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Web services firm CloudFlare accused by Anonymous of helping Isis | Technology | The Guardian

Anonymous has attacked web services startup CloudFlare for providing protection against cyberattacks to pro-Isis websites.

The company protects customers against the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks popular amongst groups like Anonymous by routing connections through its own content delivery network. By weeding out malicious connections, it prevents DDoS attacks from succeeding in their goal of overwhelming a website with traffic so that it collapses.

But according to members of Anonymous, which has reaffirmed its yearlong “war” against Isis following the Paris attacks, that technology is also being used by pro-Isis websites to protect themselves against the hacktivist collective’s attempts to bring down their servers.

The week before the Paris attacks, Ghost Security, an Anonymous-affiliated “counter-terrorism network”, counted almost 40 websites that use CloudFlare’s services to protect their content. According to GhostSec, 34 were propaganda websites, four were discussion forums, and two offered technical services.

Such accusations are nothing new to CloudFlare, which has long argued that it is not its job to police content on its network. In August 2013, in response to similar allegations from James Cook, a reporter at the Kernel magazine, the company’s chief executive Matthew Prince published a blogpost laying out its view on free speech on its network.

Prince wrote: “A website is speech. It is not a bomb. There is no imminent danger it creates and no provider has an affirmative obligation to monitor and make determinations about the theoretically harmful nature of speech a site may contain …

“If we were to receive a valid court order that compelled us to not provide service to a customer then we would comply with that court order. We have never received a request to terminate the site in question from any law enforcement authority, let alone a valid order from a court.”

In response to the latest criticism from Anonymous, Prince has redoubled his stance. “I did see a Twitter handle said that they were mad at us,” he told The Register. “I’d suggest this was armchair analysis by kids – it’s hard to take seriously. Anonymous uses us for some of its sites, despite pressure from some quarters for us to take Anonymous sites offline.”

“Even if we were hosting sites for Isis, it wouldn’t be of any use to us … I should imagine those kinds of people pay with stolen credit cards and so that’s a negative for us.”

Those statements are now prompting a further call amongst Anonymous members to boycott the company altogether.

#Anonymous would also like to encourage you to not use @CloudFlare services any longer. https://t.co/GqhRe4yr8U #OpParis #OpDaesh

We don’t use @CloudFlare, and we encourage others not to either. https://t.co/pdhNZifiug #Anonymous #OpISIS

The Guardian has not received a response to a request for comment from Cloudflare.

This content was originally published here.