Amazon is now facing legal action following its move to ban conservative social media app Parler from using AWS cloud computing infrastructure. On Monday, Parler filed a lawsuit in the US District Court in Seattle alleging that its suspension from AWS services violated antitrust law and breached contractual agreement.
AWS cut off Parler servers on Sunday, citing the proliferation of hate speech and the site's role in organizing last week's riot at the US Capitol. In a letter to Parler obtained by Buzzfeed and confirmed by Amazon, AWS said that it saw a steady increase in violent content across Parler and that "it's clear that Parler does not have an effective process to comply with the AWS terms of service."
In its 18-page legal complaint, obtained by The Hill, Parler attempts to hit back at Amazon with bevy of grievances, insisting that its removal from AWS was politically motivated and designed to "reduce competition in the microblogging services market to the benefit of Twitter."
Parler is asking the court to issue a temporary restraining order that would force AWS to reinstate Parler's account and "refrain from suspending, terminating or failing to provide any services" outlined in its customer agreement with AWS. Parler is also seeking monetary damages.
Google and Apple have also banned the Parler social app citing a violation of terms and lack of content moderation. In terms of cloud providers, it's unclear what hosting option Parler has going forward, but based on the allegations in its lawsuit, the app has been blacklisted from all of the major providers. AWS is the largest cloud provider with Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.
"This death blow by AWS could not come at a worse time for Parler -- a time when the company is surging with the potential of even more explosive growth in the next few days," the lawsuit reads. "Worse than the timing is the result-Parler has tried to find alternative companies to host it and they have fallen through. It has no other options. Without AWS, Parler is finished as it has no way to get online. And a delay of granting this TRO by even one day could also sound Parler's death knell as President Trump and others move on to other platforms."
Amazon responded to Parler's lawsuit in a statement:
"There is no merit to these claims. AWS provides technology and services to customers across the political spectrum, and we respect Parler's right to determine for itself what content it will allow. However, it is clear that there is significant content on Parler that encourages and incites violence against others, and that Parler is unable or unwilling to promptly identify and remove this content, which is a violation of our terms of service. We made our concerns known to Parler over a number of weeks and during that time we saw a significant increase in this type of dangerous content, not a decrease, which led to our suspension of their services Sunday evening."