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App Parler booted off internet over ties to siege

The conservative-friendly social network Parler was booted off the internet over ties to last week’s siege on the U.S. Capitol, but not before digital activists made off with an archive of its posts, including any that might have helped organize or document the riot.

Amazon kicked Parler off its web-hosting service, and the social media app promptly sued to get back online, telling a federal judge that the tech giant had breached its contract and abused its market power, The Associated Press reported.

It was a roller coaster of activity for Parler, a two-year-old magnet for the far right that welcomed a surge of new users. It became the No. 1 free app on iPhones late last week after Facebook, Twitter and other mainstream social media platforms silenced President Donald Trump’s accounts over comments that seemed to incite Wednesday’s violent insurrection.

The wave of Trump followers flocking to the service was short-lived. Google yanked Parler’s smartphone app from its app store Friday for allowing postings that seek “to incite ongoing violence in the U.S.”

Apple followed suit on Saturday after giving Parler a day to address complaints it was being used to “plan and facilitate yet further illegal and dangerous activities.”

But the death knell came from Amazon Web Services, the leading provider of cloud computing infrastructure, which informed Parler it would need to look for a new web-hosting service after Sunday.

Parler CEO John Matze decried the punishments as “a coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the marketplace.”

Parler’s lawsuit in a Seattle-based federal court makes the argument that Amazon violated antitrust laws to harm Parler and help Twitter, which also uses Amazon’s cloud services. It also alleges Amazon breached its contract by not giving 30 days of notice before terminating Parler’s account. Amazon did not return requests for comment about the dispute Monday.

Parler attorney David Groesbeck said by email Monday that the company is awaiting a hearing on the lawsuit. But it was admonished later in the day by Judge Barbara Rothstein of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, who wrote that Parler had failed to properly serve court papers to Amazon and ordered it to do so.

Matze has signaled there is little chance of getting Parler back online anytime soon after “every vendor, from text message services, to e-mail providers, to our lawyers all ditched us too on the same day,” he told Fox New Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”

In a Monday interview with Fox Business, he said the company “may even have to go as far as buying and building our own data centers and buying up our own servers.”


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