Cloudflare Provides its Cybersecurity Services to 7 Terrorist Groups

By Bill Toulas / December 15, 2018

Cloudflare is a California-based company and one of the largest providers of network services, DDoS mitigation, Internet Security, and Domain Name Server solutions. As one of the largest companies in its field (accounting for 10% of total internet traffic), it provides its various services to over 6 million websites, with approximately 20000 new customers joining in every single day. That said, it is no surprise that some of them may be members of the same terrorist groups that the US government has been after for so many years now, including the Hamas, Taliban, and Al-Shabab.

The State Department has developed a comprehensive list of foreign terrorist organizations that also happen to operate websites, trying to promote their extremist messages and lure more members in their groups. What happened is that Huffington Post consulted this list, located the websites of each organization, and then asked a group of four national security experts to review these sites and figure out where they are hosted. To their surprise, these websites were protected by Cloudflare, a US-based company that should naturally be in-line with the official national guidelines on anti-extremism action. Wasn’t this discrimination and denial of access to the US financial system why the list was developed in the first place after all?

Cloudflare seems not to share the same mentality, at least they don’t take firm action according to the guidelines set by the US laws. An official statement that they have made through their General Counsel, Doug Kramer, goes as follows: “We try to be neutral and not insert ourselves too much as the arbiter of what’s allowed to be online. However, we are very aware of our obligations under the sanctions laws. We think about this hard, and we’ve got a policy in place to stay in compliance with those laws.” Kramer also added that correlating a domain name with a specific group is not a simple process, as the correspondence is almost never a straightforward “one to one” in these cases.

Whatever the case, Cloudflare is playing a pivotal role in the maintenance and protection of these websites, as it’s actively preventing DDoS attacks for having any success against them. Even in cases that have challenged the public justice sentiment like the “Daily Stormer” case that occurred back in August 2017, Cloudflare kept the controversial website up, while GoDaddy and Google drew their support. This shows that Cloudflare has a strong mentality of not making discriminations based on the political or ideological background of their clients, so they serve anyone without exceptions.

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