Daily Stormer offline again as Cloudflare pulls support

Internet security provider pulls its protection following claims it secretly supported the neo-Nazi site's ideology.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
Expertise I have more than 30 years' experience in journalism in the heart of the Silicon Valley.
Steven Musil
2 min read
On Saturday, August 12, 2017, a veritable who's who of white

White supremacist groups clashed with hundreds of counter-protesters during the "Unite The Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday. Dozens were injured in skirmishes and one counter-protester died after a white nationalist plowed into the crowd with his car.

Pacific Press

The Daily Stormer is offline again Wednesday after internet security provider Cloudflare dropped support for the neo-Nazi website.

The site, which has been called the "top hate site in America," vanished from the web Monday after GoDaddy and then Google pulled its domain following an offensive story it published about Heather Heyer, who was killed on Saturday while counter-protesting against white supremacist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The site reappeared Wednesday with a new Russian domain. But its return was short-lived and the site dropped offline again after Cloudflare pulled its denial-of-service attack protection for the site. The San Francisco-based company said it has stopped proxying the site, as well as stopped answering DNS requests for it. Cloudflare also said it had taken steps to prevent it from registering for the company's services again.

Click to see our in-depth coverage of online hatred.

 Click to see our in-depth coverage of online hatred.

Aaron Robinson/CNET

"Our terms of service reserve the right for us to terminate users of our network at our sole discretion," Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince said in a statement. "The tipping point for us making this decision was that the team behind Daily Stormer made the claim that we were secretly supporters of their ideology.

"Like a lot of people, we've felt angry at these hateful people for a long time, but we have followed the law and remained content neutral as a network," he said. "We could not remain neutral after these claims of secret support by Cloudflare."

A version of the site site has moved onto the darknet, which can only be accessed through the Tor browser. The Tor address, however, pointed readers to the Russian domain, which isn't available.

With the move, Cloudflare joins a slew of companies seeking to quash white supremacist activity on the web in the wake of the Charlottesville attack. Apple and PayPal have disabled support of their services at websites that sell merchandise glorifying white nationalists and support hate groups, while Reddit and Facebook have each banned entire hate groups

Separately on Wednesday, a Muslim American comedian filed a federal lawsuit against Andrew Anglin, the publisher of The Daily Stormer, for falsely claiming he was the "mastermind" of a deadly bombing at a concert in Manchester, England, earlier this year.

Dean Obeidallah, who hosts a show on SiriusXM Radio, says he received death threats after The Daily Stormer published doctored images designed to make readers believe the comedian had claimed responsibility for the UK bombing on his Twitter account, according to the suit.

Anglin, who didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, is also being sued by a Montana woman whom he targeted for trolling late last year.

First published Aug. 16 at 4:59 p.m. PDT.
Update, 7:58 p.m. PDT: Adds news of lawsuit against Daily Stormer publisher.

Batteries Not Included: The CNET team shares experiences that remind us why tech stuff is cool.

CNET Magazine: Check out a sampling of the stories you'll find in CNET's newsstand edition.