issue is i'm not going to provide a service to x, even though my entire legal liability strategy to what customers do with my service is i dont police my users, not that someone is sticking a gun to cloudflares head and saying you must provide the service to the dailystormer. Personally i support every business's decision on who they do business with nor do i think a business should be held responsible for something its customers do with it's product. Only wiggle room here is its an ongoing service vs a set sale of an item but *shrug*
 
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