Texas abortion “whistleblower” website still can’t find a host


According to recent The law passed in Texas provides that citizens can sue anyone involved in helping the state with abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy. In response, an anti-abortion organization called Texas Right to Life created a website designed to collect anonymous information about any alleged violations. Or, at least, it tries to do so. So far, no company is willing to host it.

The fate of prolifewhistleblower.com is still uncertain, and its absence on the Internet does not negate Texas law or its impact. But in recent years, Internet infrastructure giants have begun to draw a line between the customers they are willing to have. This process is sometimes blurred, such as: Far-right social media network ParlerIn contrast, prolifewhistleblower.com provides a rare example of reaching a consensus on what constitutes acceptable online behavior.

The website did make a brief appearance on the Internet and was launched last Wednesday, but it had a shameful start. First, a small group of TikTok and Reddit users overwhelmed the reporting mechanism with false claims, trying to overwhelm the system. On Saturday, the web hosting service GoDaddy terminated its relationship with the website for violating the company’s terms of service, which explicitly prohibits the collection of third-party identity information without the third party’s prior consent.

“The important thing is that in some cases, the service should warn users and give them a chance to heal,” said Whitney Merrill, a privacy and data protection lawyer and former Federal Trade Commission lawyer. “It’s like GoDaddy warns website owners about them”

Texas Right to Life then registered the site with the notorious service provider Epik, which is known for providing a safe haven for controversial platforms such as Parler and Gab. But Epik has never provided hosting prolifewhistleblower.com content, just a way to register a website domain. On Saturday night, prolifewhistleblower.com only began to redirect to the Texas Life Rights homepage, instead of resuming its previous avatar as a reminder submission system.

“We contacted the owner of the domain and he agreed to prohibit the collection of user submitted content on that domain,” Epi​​k Said In a statement on Saturday. In other words, Epik will act as the registrar for prolifewhistleblower.com, as long as it only redirects to the main site of the group. If it resumes collecting third-party data, Epik will cancel its registration.

The Texas right to life spokesperson Kim Schwartz (Kim Schwartz) offered a different assessment of this situation. “Prolifewhistleblower.com is currently being forwarded to TexasRightToLife.com because we are establishing additional security protocols to protect our users before backing them up,” she said in a statement on Monday night. She added that the site had arranged a new host, but did not say which hosting company was “for security reasons”.

However, as of Wednesday afternoon, the URL continued to redirect to the Texas right to life homepage. Given that the entire premise of the site is to collect information about people who might help promote abortions in Texas—an inherent violation of basic third-party data collection protections—it seems unlikely to find a way to comply.

This situation has triggered conflicts in the past, in which Internet infrastructure providers withdrew their hosting, DDoS protection, or other support for extremist websites, resulting in them being permanently offline or until they found a new provider. For example, Cloudflare has been working to resolve decisions on how to maintain neutrality and protect the right to speech when acting in extreme situations. The company no longer supports white supremacy and other controversial platforms such as Daily Stormer 2017 And 8chan 2019 year.


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