One week after it lost access to Amazon’s hosting servers, Parler’s website is back online in limited form. Visit it today and you’ll find a message from CEO John Matze. “Hello world, is this thing on?” he says at the top of the page. “We will resolve any challenge before us and plan to welcome all of you back soon,” a follow-up message declares.
Parler went offline last Sunday when Amazon suspended the company’s access to its hosting services for violating its terms of service. That same weekend, Google and then Apple removed Parler’s app from their respective marketplaces. The enforcement actions came after evidence came out that Trump supporters and far-right extremists used the platform to organize January 6th’s deadly US Capitol attack, which left five people dead.
In an interview over the weekend, Matze told Fox News he was confident the platform would be back up “by the end of the month.” That’s a significant change from what the executive told Reuters earlier in the week. “It could be never,” he said when asked about a timeline.
Parler is back up, and being hosted by "DDOS GUARD" out of Russia. If that's not an obvious sign of its malfeasance, there's nothing else that could possibly be shown to convince you. pic.twitter.com/FkScxQdCoK— Dave Temkin (@dtemkin) January 18, 2021
Per CNN, Parler’s domain is currently registered with Epik, a DNS provider known for offering a safe haven to websites like 8chan and The Daily Stormer in the past. A tweet from Dave Temkin, Netflix’s vice-president of network and systems, suggests Russia’s DDOS Guard is hosting the website. But getting online is just one of the challenges Parler needs to solve before it can say it’s fully up and running again. Without access to the App Store and Google Play, Parler users won’t have an easy way of installing the software on their phones. Sideloading is an option on Android, but that’s not a viable way to distribute a mobile app. Getting back on the App Store and Google Play will mean playing by Apple’s and Google’s rules.