News & Politics

More Targeting? CloudFlare Terminates Service to Cody Wilson's 3-D Gun Website

(Image via Wikipedia)

When CloudFlare axed Daily Stormer’s access to the Internet, CEO Matthew Price said he did it because he could, but added that he was appalled he had that kind of power. Now, Price appears to have set his sights on digital libertarian and activist Cody Wilson.

A day after Cloudflare removed service to the Daily Stormer, it has now terminated service to Cody Wilson’s website GhostGunner.net, Wilson announced on Twitter:

Yesterday the Electronic Frontier Foundation warned that this behavior to remove offensive speech is a dangerous path for technology companies to go down.

Price, who was so cavalier when explaining that his desire to boot Daily Stormer was purely personal, argues that CloudFlare didn’t boot anyone.

Honestly, Prince has no one but himself to blame for any confusion — assuming there actually was any confusion. While Daily Stormer ran a continuous line of filth on a daily basis, his capricious decision to cut off their web protection simply because he hated what they were saying laid the foundational groundwork here. Now, everyone who finds their CloudFlare services cut off will wonder if it was because of something legitimate, or because CloudFlare does what it wants and no one can stop them.

After all, while Wilson is currently in a gray legal area regarding his files that will enable people to 3-D print firearms, CloudFlare has put up with far worse. Even Daily Stormer’s hateful rhetoric was protected speech, thus legal. Yet CloudFlare has reportedly provided services to everyone from spammers to ISIS, though CloudFlare reportedly terminated those services voluntarily.

Yet when Prince cut off Daily Stormer in the way that he did, he lost trust.

Wilson may have been willing to accept the idea of a SNAFU at CloudFlare far more easily had the company not pulled their stunt with Daily Stormer. Now, Wilson sees the best-case scenario as Prince being clueless as to what is going on with his company.

I can’t say that I disagree with Wilson’s assessment. It certainly looks hinky, especially in light of what happened with Daily Stormer.

Look, few people are truly bothered by a racist site being killed. I’m not. Not in and of itself.

What bothers people is how it happened. It’s not like Daily Stormer wouldn’t have broken some rule along the way. Or rules could have been changed to make it more difficult for their hateful rhetoric to conform to the terms of service. No, Prince just killed it…and now he will deal with this for almost every outfit that loses services without an understanding of why it happened.

Nice job, Matthew. Way to screw up by the numbers.