The Austrian ccTLD registry, nic.at, has booted The Daily Stormer’s .at domain name. The Daily Stormer has been booted by quite a few domain name companies, from registries to registrars and even Cloudflare.
The Daily Stormer’s .at domain name was deleted Monday, AP reported, “after Austrian politicians reported the white supremacist platform’s presence,” according to nic.at’s Head of PR & Marketing Monika Pink-Rank. The domain name was originally registered at the end of August.
The problems for The Daily Stormer started following the horrendous events in Charlottesville, Virginia, and an article was published attacking Heather Heyer, the anti-racism activist that was killed Saturday while demonstrating against the “alt-right” white nationalist movement.
The alt-right white nationalist group was first booted by registrars GoDaddy and then Google who deleted their .com domain names. They then briefly tried a .ru domain, which was also quickly deleted.
But it’s the booting from Cloudflare’s service that is the most controversial. Clouflare provides a number of services that few others do
“What I find troubling is that I woke up this morning and said we’ll kick them off our service and that will effectively kick them off the internet,” Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince told TechCrunch in August. “[The day] sucked and I worry we made an arbitrary decision.”
“If I’m self-critical, it’s a decision we should have a framework around,” Prince added. “How can we do it in a more disciplined and thorough and predictable and transparent way?”
It was the first time Cloudflare had booted a customer. Techcrunch noted that “Cloudflare’s primary service is a content delivery network that helps websites load quickly, but it also protects them against rushes of traffic, including DDoS attacks designed to knock them offline. The site claims to handle around 10 percent of the internet’s total traffic, with over six million websites using its products, which include free and priced tiers.”
“Because of the precise nature of Cloudflare’s business, and the scarcity of competitors, its role censoring internet speech is not just new, it’s terrifying”, according to an opinion piece in the New York Times.
“What makes Cloudflare an essential part of the internet is its ability to block malicious traffic from barraging clients’ websites with requests that take them offline. Cloudflare is one of the few companies in the world that provide this kind of reliable protection. If you don’t want your website to get taken down by extortionists, jokers, political opposition or hackers, you have to hire Cloudflare or one of its very few competitors.”