ISPs and Network Providers: The Big Warming

September 5, 2022

On September 14, 2022, I will be sharing some of my team’s research about ISPs and network providers. Coincidentally, the “open” information services are providing interesting — but as yet not yet rock solid information — about the ISP and network provider world. In a sense, figuring out what ISPs and network providers are doing is like looking at distant star data in the Webb space telescope data stream. There is information flowing, but making those data speak clearly is not an easy job.

I read “I Ran the Worlds Largest DDOS for Hire Empire and CloudFlare Helped.” The write up struck me as quite interesting. I circled this pass as interesting but not backed up with footnotes or cheerful hyperlinks:

As the infrastructure provider for over 20% of all www traffic traversing the internet today, CloudFlare is in a position to enforce it’s beliefs on a global scale. Most of the time this isn’t a problem, lots of nefarious websites try to take advantage of the services CloudFlare offers and are rightfully kicked off. The problems arise in a small category of websites that blur the line.

The “blur” seems to say to me: Hey, we are big and well known, and maybe some bad actors use our service.”

Here’s another sentence which may catch the attention of legal eagles:

As someone who has previously justified their actions by saying “I am not directly causing harm, the responsibility flows downstream to my end users” I can tell you it is a shaky defense at best. The situation would be different if CloudFlare was unaware of the booter websites they are offering protection to, but that is not the case. CloudFlare knows who they are protecting and chooses to continue doing so, being fully cognizant of the end result their actions will have. Let’s talk about that end result because the hypocrisy of it all stings like a slap in the face as I type this. CloudFlare is responsible for keeping booter websites online and operating, the very same websites who’s sole purpose is to fuel CloudFlare’s very own business model, selling DDoS protection.

I am no lawyer and I certainly don’t understand anything other than my dinobaby world. However, it seems as if a big company is allegedly in a position to do more to protect truth, justice, and the American way than it may be doing. Oh, the American way means operating without meaningful oversight, regulation, and the invisible ethical hand that makes stakeholders quiver with glee.

Worth watching what other ISP and network provider examples emerge as the real journalists reach their coffee shops and begin working this subject.

Stephen E Arnold, September 5, 2022

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