Network security behemoth Cloudflare may have to rethink its policy of taking on all customers after a report highlighted that the company is helping protect domains that host child pornography.
Cloudfare’s Content Delivery Service (CDN) is host to hundreds of websites featuring exploitative child material, according to a report from L1ght, a Tel Aviv-based startup that works to make the internet safe for children. The Israeli company found sites with hashtags and other triggers that attract pedophiles. Some of the sites appeared to not be moderating the material, while in others, the matter appears to be actively publicized, Forbes said.
“It took us almost 10 years to get the major social media companies to take this issue seriously,” Hany Farid, a professor of computer science at Berkeley, who helped Microsoft create a program that removes exploitative photos of children, told TNW. “I hope that it doesn’t take another 10 years to get internet infrastructure companies to do the same.”
L1ght said that it shared the findings with Cloudflare in November, and has yet to receive a response. Cloudflare told TNW that it finds Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) abhorrent and against the law, and the company doesn’t tolerate it. Cloudfare also said that one of the companies mentioned by L1ght wasn’t using the service when the report was released.
“We have processed all the additional reports of CSAM in question and taken action, as appropriate,” Cloudfare said to TNW.
Cloudflare has maintained that its aim is to make the Internet safe from cyber attacks, not to police objectionable content. The company’s CDN delivers content, helping to mitigate the problems that occur when there’s an onrush of traffic. This keeps a site from failing when there’s an increase in traffic by either legitimate viewers or malicious actors.
The security company’s service obscures a website’s internet address so that when you visit the site, you are actually communicating with a Cloudflare server located near you. There have been cases when objectionable material has remained on Cloudflare’s servers after the host company removed it, according to the New York Times.
- Cloudfare said it would provide security tools and services to political campaigns in the U.S. at no charge. The Cloudflare for Campaigns campaign is part of its efforts to secure upcoming elections against cyberattacks and election interference.
- India should be allowed to crack end-to-end encryption to capture child-pornography distributors, according to the report from a parliamentary panel on Jan. 25.