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 Cloudfare CEO: Was I Right to Pull the Plug on a Nazi Website?

Cloudfare CEO: Was I Right to Pull the Plug on a Nazi Website?

A handful of private companies control whether speech can appear online. That’s reason to worry.


By Matthew Prince, The Wall Street Journal

I helped kick a group of neo-Nazis off the internet last week, but since then I’ve wondered whether I made the right decision. I’m the co-founder and CEO of Cloudflare. We run a global network that makes internet applications faster and protects them from cyberattacks. If you haven’t heard of us, I’m not surprised. We’re part of the internet’s infrastructure, one of the groups operating behind the scenes to bring you everything you enjoy online.

Although Cloudflare isn’t a household name, nearly 10% of all internet requests from 2.8 billion people pass through our network each month. We have almost 10 million customers, from small businesses to large financial institutions. During the 2016 presidential election, 17 major-party candidates used Cloudflare to protect their campaigns from hackers. ( Hillary Clinton was the notable exception.) Chances are you’ve used our network hundreds of times in the past 24 hours and, if we’re doing our job, all you’ve noticed is fast internet.

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