Parler Accuses Amazon of Breaking Antitrust Regulation in Suspending Internet hosting Providers

Parler said losing Amazon’s services would be a “death knell,” although other platforms popular with far-right and conspiracy theorists, such as Gab and 8chan, have rebounded after being terminated by hosting providers.

David J. Groesbeck, a sole intellectual property attorney based in Olympia, Washington, filed the lawsuit on behalf of Parler.

Separately, Parler user data was published online in a searchable database on the website by a single researcher using the Twitter alias “@donk_enby”.

The researcher began archiving all Parler posts on January 6, the date of the Capitol Riots, but Amazon’s threat to shut down the service put efforts into high gear. As of Monday, she said she had captured more than 99 percent of Parler’s content, including deleted content, in a permanently searchable record. The content included posts, images and more than a million videos, some with geolocation of those who recorded and posted videos of the Capitol riots.

“It is unclear whether the Parler data will be used for law enforcement based on the way it was obtained, but there is a lot that law enforcement agencies can use to build leads,” said Roman Sannikov, director of cybercrime and underground news at Recorded Future.

Security experts said that while the Parler scratching wasn’t a hack, it indicated a security flaw. “With every application that is used by millions of users, there is a responsibility to protect it,” said Alex Holden of Milwaukee-based cybersecurity firm Hold Security. “It is irresponsible to let someone get a bulk copy of all posts and videos.”

Parler has announced that it will not be collecting as much data on users as Facebook and Twitter. However, according to Parler’s own privacy policy, it captured social security numbers, geolocation, phone manufacturers and operators, and users’ mobile activity, which could prove critical to a law enforcement investigation.

The researcher also discovered that Parler had content moderation tools but did not appear to be consistently using them to remove violent extremist content. Parler did not respond to a request for comment on data scraping.

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