Archive for January 11, 2021

Parler Takes One Step Towards Rebooting Itself….. With A Host That Is Home To Far Right Groups Among Other Sites

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 11, 2021 by itnerd

Well, fresh off of suing Amazon for punting them off the Internet, Parler has taken a step towards rebooting themselves. They have moved their domain name to a company named EPIK which does domain registration and hosting. Though they have many steps to take to fully get back online.

Here’s the thing about EPIK. They along with its CEO Robert Monster, has a history of coming to the defense of the far right online. For example, they host Gab which is a similar right wing social media site that I told you about earlier today. They also have a rather checked history, including:

So you see, Parler is in great company. If the company you keep are Neo-Nazi’s, conspiracy theorists, and right wing nut jobs. This can only end badly for them.

BREAKING: Parler Sues Amazon For Site Takedown…. Alleges Antitrust Violations

Posted in Commentary with tags , on January 11, 2021 by itnerd

Let the games begin.

Alternative social networking service Parler has sued Amazon accusing its web hosting service of breaking anti-trust laws in taking off the platform that is popular with many right-leaning social media users. You can read the court document here. But here’s the reasons why they will lose. First of all, and most important of all, Parler violated Amazon’s terms of service because unlike Facebook and Twitter, Parler doesn’t crack down on hate speech. And you combine that with the fact that people on its platform plotted the events of last Wednesday that left five dead, Amazon was well within its rights to toss them off AWS. Second, Amazon has really deep pockets and will simply throw lawyers at this to make Parler either go away, or run them out of money.

Here’s the counterpoint. If you read their court document, they make some somewhat interesting arguments. Specifically:

4. AWS’s decision to effectively terminate Parler’s account is apparently
motivated by political animus. It is also apparently designed to reduce competition
in the microblogging services market to the benefit of Twitter.

And:

5. Thus, AWS is violating Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act in
combination with Defendant Twitter. AWS is also breaching it contract with
Parler, which requires AWS to provide Parler with a thirty-day notice before
terminating service, rather than the less than thirty-hour notice AWS actually
provided. Finally, AWS is committing intentional interference with prospective
economic advantage given the millions of users expected to sign up in the near
future.

I would be interested to see if Parler can prove that there was a political motive behind this, and that Amazon is trying to hurt them. But remember on both parts of this, I’m a computer geek and not a lawyer.

This will be fun to watch.

TekSavvy Announces MPLS Enterprise Network Service

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 11, 2021 by itnerd

TekSavvy Solutions Inc. today announces the broad availability of their MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) network service. By deploying enterprise-grade appliances at the edges of an enterprise network MPLS directs data packets along a pre-determined predictable path increasing network efficiency, reliability and reducing latency.

Routing branch office or retail location traffic along a predictable path can be vitally important for time-sensitive applications like VOIP, video conferencing and e-commerce. Unlike the sometimes-circuitous journey that a package of goods may take, MPLS packets flow to their destination with certainty. TekSavvy MPLS provides a more secure transport medium than the Internet, with privacy as a hallmark quality of its design.

Customer MPLS networks and hardware are continuously managed and maintained by TekSavvy’s 24/7 Technical Assistance Centre. Networks can easily be configured and scaled by the TekSavvy team, regardless of the type of traffic that they carry. TekSavvy experts assist partners to prioritize network traffic to ensure the best performance of business-critical applications and time-sensitive data.

TekSavvy’s MPLS service effectively separates corporate data traffic from the public internet and from many of the threats that live there. With a private network built specifically for them, each partner’s enterprise data is more secure and better insulated from incursions. 

TekSavvy continues to produce efficient and configurable solutions for businesses so that customers can focus on what makes their business unique. 

Review: CIRA Canadian Shield

Posted in Products with tags on January 11, 2021 by itnerd

Those who have been following this blog for years know that I am no fan of using the the DNS severs provided my any ISP that I am doing business with. That’s because my present ISP is Rogers, and about 12 years ago they were caught redirecting mistyped URLs to their own search page. Presumably to make a few bucks. And Rogers main competition Bell was caught doing something similar. The problem is that this sort of behavior by ISP’s is a huge security risk. Now I don’t know if they still do that. But to be safe, I don’t use the DNS of any ISP and instead use a third party DNS service that promises privacy.

