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Cloudflare Disconnects 8chan Web Forum, Democrats Seek Antitrust Civil Penalties, Verizon Lockdown on Phones

Masha Abarinova

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Cloudflare, an online service that helps websites mitigate DDoS attacks, will be terminating its services for the forum 8chan following the El Paso shooting, the Verge reports. This opens the site to potential attacks that could shut it down entirely.

“While removing 8chan from our network takes heat off of us, it does nothing to address why hateful sites fester online,” said Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of Cloudflare, in a blog post posted early Monday morning.

“In taking this action we’ve solved our own problem, but we haven’t solved the internet’s,” he said.

Cloudflare has kicked other hateful sites off its services before, most notably the Daily Stormer, a Holocaust denial, neo-Nazi and white supremacist website and message board. However, a Cloudflare competitor stepped up to replace their services when they were revoked nearly two years ago, and the website is still available today.

8chan’s founder, Fredrick Brennan, thanked Cloudflare for terminating its service, saying in a tweet, “Finally this nightmare may have an end.”

Four Democratic senators introduce legislation allowing FTC and Justice Department to seek civil penalties

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., introduced on Friday new legislation to crack down on monopolies that violate antitrust law. Introduced with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and cosponsored by Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Ed Markey, D-Mass., the Monopolization Deterrence Act would give the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission authority to seek civil penalties for monopolization offenses under the antitrust laws, a power they currently do not have.

Specifically, the bill would enable the Department of Justice and the FTC to seek civil monetary penalties for violations of section 2 of the Sherman Act. It would also deter future violations by providing for penalties of up to 15 percent of the violator’s total U.S. revenues or 30 percent of the violator’s U.S. revenues in the affected markets.

“Dominant companies need to be put on notice that there will be serious financial consequences for illegal monopolistic behavior,” said Klobuchar, “our legislation will increase the ability of the Justice Department and the FTC to deter companies from engaging in monopolistic practices that hurt competition, consumers, and innovation in our economy.”

Verizon begins lockdown on new phones, citing handset-related fraud

Fierce Wireless reports that Verizon has started implementing its new policy of locking new phones for 60 days after purchase to combat handset-related fraud. The Federal Communications Commission approved the decision in June, agreeing that the safety check period wouldn’t significantly impact legitimate customers.

Under the 60-day lock, Verizon customers can’t use a new device on a different carrier’s network for about two months after purchase or activation. After 60 days have elapsed, Verizon will automatically unlock the phone.

Verizon previously told the FCC that selling unlocked phones facilitated, and maybe even encouraged, increasing incidents of device and identity theft, which negatively impacted both the carrier and its customers.

“Even with these safeguards in place, Verizon will still have the most consumer-friendly unlocking policy in the industry and we see very little impact on our legitimate customers’ ability to use their devices,” said Ronan Dunne, executive vice president of Verizon Consumer Group, in a statement when the FCC waiver was granted.

(Photo of CloudFlare's Matthew Prince by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images for TechCrunch used with permission.)

 

 

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