Parler partners with a Russian internet company — what could go wrong?

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2021/01/20/parler-partners-with-a-russian-internet-company-what-could-go-wrong.html

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Kompromats galore!

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Komrade, I do not knowing that of which you are speaking. Who is Kompromats? We are provide high quality data filter.

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Russians, well, but are the Mercers still involved?

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As if the “legal” ability to do so is in any way significant. If Russia wants to spy on Parler they have already been doing so. Hell, Malwarebytes has just discovered it was hacked by a “state sponsored” attack.

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Interesting strategy.

This could put the data outside of the reach of a US warrant, National Security Letter, and GDPR.

Not sure if the users know what kind of special deal they are getting by trading this data with the KGB FSS instead.

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User, beware…

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This would be a great way for Russians to:

  1. Monitor Parler users’ social media activity.
  2. Inject propaganda, disinformation, and manipulation directly into the content flow.
  3. Use the platform to compromise users’ devices.

But of course they can already do all that with regular social media. What this changes: now they can continue to do all the above while also generating legitimate revenue from the process.

ETA: I think this is what’s called vertical integration?

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Parler is a US service. If Congress can wield anti-trust powers theoretically for the sake of US citizens, why can’t they stop a partnership with a Russian internet company that has ties to the KGB?

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“There’s no goodness in thy face.” (Shakespeare)

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If Russia can demand that all social media services operating in Russia have to have their servers in Russia (as they do) then we could do the same, er, I mean we could make social media companies use US servers, but that seems unlikely to happen. Maybe sanctions against Russia, prohibiting the use of Russian internet services. But that does seem like it might have some fallout - though, since Russia has hacked us massively just last year, it might be overdue.

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Not to mention that this would be a great source for anti-government people, easily swayed. It’s going to be the greatest recruitment list for agents etc…

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“Going to be?” Pretty sure it already is. A whole bunch of them invaded the US Capital a few weeks ago…

Oh, and Parler was co-founded by a man who married a Russian national under somewhat “convenient” circumstances if, say, Russia were trying to start a social media site to destroy the United States.

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As I understand it Epik host the actual Parler servers and they are in the US. DDOS-Guard do distributed denial of service mitigation, so the traffic goes through their servers on the way to Epik. Where their servers may be I don’t know. I saw else where the while they are a Russian company they are ‘registered’? in the UK.

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“I can see Russia from my Parler!” - Sarah “Tina Fey” Palin.

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The good thing is that their dataset is highly biased; skewed towards, well, people who would use Parler. So they may have accurate models on their demographic but none on normal people, which should make it harder to pull in new people into their sphere.

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It’s a Scottish limited partership.

DDoS-Guard was registered in 2017 under a limited partnership, a financial structure in Scotland that allows nonresidents to create companies with little scrutiny. Aleksei Likhachev and Evgeniy Marchenko, two Russian businessmen who registered it, remain owners of the company. The partnership under which DDoS-Guard is registered is called Cognitive Cloud and is listed at an address in Edinburgh’s Forth Street.

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They won’t care since most Parler users think being a Russian communist is better than being a Democrat.

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