The Cloudflare controversy with Anonymous and ISIS

CloudFlare_ceo A Silicon Valley tech company is caught up in the middle of a battle between Anonymous and ISIS, the Islamic group. CloudFlare is facing accusations from hacker group Anonymous that it is helping pro-ISIS websites.

CloudFlare CEO Matthew Prince said that they ran that by law enforcement organizations and there was no request to take any of those sites off Cloudflare’s network. And that brings my point. Cloud flare is doing what they do, protecting websites from DDOS attacks and they shouldn’t take down a specific customer website unless law enforcement requested it.

CloudFlare’s justification is correct. They don’t host the content of the websites, meaning blocking its service would not actually make the content go away. The service instead protects sites from malicious traffic and cyber threats, meaning without it websites would be more vulnerable to attacks from Anonymous.

He added, “We were quite surprised, not only to not have any orders to take any of the sites offline, but to see that actually a lot of the sites that Anonymous had identified actually weren’t related to ISIS at all. Some were Chechnyan rebel sites, some were Kurdish sites, some were Palestinian sites.”

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Matthew Prince, CEO of CloudFlare, said on a call with SC that CloudFlare doesn’t directly host sites or their content and stressed that removing its service from these sites would only makes sites slower and more vulnerable to attack. He said that hacktivist demands to terminate their services was “kind of a strange request” when the firm believes in the due process of going down proper law enforcement channels rather than listening to the ‘mob rule’. He also added that there was some irony, given that Anonymous has ‘on and off’ used the CloudFlare network since it launched in 2010.

CloudFlare is a content distribution company that delivers website content using a global network of computers. It started as a honeypot project in 2004. Thousands of websites, from more than 185 countries, signed up to participate in the project. While users loved Project Honey Pot’s ability to track online malicious behavior, they had one repeated request: don’t just track the bad guys, stop them.

Just a regular computer user. I write for regular users like me. When we grow up we are taught basic security tips like how to cross the street. But we are not taught how to take care of ourselves online.