Even Epik says the Texas abortion “whistleblower” website violates its guidelines

Enlarge / Professional-choice protesters march outdoors the Texas State Capitol on Sept. 1, 2021, in Austin, Texas.

Getty Photos | The Washington Submit

Epik, the area registrar for controversial websites resembling Gab and Parler, says that the Texas abortion-whistleblower web site violates its phrases of use.

The Texas Proper to Life group’s prolifewhistleblower.com web site was booted by GoDaddy on Friday for violating its guidelines, together with one which prohibits websites from utilizing GoDaddy to “acquire or harvest… private or personally identifiable info” with out individuals’s prior written consent. The web site switched its area registration from GoDaddy to Epik and switched its identify servers from GoDaddy to internet hosting supplier Digital Ocean. Digital Ocean shortly lower off service, and the abortion-whistleblower website’s area information now listing Epik as each the registrar and identify servers.

However the web site—which inspired individuals to report violations of the restrictive new anti-abortion regulation in Texas—is offline, and the area now redirects to Texas Proper to Life’s homepage. The group says it plans to get the positioning again on-line.

Epik common counsel Daniel Prince emailed Ars and different information organizations on Sunday, saying, “When the positioning proprietor moved it to Epik’s identify servers… we contacted the proprietor of the positioning, notified them that the web site violated Epik’s phrases of use, and persuaded them to cease amassing nameless ideas and to take it off the Web completely. At no time did Epik function the online host for prolifewhistleblower.com.”

Texas group “exploring” choices for area

As beforehand famous, prolifewhistleblower.com nonetheless makes use of Epik as its area registrar. Texas Proper to Life spokesperson Kimberlyn Schwartz informed Ars yesterday that “we’re not being kicked off Epik” however prompt that the positioning will change to a brand new registrar. “We’re exploring varied long-term plans for the area,” Schwartz stated.

When requested why Epik hasn’t terminated the positioning’s area registration, Prince informed us immediately that “the area isn’t presently violating our phrases of service by merely redirecting to the primary web page of Texas Proper to Life. If that adjustments, we’ll tackle it.” Epik didn’t inform us which rule the positioning breaks, however a Day by day Beast article stated the “particular violation was reportedly the gathering of knowledge on third events with out their consent.”

Texas Proper to Life says the positioning will return. “For now, prolifewhistleblower.com is redirecting to texasrighttolife.com whereas we transfer hosts. It is going to be again up quickly to gather nameless ideas,” Schwartz informed us.

Epik recognized for serving extremist websites

Based and led by CEO Rob Monster, “Epik helps the conspiracy principle web site InfoWars, embattled conservative platform Parler, the largely unregulated YouTube different BitChute, the gun discussion board AR15.com, and a website for rabid Trump supporters known as Patriots.win, beforehand often called The Donald,” NPR famous in a February 2021 article. Epik calls itself “the Swiss financial institution of the area trade.”

Epik is the proprietor of BitMitigate, which supplies DDoS safety, a CDN, and different companies for web sites. The abortion-whistleblower website was briefly redirecting to BitMitigate’s web site on Friday night time.

Texas’ six-week abortion ban

The Texas Heartbeat Act took impact on Wednesday final week, banning abortions after about six weeks of being pregnant. The regulation permits individuals to sue abortion suppliers or anybody who “aids or abets the efficiency or inducement of an abortion” and get better civil damages of not less than $10,000 for every abortion that violates the regulation.

The anti-abortion group’s whistleblower website urged individuals to report violations, saying that “Texas Proper to Life will make sure that these lawbreakers are held accountable for his or her actions.”

Texas Proper to Life on Friday stated it will have the web site again up and operating inside 24 to 48 hours however did not meet that aim. “Professional-abortion advocates tried for over per week to overwhelm the web site with visitors and pretend ideas,” Schwartz wrote in a weblog publish. “Once they failed, keyboard warriors harassed GoDaddy to take down our website.”

Epik helped Gab and Parler keep on-line

Epik remains to be the area registrar for Gab, a right-wing social community that was booted by GoDaddy after a 2018 mass capturing in a Pittsburgh synagogue by a white supremacist who had made an antisemitic publish on Gab earlier than the assault.

Epik can be the area registrar for Parler, which had a website registration with Dreamhost earlier than making the swap. That occurred after Trump supporters attacked the US Capitol in January 2021—Parler additionally needed to change hosts as a result of it was lower off by Amazon Net Companies.

Epik remains to be the area registrar for 8chan. However the 8chan web site now merely hyperlinks to its successor, 8kun, which makes use of a unique supplier.

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