Monday, 18 March 2019 11:01

Cloudflare has 'process for tackling child porn on customer sites' Featured

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Cloudflare has 'process for tackling child porn on customer sites' Pixabay

Reverse proxy and DDoS protection provider Cloudflare says it will not stop providing services to the website 8chan, despite clear indications that the site hosts child pornography, pointing out that it does not have the ability to take content offline and has a process in place to tackle issues of this nature.

iTWire raised a query with the company after well-known British security researcher Kevin Beaumont pointed out in a tweet that there were clear indications of child pornography being hosted by 8chan.

He asked: "If your business used Cloudflare and got contacted by somebody highlighting 8chan is also a customer, along with examples of posts (toddler, rape fantasy etc) 8chan hosts, and Cloudflare’s denial to remove service to them, would you raise concerns with CF?"

Beaumont also pointed out that while Cloudflare did remove material related to malware and phishing, the company was "unwilling to look at their relationship with a paedophile website".

iTWire spoke to two Cloudflare executives this morning, to ask why the company could not suspend its services to 8chan, but was told that there was a process to be gone through in cases like this.

"As a reverse proxy that does not host websites but instead passes bits across the Internet and provides security to 13 million websites, Cloudflare itself does not have the ability to take content offline," a spokesperson said.

"Despite this, Cloudflare refers to the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children every report we receive that references alleged child sexual abuse material to help facilitate the investigation and enforcement by the appropriate authorities.

"Cloudflare is a law-abiding company and as such has a very clear process in place to allow for users, law enforcement, and members of the public to alert Cloudflare to abuse on its network and have illegal content addressed in the proper way."

When it was suggested to the two company representatives, that Cloudflare did not do its reputation any good by continuing to provide services to a site like 8chan, the response was that this was content uploaded by users, not content placed there by 8chan itself.

A suggestion that Cloudflare could not harm its reputation by acting immediately, given that the terms of any contract would preclude dealing with a site that allowed the storage of material which was objectionable in every jurisdiction worldwide, did not shake the argument that a process was in place and it achieved the objective of taking the content offline.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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