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Parler sues Amazon for removing it from cloud service

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The free speech social media site Parler has sued Amazon on Monday after Amazon Web Services (AWS) suspended Parler from its cloud hosting service following last week’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.

RELATED: Leaders in Germany, France disagree with Twitter’s banning of Trump

Google and Apple also suspended the Parler app from their app stores on Friday for failing to moderate “egregious content” posted by users about last Wednesday’s violent storming and siege of the Capitol.

Parler has become popular among conservatives who are fed-up with what they see as censorship and anti-conservative bias from social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

In the complaint filed Monday in a Seattle federal court, Parler is requesting a temporary restraining order to prevent AWS from blacklisting the social media site and argues that AWS is breaching the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890.

“AWS’s decision to effectively terminate Parler’s account is apparently motivated by political animus,” Parler argues in its filing. “AWS is violating Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act in combination with Defendant Twitter. AWS is also breaching it[s] 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.”

Parler alleges that, because it is a direct competitor of Twitter, it is being singled out. It also claimed that Amazon was breaching its contract with Parler.

“Last month, Defendant Amazon Web Services, Inc. (‘AWS’) and the popular social media platform Twitter signed a multi-year deal so that AWS could support the daily delivery of millions of tweets,” the filing reads. “AWS currently provides that same service to Parler, a conservative microblogging alternative and competitor to Twitter.”

“When Twitter announced two evenings ago that it was permanently banning President Trump from its platform, conservative users began to flee Twitter en masse for Parler,” it continues. “The exodus was so large that the next day, yesterday, Parler became the number one free app downloaded from Apple’s App Store.”

“As more of a libertarian, more of a minimal government type of person, I hate relying on the legal system,” Parler CEO John Matze told The Wall Street Journal in a Sunday interview. “I know we have to.”

However, an Amazon Web Services spokesperson said in a statement to this reporter Monday, “There is no merit to these claims. AWS provides technology and services to customers across the political spectrum, and we respect Parler’s right to determine for itself what content it will allow.”

Amazon adds, “However, it is clear that there is significant content on Parler that encourages and incites violence against others, and that Parler is unable or unwilling to promptly identify and remove this content, which is a violation of our terms of service. We made our concerns known to Parler over a number of weeks and during that time we saw a significant increase in this type of dangerous content, not a decrease, which led to our suspension of their services Sunday evening.” 

During an Monday interview on the Fox News program “Mornings with Maria,” Matze told Parler users to “hold on and come back” as the company figures out how to move forward.

“Nobody has presented any credible piece of information or evidence that, you know, there is anything problems on Parler that don’t exist on other platforms,” Matze said.

“This really is a double standard. […] We see all sorts of nasty threatening content on Twitter, much more of it actually, in our opinion, and, actually, a lot of content that’s deleted from Parler still remains on Twitter to this day in the form of screenshots,” Matze continued. “So I don’t understand, you know, what this is really about. Because it is not about holding everybody to account equally. It is about giving preferential treatment to certain people.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Chinese Spy Balloon: Tensions rise between the U.S. and China

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A strange object was spotted Wednesday over Billings Montana. The Pentagon confirmed Thursday that the strange object was, in fact, a Chinese spy balloon. According to a report from KPAX, a western Montana news outlet, the balloon had been on the governments radar for days.

On Friday, the Chinese government released a statement saying that the balloon spotted in Billings is a “civilian airship” that’s sole purpose is used to collect research on weather and that it had just blown off course. The balloon was not shot down by orders of the Pentagon due to the risk of falling debris injuring people on the ground.

Sara Carter, who has spoken frequently on the Chinese government’s threat and expansion to the West, stated on Twitter that the United States has failed to stop China from purchasing land near military installations, vital agricultural land, as well as, allowing Chinese linked companies, such as Huawei, to install technology in cellular towers. Those cellular towers are located in Montana, along side more than 150 ICBM nuclear silos.

China said, “The Chinese side regrets the unintended entry of the airship into U.S. airspace due to force majeure.” Majeure meaning that it was out of there control. It blew off course due to limited “self-steering” capabilities according the Ministry. The ministry also stated that the balloon, “deviated far from its planned course.”

This incident is adding fuel to the fire of what is already a tense relationship between the worlds two largest economies. China already lays claim to approximately 80% of the South China Sea, and is seeking full control over Taiwan after assuming full control of Hong Kong. China’s belt and road initiative has invested copious amounts of money into building infrastructure in other countries and uses it as economic blackmail. China’s transportation of fentanyl into Mexico is yet again another example of how they are seeking to damage the US.

Is this just a weather ballon that blew off course? US officials at the White House seem to be unconvinced and will continue to monitor the balloon, as reported.

UPDATED: Statement from the Pentagon was jaw dropping when a reporter asked if the public has a right to know about Beijing’s balloon.

“The public certainly has the ability to look up in the sky and see where the balloon is,” a DOD official responded.

 

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