After a week in which tech companies abandoned neo-Nazi web publication The Daily Stormer following the murder of a woman protesting white supremacy in Virginia, a new company has stepped forward to defend it against denial-of-service attacks: Seattle’s BitMitigate.
Nick Lim, founder of the fledgling content-delivery network, told ProPublica Friday that he agreed to step in for Cloudflare, which had been allowing the The Daily Stormer to stay online in the face of persistent attacks until it reversed course on Tuesday. Both Cloudflare and BitMitigate protect sites against distributed denial-of-service attacks — which attempt to force sites offline by flooding them with immense amounts of web traffic — by diverting that traffic across a large network.
“People should be given the right to express their ideas,” Lim told ProPublica. Of course, concerns beyond free speech played a part: “I thought it would really get my service out there,” he said.
Electric frontier foundation and ACLU state blocking Daily Stormer is dangerous… and it is! Free speech is critical and we are losing it
— Nick Lim (@LimTheNick) August 18, 2017
Putting aside the notion that U.S. businesses have any obligation to uphold First Amendment free speech rights on their services, BitMitigate’s decision will allow The Daily Stormer to continue publishing some of the most extreme white supremacist ideology on the internet. Lim told ProPublica that BitMitigate isn’t taking any money from The Daily Stormer.
BitMitigate appears to be a spin-off or subsidiary of another company called Orca.tech, which gets a link on Lim’s Twitter profile page. Orca.tech looks like a web and security consulting company, and according to Washington state business records, Orcatech LLC is registered to Chris Heiland of Kenmore, Wash.