Now I’ve a variety of third party DNS services over the years. But none of them were Canadian. That changed when I became aware of the CIRA Canadian Shield via the two outages that Canadian ISP Cogeco had recently which were DNS related. And the fix was to use a third party DNS server. Here’s what Canadian Shield promises:

  • It blocks threats like phishing and malware via a partnership with Akamai.
  • They won’t sell your browsing data.
  • It’s built in Canada, using Canadian data centers to keep data in Canada, for the benefit of Canadians.

And they offer three levels of protection:

  • Private: DNS resolution service that keeps your DNS data private from third-parties.
  • Protected: Includes Private features and adds malware and phishing blocking.
  • Family: Includes Protected and Private features and blocks pornographic content.

I tested the Protected level of protection to see how well that worked. I used these instructions to set it up on my router. But they also have apps for Android and iOS for mobile users. It took pretty much minutes to get this done on my home network, and here’s my observations:

  • DNS resolution is quick and easily competitive with similar services that are based outside of Canada.
  • Resolving DNS addresses were trouble free. I could get to any website I wanted to.
  • I tried to go to some known phishing sites and I could not get them to pop up.

I then switched to the Family level of protection and I then tested to see if it blocked pornographic content. And that worked perfectly. The bottom line is that this service works as advertised.

A couple other things of note, the privacy policy is simple, clear, and straightforward and I see no red flags with it. The terms of conditions also has no red flags in it. And the best part is all of this is free. I’ve switched to Canadian Shield full time and I would recommend this service to any Canadian who wants to browse in a more secure manner without having their browsing habits observed and sold by their ISP.

Parler Is Shut Down…. Now Meet Gab Which Is Likely to Be The Next Parler

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 11, 2021 by itnerd

Well, it’s Monday morning and Parler no longer exists. If you try to go to Parler.com, you get this:

And I think it is safe to say that barring a major change in attitude from those who run Parler, it is likely not going to be seen on the Internet again. Thus R.I.P. Parler.

Now say hello to Gab. Another alternative social network aimed at the same user base as Parler. And they are making some really bold claims:

Andrew Torba, a conservative programmer who launched the site in 2016, said in a post on Monday that his service had enjoyed a wave of new users and that his team added 10 new servers to cope with demand resulting from the sudden influx.

The apparent surge, which has not been independently verified, came as the rival “free speech” site Parler was shut down by Apple, Google and Amazon Web Services (AWS) for failing to moderate user content with the potential to incite hate or violence.

Torba said in a video posted to the Gab Twitter account on Monday that his site was left with an opportunity to “export the First Amendment to billions of people around the world who do not have that luxury,” noting he expects government opposition.

He said: “We are adding 600,000 users every day and that number is probably going to continue compounding, it may reach a million a day over the next couple of days.”

Here’s the problem for Gab. They have the same base of users as Parler. And their view on moderating content is the same as Parler. Which means that they will likely run into the same issues as Parler. In fact it already has:

Like Parler, which launched with funding from Republican donor Rebecca Mercer, Gab was pitched as being light on moderation—unlike Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

That meant it became a home for extremism, and in October 2018 Gab found itself in a similar situation to Parler as hosting services and payment providers cut ties after a man accused of killing 11 people in a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, Robert Bowers, was found to have been a member.

Gab returned to the web in November 2018. While it says users should not “unlawfully threaten” or “incite imminent lawless action,” its focus remains on not punishing users for “exercising their God-given right to speak freely,” according to the guidelines.

Call it a hunch, but I think that in short order we may see something similar play out here. Because to attract users who used to use Parler, they have to be like Parler. Which means they will quickly be in the crosshairs of anyone they depend on to make their business work. That is unless they do what Parler was unwilling to do which is moderate content. Which I am going to go out on a limb and suggest that they won’t. Which means that I will be shortly writing about Gab being erased off the Internet.