How Parler Deplatforming Amazon, Demonstrates the Power of Cloud Providers

Andy Jessie, CEO of Amazon Web Services.


Discontinuing Amazon Web Services is rare, but has huge consequences.

It happened this week, when Amazon dropped the social network Parler, which banned President Donald Trump after Twitter and blocked content promoting violence. Parler filed suit in federal district court in an attempt to prevent Amazon from suspending Parler’s account, and Amazon pushed back, requesting that the court deny Parler’s motion.

This phenomenon demonstrates a type of power that Amazon produces almost uniquely because many companies rely on it to deliver computing and data storage. According to an estimate by technology research company Gartner, Amazon controlled 45% of cloud infrastructure in 2019. The app survived without being listed in Apple and Google’s App Store, but the parlor has been left for days absent from the Internet due to being shipped from Amazon’s cloud.

Parler’s engineering team had built software that drew on computing resources from Amazon Web Services, and the company negotiated with Amazon about adopting proprietary AWS databases and artificial intelligence services, the company said Wednesday in a district court I entered.

It will take time to figure out how to do similar tasks on a cloud other than Parler’s own server or AWS. And in Parler’s case, timing is important, as it came as the service was gaining attention and new users following Twitter’s Trump ban.

Parler’s engineers can learn to use other computing infrastructure, or the company can hire developers who already have this knowledge. But because no cloud provider is as popular as Amazon, people say that Oracle’s cloud is not as easy as finding people who know how to build on AWS.

There were warnings

The speed with which Amazon acted should not come as a shock. The companies are revealing details about their deals with Amazon, warning of such sudden closures over the years.

In 2010, DNA sequencing company Complete Genomics Said that “a disruption of services by Amazon Web Services, which we rely on to deliver ready genomic data to our customers, will result in our customers not receiving their data on time.”

Gaming company Zynga warned how its AWS foundation could quickly disappear when it filed a prospectus for its initial public offering in 2011. At the time, AWS hosted half the traffic for Zynga’s games, such as Farmville and Words for Friends, the company said. .

“AWS may terminate the agreement without providing 180 days prior written notice, and may terminate the agreement with 30 days prior written notice of cause, including any material default or breach of agreement by us Includes what we do not fix within 30-day period, ”said Zynga.

AWS may also immediately terminate or suspend its agreement with a customer under certain circumstances as it did with Wikilix in 2010, a violation of AWS’s Terms of Service.

Parler began using AWS in 2018, following earlier revelations about the incident of Wikileaks and the possibility of prolonged cloud disruptions.

When AWS told Parler that it planned to suspend Parler’s AWS account, it stated that Parler repeatedly violated the terms, including not controlling or not controlling the rights to its content.

Over the course of several weeks, AWS alerted the parlor to instances of user content encouraging violence, Amazon filed in a courtroom. The material came to the fore after a January 6 uproar at the Capitol building in Washington by protesters, disrupting congressional confirmation of Electoral College results from the 2020 presidential election. AWS reported that Parler was not doing enough to rapidly remove that kind of information from its social network.

Parler could have protected himself more. Larger AWS customers can sign up for more comprehensive agreements, allowing more customers time to come into compliance if they break the rules.

Gartner analyst Lida Leong stated this difference in a blog post: “Thirty days is a typical timeframe specified in contracts as a cure period (and a cure period in the AWS Standard Enterprise Agreement), but cloud providers Click-through agreements (such as the AWS customer agreement) usually do not have a term of treatment, which can lead to immediate action at the discretion of the provider, ”she wrote.

Other cloud providers have their own terms, which customers must follow. AWS now has millions of customers, and is more in the cloud infrastructure market than any other provider. As a result, many organizations may be exposed to the type of treatment that Parlar has, as rare, if they do not behave according to Amazon’s standards.

Parler recognizes the drawbacks of looking at a cloud provider, but ultimately, offering flexible clouds was also appealing to ignore. The head of Adler, Alexander Blair, wrote, “I personally am very anti-cloud and anti-centralization, although AWS has its own place for high-burst traffic.” a post On service.

Parler and Amazon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Watch: Apple pulls Parler out of App Store amid violent post breaks


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