Saturday, December 4

Controversial Texas Abortion Law Advice Site Goes Down Because Web Hosting Provider GoDaddy Refuses To Host It

A website called a “whistleblower” that allows users to report suspected abortions in Texas went offline after web hosting company GoDaddy said it had violated its terms.

“Last night, we informed that they have violated GoDaddy’s terms of service and have 24 hours to switch providers,” the company said in a statement Friday.

The site, run by anti-abortion activists Texas Right to Life, was created in the wake of a new Texas law that effectively bans abortions in the U.S. state, making them illegal in all circumstances once a medical professional can detect a fetus. heartbeat.

The site’s owners said Friday that it would be up and running again with a new provider “within 24 to 48 hours.”

However, at the time of writing, the whistleblower tip line appears to be offline.

What is the new Texas abortion law?

The new law, known as TX SB8, allows any private citizen to sue abortion providers in Texas who violate the law, which prohibits termination in all circumstances after approximately six weeks of pregnancy.

Private citizens can also sue anyone who “aids or encourages” patients to undergo the procedure. However, the patients who undergo an abortion cannot be sued.

TX SB8 makes no exceptions for rape or incest. The person filing the lawsuit, who does not have to have a connection to the patient undergoing an abortion, is entitled to at least $ 10,000 (€ 8,400) in damages if they prevail in court.

Log off

Before logging off, the prolifewhistleblower website served as an anonymous tip for alleged violations of TX SB8.

During the time it was online, the site attracted widespread condemnation, jokes, and spam.

In August, TikToker Sean Black shared the code for a bot he had created that allowed users outside of Texas to flood the tip line with false reports.

Black claimed that his bot was able to send approximately 300 fake tips before it was blocked by the site.

With GoDaddy’s decision to stop hosting the whistleblower hotline on Friday, Texas Right to Life was forced to look for an alternate provider.

On Monday, an ICANN search of showed that the site was hosted by Epik, an anti-platform web service provider that claims to offer “sovereign hosting” that allows a website to “stay online in the face of forces that can. undermine online content, community or commerce. ”

Epik previously stepped in to host “free speech” social platforms Gab and Parler when other providers refused due to the proliferation of hate speech on the sites.

However, despite Epik stepping in to introduce the tip line, the address was redirected Monday to the Texas Right to Life home page.

According to The Verge, this came after Epik claimed to have “persuaded them to stop collecting anonymous leads and remove it from the Internet entirely.”

Tech companies respond

While GoDaddy’s denial of service appears to have directly affected the whistleblower site’s operation, other tech companies have lined up to criticize Texas SB8.

Last week, ridesharing platforms Uber and Lyft announced that they would cover the legal costs of defendant drivers under the new law, which could make them liable for dropping patients off at abortion providers.

The law, the most restrictive to ever go into effect in the United States, was condemned by Texas-based dating platforms Bumble and Match Group.

Match Group CEO Shar Dubey spoke out against the law in a memo to employees last week.

“I immigrated to the United States from India more than 25 years ago and I have to say that, as a resident of Texas, I am amazed that I now live in a state where women’s reproductive laws are more regressive than most of the world, including India. “, said. said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *