Russian Company Confirms Its Providing Services to Parler as Website Issues New Update

January 20, 2021 Updated: January 20, 2021

A Russian company confirmed that it is providing services to social media website Parler.

It was discovered that Parler retained the services of DDoS-Guard, which offers protection against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, provides hosting services, and more. Jeffrey Wernick, Parler’s chief operating officer, told the New York Times that DDoS-Guard supports only a temporary webpage, adding that the firm would attempt to find other companies to operate its entire social media network, which as of Wednesday, isn’t back online.

“Our preference is to have an American firm,” he said. “People should not make conclusions that it’ll be this company. People extrapolate too much and with limited information. They conclude what they want to conclude. I call that spreading misinformation.”

DDoS-Guard, meanwhile, confirmed to The Epoch Times on Wednesday morning that it began servicing Parler on the night of Jan. 17, adding that Parler “does not use the hosting service” provided by DDoS-Guard. Some speculated that Parler was not only using its DDoS protection service but also its hosting platform.

“DDoS-Guard responsibly keeps customer data without disclosing it to third parties. Moreover, the provider stores only information required for the service and explicitly provided by the customers,” the firm, which is based in Russia’s Rostov-on-Don, said in the statement.

The firm’s primary service appears to route Internet traffic and provides websites against cyberattack protection.

Some experts, however, expressed worry that because DDoS-Guard is a Russian company, websites it hosts would be subject to Russian laws and restrictions.

DDoS-Guard asserted, however, that it is “respectful to the laws of the countries where the company services and by no means endorses any radical organizations, extremism, terrorism, or illegal activities,” adding that it “responsibly keeps customer data without disclosing it to third parties. Moreover, the provider stores only information required for the service and explicitly provided by the customers.”

Parler CEO John Matze
Parler co-founder and CEO John Matze in Washington on June 11, 2019. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

On Tuesday night, Parler included an update from Fox News host Mark Levin, who was a prominent user of Parler. In recent months, a number of conservatives flocked to the Henderson, Nevada-based, social media company out of fears of censorship.

“Those who continue to lie about the president by accusing him of igniting or being part of a violent insurrection, supported his impeachment, and now intend to pursue him in a bogus trial once he’s out of office, will be judged harshly by history,” Levin’s update said. “And the ideological and political purge now underway, striking at virtually all of the fundamental principles upon which this nation was founded, will be condemned as mob rule run amok. I just hope our republic can withstand this onslaught until sensible people and possible statesmen step forward and stem this tyranny.”

The activity came after Amazon Web Services (AWS) suspended Parler for what it said was a failure to moderate extremist content. Parler, in a court filing, alleged that AWS broke antitrust laws and broke its own contractual agreement—which Amazon denied. Parler later said that based on messages between an AWS representative and CEO John Matze, Amazon appeared only to care about whether former President Donald Trump had signed up to the social media service after he was suspended from using Twitter.

Although Matze, in comments to Fox News, suggested that the website could return by the end of the month, lawyers for the firm had more dire predictions.

A lawyer for Parler, David Groesbeck, this week said in a court filing that Amazon’s actions “didn’t just put Parler up a creek without a paddle, it banished it up the Columbia River without a boat and made sure no other boats would be willing to come to the rescue … in sum, Parler is an internet company that cannot get on the internet. And the longer Parler lies dead, the harder it will be to resuscitate.”

The Epoch Times has reached out to Parler and Amazon for further comment.