A Russian technology company is now reportedly hosting Parler, the alternative social media network used by many right-wingers, which briefly resurfaced online Sunday after being booted off of Google, Apple and Amazon services for posing a "risk" to the public.
Parler was recently called a "real risk" to public safety, according to Amazon Web Services, which cut off ties with the website for allegedly failing to moderate threatening content. By Jan. 11 the site was dropped after AWS deemed it a risk, Buzzfeed News first reported.
Apple and Google were the first to remove the website from their servers for allegedly continuing to allow violent content to be posted, a spokesperson told Business Insider. But the site wasn't offline for long, and soon after, resurfaced that following Sunday, registering under a new domain reportedly hosted by tech company Epik.
The site temporarily emerged with a message reading, "Hello, world. Is this thing on?"
"Now seems like the right time to remind you all — both lovers and haters — why we started this platform. We believe privacy is paramount and free speech essential, especially on social media," it said, according to Business Insider. "We will resolve any challenge before us and plan to welcome all of you back soon. We will not let civil discourse perish!"
The website was the recent site of posts containing death threats and violent remarks reportedly to have also encouraged users to breach the Capitol on inauguration day, ProPublica reported.
In its explanation to Parler, AWS clarified why the service would remove the controversial site from its server.
“Recently, we’ve seen a steady increase in this violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms," the email reads. "It’s clear that Parler does not have an effective process to comply with the AWS terms of service.”
In the meantime, after denying those claims, Parler executives have sued Amazon claiming its actions violated antitrust laws, The New York Times reported.
CEO John Matze then promised users Sunday evening that the platform would be "back soon," Fox Business reported, citing a page that is currently blocked on Google, Apple, and Amazon servers.
In a statement from Epik signed on Jan. 11, it denied any contact or discussions with Parler.
"We have had no contact or discussions with Parler in any form regarding our organization becoming their registrar or hosting provider," Epik wrote in a statement. "From our understanding, Parler was working on satisfying the requested terms placed upon them by various elements of their supply chain, and to date, no communication has been received by them for discussion of future service provision."
Robert Davis, Epik's senior vice president, told The New York Times, that the company only assisted in helping register Parler's domain name. Davis told the outlet that the company would be willing to help Parler, but "their needs are too large."
After resurfacing Sunday, Parler was reportedly using a company DDoS-guard, headquartered in Russia, to shield itself from new cyberattacks, CNN reported. DDoS attacks take place when a "malicious actor seeks to overwhelm a website," the outlet reported.
The company responded to CNN's request for comment, confirming they are based in Russia, but declined to comment on the services it may have provided to Parler. It also denied it is hosting Parler's website.
"We do not provide hosting services to Parler.com," the company said in a statement to CNN. "Any customer can access and use our services as long as his/her activities are not prohibited in the country and do not violate any laws. ... We do not want to be involved in the political scene in any countries around the world."
Researchers have expressed certain concerns over any Russia-based company hosting Parler –– claiming that Russian law could allow the government to surveil the users, the Times reported.
Parler's chief operating officer, Jeffrey Wernick, told the outlet that concerns were "overblown" since DDoS-Guard was only a temporary webpage for the site.
Wernick added that their preference is to have an "American firm," the outlet reported.
It remains unclear which social media provider will ultimately serve Parler, court documents indicate.