Epik, the domain registrar which agreed to take in Parler after the Capitol insurrection, has drawn the line. It is: anonymous jackasses ratting out people seeking abortions in Texas, which are now practically outlawed in that state. Users of prolifewhistleblower.com could submit “anonymous tips” to “Help Enforce the Texas Heartbeat Act.” This essentially means submitting names of people who are now vulnerable to bounty hunters who can sue anyone who gets an abortion after six weeks or “aids and abets” them.
ArsTechnica reports that, after GoDaddy cut off the site on Friday, the site switched its name servers to Digital Ocean and its domain registration to Epik. Digital Ocean also cut ties, and the site turned to Epik for both services. A few days ago, Epik told the Daily Beast that the site had violated its terms by nonconsensually collecting third-party information, and Epik made the site remove the tips line. Now prolifewhistleblower.com redirects to the page for evangelical anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life, which reportedly founded the site.
Gizmodo was unable to immediately reach the group or Epik for comment. But a look at Epik’s terms of service confirms that users may not “harvest or otherwise collect information about third parties, including email addresses, without the express consent of such third parties.” (It also prohibits harassment and threats.)
Epik has lately swooped in to aid right-wing sites like Gab, which was cut off by GoDaddy after the discovery that Gab had hosted the Pittsburgh synagogue mass shooter’s anti-Semitism-filled profile. It also became the domain registrar for Parler after the discovery of numerous death threats against lawmakers, leading up to the Capitol insurrection. Among its other controversial clients, Bitchute is a site for Q Anon drops and The Donald is the independent incarnation of the notorious hate-filled forum that went too far for Reddit exec’s comfort.
The Texas Heartbeat Act recently got a cowardly pass last week from the Supreme Court, which refused to block the law without so much as a hearing. Now an estimated 85% of Texas abortion-seekers will be turned down at clinics; if they go ahead with the abortion, any private citizen can sue them, their provider, or a person who “aids and abets” them — including a friend who offers emotional support or an Uber driver who takes them to a clinic — for $US10,000 ($13,526).